Creating seamless tiles in Adobe Illustrator is a simple process that takes just a few steps. Once you learn the basic steps for creating a seamless pattern in Adobe Illustrator you can create extremely complex seamless tiles with only the extra effort required to draw the design.
Open a new document and set its width and height to 8.5 inches.
Draw shapes and designs on the canvas. For this tutorial I’ve used basic simple shapes.
Once you have everything on your canvas, click on the Artboard Tool. This is focus a rectangle just on the canvas part of the drawing and omit anything that goes over the edges.
Open the Layers Palette and turn off the background layer by clicking on the Eye icon. (You can leave this on if you’d like but when exporting the pattern you’ll have an opaque background.)
Go to File > Save for Web.
You’ll see your new pattern tile in the Save for Web Dialog. You’ll also notice that there is no background color. The background is transparent.
Save the file.
Open Photoshop and open the file you just saved from Illustrator.
Go to Edit > Define Pattern
Name the pattern and click ok.
Open a new document in Photoshop and draw a shape on the canvas. I used a heart shape and chose a red color for the fill. Double click on the layer with the shape on it and choose Pattern Overlay.
Scroll to the bottom of the patterns and choose the pattern you just defined.
Your shape gets filled with your new pattern.
Recap of the Basic Illustrator Pattern Creation Steps
- Create a new document. I make them square usually 8.5 x 8.5 inches.
- Draw your design on the canvas.
- Choose the Artboard Tool to select the area for the seamless tile.
- Save the file for web.
- Open the saved document in Photoshop and define it as a pattern.
The Pattern Tile
That’s all there is to it. A very basic pattern created in just a few minutes.