Illustrator blend

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Blend tool in Adobe Illustrator is useful in many contexts, for example, creating a custom border for a design, or creating a more interesting backdrop. It’s just one of the tools we explore in our Illustrator classesIllustrator-blend
First of all, you need two shapes to work with. The example here is a yellow rounded rectangle with a blue ellipse. The shapes can either be apart or overlapping, but it works best if both shapes have no stroke colour.
Then select the Blend tool from the toolbox and click on one shape, then the other. The default blend is a gradient, very similar to what you’d get with the Gradient tool. However, one advantage over the latter is that you can select either of the original shapes with the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow) and change its colour, or adjust its position or anchor points.
In addition, if you now double-click on the Blend tool, a dialog appears in which you can fine tune the appearance of the blend. You can change from a solid blend to Specified Steps, or Specified Distance. Change the number of steps to 3 or 4 to get a better idea of what’s going on. The example above has 3 steps, and you can see the incremental transition from one shape to the other.
If you need to “explode” the shapes to pull them apart, right-click and Expand. Now all of the intermediate shapes are editable.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes