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Add Some Sparkle to Your Next Design With the Illustrator Symbolism Tool

Symbols are art objects that can be used multiple times in Adobe Illustrator documents. Imagine creating effortless, eye-catching designs simply by using typography, shapes, colors, and a few simple effects. That's the power the symbolism tool provides. Using predesigned symbols will save you time and open doors to some very interesting techniques you can apply to your current design projects.

To get started with the symbolism tool, click the Windows tab located in the top menu bar and select Symbols. A new menu box designated just for symbols will appear. This is where you'll find all of the preprogrammed symbols available to use. Existing symbols in the program's library include symbols that lend themselves to nature, shapes, business, sports, and much more.

Open the Symbols Library and select the symbols you'd like to work with, then prepare to have some fun with the symbol sprayer tool. Select Symbol Sprayer from the Tools menu on the left-hand side of your screen.

Determine where you want your symbols to go, and simply click on that area of the canvas to add the selected symbols to your document.

Sure, you can click once and only have a single instance of the selected symbols appear, but the symbol sprayer is so much more fun than that! The sprayer works on your digital canvas similar to a can of spray paint. Click and hold your mouse button, and multiple instances of the same objects will appear. Move the cursor around the canvas to place the objects in different locations as the tool sprays. In a matter of seconds, your canvas will be covered in objects.

Placing symbols on the canvas is only the beginning. There's so much more digital design fun to have with Illustrator's symbolism tool. Other functions available when working with the symbolism tool include:

Working with Illustrator's symbolism tool is fun and easy. It's a great way to add a lot of life to a design without much time or effort. Imagine creating an ocean full of fish or a field full of butterflies almost instantly.

Just be careful. It's easy to get carried away. So no matter what your design project calls for, keep the Illustrator symbolism tool in mind. It's a secret weapon every designer should have in their arsenal.

Adobe Illustrator CS6 Digital Classroom
by Jennifer Smith


Illustrator CS6 Digital Classroom includes 12 self-paced lessons that contain essential skills and explore new features and capabilities of Adobe Illustrator. Every lesson is presented in full color with step-by-step instructions. Learning is reinforced with video tutorials and lesson files on a companion DVD that was developed by a team of expert instructors and Illustrator experts. Each video tutorial demonstrates and explains the concepts and features covered in the lesson.

This training package shows how to create and produce vibrant graphics using this robust vector drawing application.

  • Offers a complete training package combining a full-color, step-by-step instructional book with lesson files and video training from expert instructors
  • Offers the basics for tapping into the power of Adobe Illustrator to create and produce brilliant art for all types of media
  • Contains full-color, step-by-step instructions that make learning complicated tasks less intimidating
  • Demonstrates how to quickly get up to speed using Illustrator to create sophisticated page layouts and work in a dynamic publishing environment

Jam-packed with information, the book and DVD take you from the basics through intermediate level topics. You'll get the information you need in a clear, approachable manner.