Adobe Illustrator for Bloggers: Setting up Templates to create blog graphics instantly. Plus FREE .ai Download!
Adobe Illustrator for Bloggers: Setting up Templates
Hi guys! Welcome back.
This is the second post for our ‘Adobe Illustrator for Bloggers’ blog series.
In this post, we’re talking all about creating Templates, so you can design blog graphics instantly.
We’ll show you shortcuts & tips for creating beautiful content for your posts.
We’re going to be using clipping masks & artboards pretty intensively here, so if you haven’t seen our previous post, ‘Basic Guide to Photo Cropping’, please check it out HERE.
You can download the free .ai template HERE. This template works for CS6 & up.
You can watch the tutorial video, or follow the steps in the post. Completely up to you!
Download and save the free template
Command+N opens new document window.
What we’re going to do is open our template, you can ignore all of the options on the New Document window.
Click on ‘Templates…’ in the lower left corner.
This will point you to this specific folder.
For Mac, it’s located: Applications > Adobe Illustrator > Cool Extras > en_US > Templates.
I like to save all of my templates in this folder so they’re easy to find.
Place the downloaded template into this folder, and open it up in Illustrator.
Personalizing your template
- Start by dragging and dropping photos into the file. Don’t forget to embed them! I went ahead and used clipping masks to constrain the photos to the Instagram artboard, and the post photos artboard.
- I want a 4 photo collage for one of the post photos, so I pressed on ‘option’ on my keyboard, and clicked and dragged the 4-photo collage guide onto an artboard, this duplicated it.
- Go ahead and use clipping masks to clip photos into this collage.
- In the left toolbar, you’ll find the ‘line segment’ tool. Select this.
- On your 4-photo collage, click at the top of the intersection, press shift on your keyboard, and drag down to the bottom. This creates a straight stroke. A straight stroke obviously won’t show a fill, but we need to give this line a stroke.
- With the line selected, go to the top left portion of Illustrator, and click on the stroke thumbnail. Choose the white color swatch. The line now has a white stroke, even though it’s probably hard to see.
- Let’s bump up the size of the stroke. On the right toolbar, open up the stroke window. Use the arrows to bump up the stroke weight, or size, until it’s looking good.
- Add lines to the other photo intersections.
- Use the selection tool, and click on your ‘header’ text. Press ‘option’ on your keyboard, and click & drag the header text to the first post photo.
- Using the text tool on the left (‘T’ on your keyboard), edit the words to your post title.
- You might have to resize your text, press ‘command+t’ on your keyboard to open up the character style box. You can change the size there.
- Copy over your ‘secondary’ text, and type in a secondary title, your blog URL, or something similar.
- Select your logo, and press ‘option’ and drag it over onto a blog photo. Select the logo, and use the corner points to resize (holding shift to constrain proportions!). Depending on what color the logo is, you may or may not be able to see it.
- Let’s change the color of it. Select the logo, and press ‘i’ on your keyboard. This brings up the eyedropper tool. Hover over a contrasting color on your photo, and hold shift & click. This will select the color you’re hovering over. You can also use the eyedropper tool to select any colors you have in your color swatches on the right.
- Go ahead and copy those logos to the other photos for the post.
- Feel free to change colors & sizes to make the logo work with each photo.
- Go ahead and use the rectangle tool to create a square at the top of the Pinterest image. Use a clipping mask to crop a photo to the square.
- Copy over your header & secondary text, and change the message & color.
- Use the rectangle tool (m) to create a rectangle at the bottom of your Pinterest post. Up at the top of Illustrator, you’ll see the width & height editing tools. Make sure the link between the two is selected, this will constrain the proportions of the rectangle.
- In the width box, after the number, type in ‘/2’. This will divide the rectangle into two, both in width & in height. This box is now 1/4th the size of the original box. Press option, click & drag the newly sized rectangle to copy it over to the right.
- Copy the box to the bottom quarters as well.
- Go to file > export. This brings up the export window. Find the file that you want these graphics saved to. Go ahead and choose your file type, we talked about this in the first post.
- Check ‘choose artboards’, and check ‘all’. Click on ‘export’.
- Illustrator will pop up a PNG Options window. Choose the proper screen resolution, 72dpi, and choose ‘Art Optimized’ (unless you have a whole lot of text going on).
- You should be good to go, click on OK.