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How To Customize Any Vector Repeat Pattern In Adobe Illustrator CC

So, you found the perfect pattern for your project on some design marketplace. Well, almost perfect. The pattern is right except for that one element and the colors are all wrong. If you’d purchased that pattern from LCIVectorclipart, unlike other micro stock sites, all you’d have to do is drop us a line and request those changes from our art department. However, if you didn’t it’s now up to you to make it work (or hire someone who can). Not to worry, we’re here to help! Making changes to repeat patterns is relatively easy if you know what to do. Keep reading and we’ll give you the scoop.

Ok, open your pattern in Adobe Illustrator and load the pattern if you haven’t already done so. Once you see the pattern in the swatches palette, select it and drag it out onto your art board. Now you should have the actual artwork that was used to create the pattern ready to modify.

Once the artwork is on your art board it is fully editable. You’re free to change colors and even rearrange element. Now hold on there! I know you’re feeling like the king of the universe here but there are certain elements that you can’t touch or you’ll ruin the ability for the art to repeat correctly.

In most repeat patterns, the elements across the top are repeated at the bottom and the artwork on the left side is repeated on the right side. Sometimes they’re split in half to facilitate that tiling effect like in our example below. These are the elements that have to remain untouched (unless you’re a design professional and know how to manipulate them).The rest of the parts of the pattern can be moved freely.

Now, once you’re done with your modifications, make sure everything is unlocked and grouped. Drag your modified pattern artwork back into the swatches palette. Make sure to rename your new swatch. First, select it in the swatches palette, then select the dropdown menu at the very top of the the palette (see image). Scroll down and select “swatch options.” This will open a popup where you can name your file. 

That’s it! Your new swatch is ready to go! Select it in the swatches palette, drag out a shape and watch your new creation come to life! This technique is also a good way to study how swatches are put together. We have future posts planned to show you how to make your own custom patterns but in the meantime check out our growing collection of them. Make sure you sign up to receive alerts when new ones are added. Well, that’s it for now. We hope this was helpful. See you next week!

The LCI Vectorclipart Art Staff

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