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How To Design Step And Repeat Patterns

Step and repeat banners are basically photo backdrop materials for displaying logos. They are huge enough to accommodate horizontal images that repeat themselves.

Vector design is used in printing of these materials and preferably through Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. When the latter is used, care should be taken since the banners are very big. Here is a simple procedure followed by experts to create custom step and repeat designs. The main tool for this artwork is the ‘Transform’ in the Adobe Illustrator. 

The process

1. Creation of a new document

A new document is opened in the Illustrator and appropriate size selected. The logo that needs to be stepped and repeated is situated on a different level to the background. A white background is fine but other colors can be used. The text is outlined and other contents grouped together.

2. Locating the starting point of the first row

Find out the number of inches the initial row begins from. This is the procedure: from effect> distort and then >transform. The repetitive options are displayed and the best one chosen. Below the ‘transform effect’ window is an option for ‘copies’. This is the field that is fed with the number of logos to place in the first row. Then the logos are spaced accordingly ad previewed.

3. Creating consecutive rows

The next rows are easier to make as they follow the above procedure. The movement for horizontal distance is not like the first step and the copies too are different. This shows that spacing varies from row to row.

4. Use of special copy paste skills

This is necessary when the second row differs from the first. The vertical distance in the move part of ‘transform’ plays a huge role in this step. The vertical option allows creation of more rows by putting the desired number in the ‘copies’ field. This depends on the type of project being carried out. Getting the right spacing might take long but the ‘transform’ tool offers tremendous help.

After designing all the desired rows, the banner is previewed and produced through custom flyer printing

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