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Use Blends

Blends are a special type of time-saver but I don’t find myself using them all the time. Blends can be used to blend objects together or blend objects and colors. I use them for backgrounds such as a repeating pattern or for more complex artwork to add shading, such as blending colors (see Figure 12).

Figure 12

Figure 12 Smooth Color Blend (left), and a blend with steps (right)

It’s pretty easy to blend objects; you simply select the Blend tool in the Tools panel and click from one object to the next to blend them (see Figure 13).

Figure 13

Figure 13 Create a blend of objects in Illustrator (start, left— finish, right)

After objects are blended, they become a single “blend object” (basically a group). With the blend object selected, you can double-click the Blend tool and change the options for the blend (see Figure 14).

Figure 14

Figure 14 Change options for a blend in Illustrator

Blends are a great way to save the file size and make editing easier. In a simple blend object, the steps between the ends are generated and don’t count much towards file size.

Figure 15

Figure 15 Masked color blend in Illustrator

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