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Creating and Applying a Pattern Swatch

star.jpg ACA Objective 2.5c

star.jpg ACA Objective 2.6a

star.jpg ACA Objective 2.6b

star.jpg ACA Objective 4.4b

For the landmark areas of the business card, we’ll add a pattern to give those elements more visual interest and to represent the grassy areas on the map. Although you could manually draw the texture of the pattern each time, patterns save you a lot of time and provide powerful control over the appearance of those items.

  1. Make sure the Landmarks layer is active and begin by drawing a circle using the Ellipse tool. Position the circle inside the traffic circle in the upper-left corner of the card.

    This ellipse represents a grassy area inside the traffic circle. You’ll now create a pattern to fill this and another grassy area on the card.

  2. Make sure that no object is currently selected, and then choose Object > Pattern > Make. A dialog box opens, alerting you that a new pattern has been added to the Swatches panel. Click OK.

    At this point you are in Pattern Editing mode, as indicated by the isolation mode bar at the top of the screen. Anything you draw in this mode will become part of the pattern.

  3. Using the Line tool, draw a vertical line from the top to the bottom of the pattern tile. Set the stroke weight to 4 pt and the color to green.

  4. With the line selected, choose Edit > Copy and then choose Edit > Paste In Front to paste a copy of the line directly on top of the original.

  5. Move the line 4 points to the right of the original line by selecting the copy, opening the Transform panel, typing +4 pt after the current value in the X field, and pressing Return/Enter. Change the color of the duplicated object to a lighter shade of the original green color.

  6. In the Pattern Options panel, enable the Size Tile To Art check box to resize the tile to the size of the artwork.

  7. Enter Grass Pattern for the name (Figure 4.22).

    Figure 4.22

    Figure 4.22 Resizing the tile to the artwork by selecting the Size Tile To Art check box

  8. Exit Pattern Editing mode by pressing the Esc key on your keyboard. (The pattern will be saved in the Swatches panel.)

Applying the Pattern to the Grassy Areas of the Map

Once a pattern is created, you can apply it to any object that you wish. A pattern swatch behaves like any other swatch in Illustrator. It can be applied to the fill or stroke of an object.

  1. Select the ellipse in the middle of the traffic circle.

  2. Select the fill of the object and select the pattern swatch in the Swatches panel that you just created. The ellipse is filled with the striped pattern.

  3. To scale the pattern within the ellipse, do one of the following:

    • Double-click the Scale tool and deselect Transform Objects and select Transform Patterns. Type a scale value in one or more of the scale fields and click OK (Figure 4.23).

      Figure 4.23

      Figure 4.23 Scaling the pattern by double-clicking the Scale tool

    • With the Scale tool selected, hold down the tilde key (~) on your keyboard and drag to scale only the pattern and not the object. Add the Shift key to scale proportionally.

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