27 Feb 2015

How Adobe Illustrator Will Change Your (Fashion) Design World

Many of you who browse my site regularly are already somewhat familiar with Illustrator and what it’s used for in the (fashion) design world.  For those of you who aren’t or who are just looking to broaden your knowledge, I recently wrote a concise overview at The Swatchbook (the supporting blog for online fabric supplier Offset Warehouse).  Brush up on your AI knowledge and learn how this software will change your (fashion) design world.
How Adobe Illustrator Will Change Your (Fashion) Design World

18 Feb 2015

Patterns Inside Patterns: Workaround for Illustrator Limitations

If you’ve ever needed to create a pattern inside of a pattern in Illustrator, you probably got this error: “patterns cannot contain anything painted with a pattern”.  BUMMER!  Don’t worry though, there are a couple ways to get around this!  This article takes you through the steps necessary to create patterns inside patterns, giving two different options to work depending on your needs.  Jump on over to Illustrator Stuff to read the full post.


06 Feb 2015

The Shape Builder Tool: How to Draw a Belt Buckle in Illustrator

If you’ve ever played around with Pathfinder in Illustrator to divide or unite shapes and have felt frustrated, you’re not alone.  Many people have difficulty wrapping their head around how to use this tool.  In CS5, Illustrator released the Shape Builder Tool which is a bit more intuitive to use use.  This quick video tutorial shows how to create a belt buckle using a few basic shapes and the Shape Builder Tool.  If you’re interested how Pathfinder compares, check out this video.

22 Jan 2015

Where to Save Brushes & Other Custom Libraries in Illustrator

If you use custom libraries for brushes or other assets in Illustrator (symbols, swatches, graphic styles, etc), it’s easy to make sure they appear right off the flyout menu as long as you know where to save them. By default, this is not where they are saved and you have to manually search for them every time you want to load them, but it’s easy to force them into a different spot for quick access all the time. Once you have created, purchased or inherited your custom libraries (these libraries will be saved with the standard .AI extension), you will want to save them in the following location accordingly:

Mac OSx

Macintosh HD > Applications > Adobe Illustrator (your version here, i.e. CC 2014) > Presets > en_US (or your language) > Brushes (or other folder for the appropriate type of library) where_to_save_custom_libraries_illustrator


C: > Program Files > Adobe Adobe Illustrator (your version here, i.e. CC 2014) > Presets > en_US (or your language) > Brushes (or other folder for the appropriate type of library) By putting files in the Brushes folder, they will automatically be available from the flyout of the panel.  You can even take it one step further and save the libraries named strategically so they land at the top of the list (files are listed alphabetically, so number 1 & 2 will appear first as shown in this example): custom_libraries_illustrator_flyout

05 Jan 2015

Curved Paths Made Easy in Illustrator

Illustrator always had a lesser known tool called the Reshape Path Tool. In theory, the concept was great but it was a bit fussy to use. In AI CC 17.1, they updated the Convert Anchor Point Tool to simply the Anchor Point Tool and the new functionality works beautifully (make sure your AI version is 17.1 or newer – Illustrator > About Illustrator).  In this super quick 3-step tutorial, we’ll draw a tank top using straight paths and convert them to curved paths using the new tool.

1. Create half of a tank top using straight paths with the Pen Tool.
2. With the Anchor Point Tool (hiding under the Pen Tool), click and drag on the paths you want to curve. Continue this on all the paths that need to be curved.
3. Reflect and copy half of your tank top, then join the center anchor points (learn more about reflecting & joining).