Illustrator Patterns


In CS6, many new options were added. See information below.

To make a pattern, drag an object or group of objects to the Swatches panel.

If there is no shape with a color fill in the background, the background will be clear (transparent).

If you want a color in the background, make another rectangle and send it to the back.

If you want to select part of your group of objects to be a pattern, make a rectangle with NO fill and NO stroke and send it to the back of your objects. Select them all and drag them to the swatches panel.

Remember, when scaling an object that is filled with a pattern, you should double click on the scaling tool and make sure to check the option for scaling the pattern. (Only if you want to do this, of course!)

NOTE: A pattern cannot be made with objects that are already filled with patterns.


In CS6, patterns can be edited in a wide variety of ways. These will be demonstrated in class. If you are interested in exploring them beyond what can be done in class, please watch the video on or check out more in-depth information in books or other tutorials. (Please e-mail me links to good tutorials you find!)