Essential components of an artwork

Are you trying to brush up your artistic skills or going to design your first artwork? Learn the basic and essential components for designing a visual.

Shapes and paths

Shapes & paths

Create basic shapes & paths with tools.

Text and fonts

Add text effects to logos, posters & more.

Color and patterns

Create a colorful artwork.

Images and special effects

Images & effects

Add special effects to images. 

Shapes and paths

Combine vector objects to create shapes in a variety of ways in Illustrator.

  • To create a path for a vector image, place a series of segments and anchor points. Close the path to convert it to a shape. 
  • To create a smooth shape that can be scaled to any size, tweak angles and curves of the anchor points.

Create & modify shapes & paths

AlignSnapPath FinderGlobal Edit options to arrange or lay out your artwork

Create an offset path


  • Object Path Offset Path
  • Object Path Outline Stroke to convert path or stroke into shapes


Apply effects

Choose effects from the Effect menu.

Free tracing or drawing

  • Pen tool
  • Curvature tool
  • Brush tool
  • Pencil tool

See also

Text and fonts

A styled text adds an artistic expression to the art. Illustrator provides you endless possibilities to style your content: retro, blur, smoky, 3D, and so much more. 

  • Create a text-related art, such as a logo, a flyer, or a brochure
  • Adjust the line spacing, align the text, choose fonts from Adobe fonts, and more

Character panel or Paragraph panel

Fine-tune the set of fonts (Type Glyphs)


Change the orientation, type on a path, fit your text in a geometric or organic shape

Type tool

Convert Type to a vector shape (Type Create Outlines)

Create outlines

See also

Colors and Patterns

Illustrator comes with many customizable patterns that you can access in the Swatches panel. The key is to choose a right color model and mode.

Patterns for filling objects (fill patterns) differ in design and tiling from patterns to be applied to a path with the Brushes panel (brush patterns). For best results, use fill patterns to fill objects and brush patterns to outline objects.

Add fill and stroke colors

  • Calligraphic, scatter, art, pattern, and bristle brushes
  • Paint tool

Add colors and patterns from libraries

Color panel libraries

Create your own set of swatches from images or vectors

Eyedropper tool

Modify single or multiple colors in an artwork

Recolor artwork option in Properties panel

Apply a blend of two or more colors

Gradient tool

Apply colors and create realistic artwork

Mesh tool 

Paint different path segments and fill enclosed paths with different colors, patterns, or gradients

Live Paint feature and Shape Builder tools

Create new complex new shapes by merging simple shapes

Shape Builder tool

Limitless opportunities for creativity

Opacity, masks, gradients, blends, meshes, and patterns

Create strokes with variable width that make very articulate outlines

Width tool
Create patterns using shape and color

See also

Images and special effects

Import, embed, and convert the images into vector graphics to modify and add effects. Make your photo as small as a stamp and as big as a poster.

Crop images

Object Crop Image

Create organic shape of images

Object Clipping Mask

Trace images to create vector images

Image Trace

Add effects on overlapping images, shapes, or text

Blending options in Transparency panel 

Other apps

Modify images in Photoshop

See also

Try it yourself

Design cartoons, charts, diagrams, graphs, logos, icons, illustrations, postcards, posters, and other visual designs with a blend of text and images.

See tutorials to get started quickly.

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