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Plaid Pattern in Illustrator

Posted on 8th November 2018
We will use the Horizontal and Vertical “Plaid Pattern” vectors created in Steps 1 to 9 of the “Plaid Pattern in Illustrator / Photoshop” Tutorial (Plaid Pattern in Illustator / Photoshop).

1 - In Illustrator, create a “New Document” and follow Steps 1 to 9 of the “Plaid Pattern in Illustrator / Photoshop” Tutorial. We will work on the file we created for that tutorial. Select the yellow rectangle at the bottom of the Vertical Pattern, click on Color “Fill” on the Top Menu and in the Top-Right corner drop-down menu choose “New Swatch”, name it “PlaidBase” and check the “Global” box. With the yellow rectangle still selected, “Lock” it in place by clicking on the small padlock on the left side of its thumbnail in the “Layers Panel”.





2 - Delete the yellow rectangle at the bottom of the “Horizontal Pattern”, select all the other lines and drag them on top of the “Vertical Pattern” while holding the “Shift” key to make them move in a straight line.





3 - Select all the vertical and horizontal lines, go to the “Pathfinder Panel” and choose “Divide”, then right-click on top of them and choose “Ungroup”.





4 - If you have it, you can drag the “PlaidPs” pattern from the “Swatches Panel” to use as reference. Select the portions of the intersecting lines of each color that should remain full using the “Shift” key, right-click on top of them and choose “Group”. Repeat for each color, then select them all and go to Object > Lock > Selection (Command/Control + 2).









5 - To unite all of the other pieces together, select one and go to Select > Same > Fill Color, check that all the pieces you need are selected, go to the “Pathfinder Panel” and choose “Unite”.







6 - Then, click on Color “Fill” on the Top Menu and in the Top-Right corner drop-down menu navigate to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines and choose “10 lpi 50%”. You will now see the Swatches in the “Swatches Panel”.







7 - With your selection still active, head to the “Transform Panel” (Shift + F8). Click on the small Drop-Down Menu on the top right corner, select “Transform Pattern Only” and change the “Angle” to -45° and the “Width” to 1 cm making sure that the “Width” and “Height” values are linked. Once you input the new number you will notice that the value re-sets itself to the original one, but the changes should be made.









8 - Drag the “10 lpi 50%” swatch down to the “New Swatch” icon at the bottom of the “Swatches Panel” to duplicate it. Double-click on top, select the pattern and change the “Fill” color to White. Then, repeat “Steps 5 to 7” with the White lines.













9 - Repeat again with the Red and Green or the colors you are using in your Pattern Design. Once you are done, compare your pattern to the reference and check for spots that should be filled with color.









10 - Select the “Rectangle Tool” (M), choose the “Fill” color and No “Stroke” and draw the missing pieces. When you are finished, select them all, right-click on top and choose “Group”.









11 - Right-click again but this time choose Arrange > Send to Back and go to the bottom of your layer in the “Layers Panel” and drag it on top of the locked background rectangle. Repeat for each color until your pattern matches the one you chose as reference.











12 - Unlock your locked elements (Shift + Command/Control + 2), select everything, right-click on top and choose “Group”. Go to Object > Expand, make sure the “Fill” box is checked and click “OK”.







13 - Go to Object > Pattern > Make, click “OK” on the Pop-Up window. Double-click on top the New Swatch to open the “pattern Options”, name your pattern “PlaidAi” and check the “Size Tile to Art” box, then click the check mark on the Top Menu or hit “Enter”.







14 - Now you can use this pattern on your vectors.

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