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Pattern Masking Illustrator

Posted on 12th January 2018
1 - In Illustrator, create a “New Document”. Bring out the “Rulers” with Command/control + R.

2 - Drag to create a “Guide” from the upper rulers to a point in the document to be used as reference.

3 - Select the “Ellipse Tool” (L) and draw a circle by holding the “Shift + Option/Alt” keys while dragging your cursor diagonally starting from a point in the “Guide” you drew earlier.

4 - Fill your circle with a nice bright color (the “Stroke” should have no fill). You can choose a color “Palette” from the “Color Guide” window.

5 - Using the “Selection Tool” duplicate the circle by holding the “Shift + Option/Alt” keys while dragging the circle to the right. Position the left side of the second circle on top of the first one’s center. Change the “Fill” color of the second circle.

6 - Repeat the process, but now select and duplicate both circles. Change “Fill” colors. Then, select all your circles and repeat the process again.

7 - To make sure your circles are evenly spaced, select them all and choose the “Horizontal Distribute Center” option from the “Align” menu on top (or to the right). Make sure “Align to Selection” is the option used. Now you can “Hide” or “Delete” your guide (Command/Control + ;).

8 - Choose one of the circles and play around with the “Layer Mode” in the “Transparency” window to get some nice color combinations. Try this with all the circles.

9 - Once you are happy with the results (or if you want to assign a specific color to the overlapping portions), select all your circles with the “Selection Tool” and choose “Divide” in the “Pathfinder” menu.

10 - Select all your circles and duplicate them as before, but this time drag then down. We changed the “Layer Mode” of all the second row of circles to “Soft Light”, but you can use what you want, or choose separate colors and/or treatment for each portion. Once you are done, select all your circles and group them together (Command/Control + G).

11 - Now, you can add some text (or shape). Select the “Type Tool” (T), choose a font of your liking (we chose Cooper Std Black), make it a size that fits your circle background and use black as “Fill” color for now.

12 - Select your circles and text and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command/Control + 7) to paste the background inside the text.

13 - You can change the size and position of your patter by double-clicking on the text to enter “Isolation Mode”. Go to the “Layers” menu and select the circle background group to work with it. You can even hide the selection to have a better view (Command/Control + H). Then, click on the back arrow to exit “Isolation Mode”.

14 - Check your text.

by @lornacane

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