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Pattern Swatch

April 23, 2012

Last week, while working on the visual element for my Seven with Another collaboration with composer and musician, Robert Davidson, I used what I think is one of Adobe Illustrator’s coolest and less known features…

The Define Pattern tool allows you to create your own swatches and mock up repeat pattern elements within your design without the need to copy and paste large masked objects, which really rack up the file size.

It’s such an easy tool to use and I discovered it in a good little book I bought a couple of years ago by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac, called Digital Textile Design. This book explores Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create repeat patterns and maximise the use of filter effects for traditional and digital fabric printing using a clear, simple ‘how to – step by step’ approach. On my studio bookshelf it proudly sits next to my repeat pattern bible, Repeat Patterns – A manual for designers, artists and architects by Peter Phillips and Gillian Bunce.

Whilst the Define Pattern tool is simple to use, it has a lot of flexibility built in, so take your time to play around with it and explore its potential.

Meanwhile, mark 7pm, 10 May 2012 in your diary and share on Facebook the biggest launch yet of the Seven with Another exhibition series…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2012 8:22 PM

    Love this. I’ll have to start saving my software pennies 🙂 K

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