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Graphic designers have long relied on the arrow to help draw in an audience to a visual layout or place emphasis on something in the picture. Whether you’re looking to add arrows in your project for a special effect or you’re trying to put them in a piece for promotional purposes, you’ll need to learn the basic steps. It’s easy to draw arrows and manipulate them to fit the style, purpose and idea you have for your graphic design project. Here is a step-by-step guide to drawing arrows in Illustrator.
Draw a Line
The first step of drawing arrows in Illustrator is to create a path or line. On the main toolbar, choose either the “Pen,” “Pencil,” “Line Segment” or another drawing tool. You can make adjustments to your line by curving it, adjusting the width of it, changing the coloring or lengthening it. Once you’re satisfied with your line, select it by clicking on it. Click on the “Window” option at the top of the screen and open the “Stroke” panel to get started on converting the line into an arrow. Here, you’ll see different options to customize the look of your arrow.
Perfect the Look of Your Arrow
If you want a simple arrow without any unique design, go to the bottom of this panel and choose the standard arrowhead and arrow end for your line. You can also play around with the settings to make a truly unique arrow for your project. The “Stroke” box gives you options to change the style of the start of the arrow and the ending point of the arrow. By default, the two points of your arrow are equally sized, but you can change this by checking off the scale box and unlinking them.
Utilizing the Brush Technique for an Arrow
Another way to draw arrows in Illustrator is to use brushes. On the main toolbar, you can change the settings of the “Brush” tool so you use a paintbrush that creates an arrowhead instead of a typical line. Start by clicking on the “Window” command at the top of the screen and selecting “Brushes.” Open the brush library and choose one of the options that uses arrows. Once you have this setup, you can go back to your blank canvas and use the paintbrush tool to easily make full-formed arrows appear. These arrows may not be as crisp as the line segment arrows, but they can give your artwork a new sense of style.
If you’ve always wanted to use arrows on your projects, Illustrator offers some fun options. With Shutterstock, you can bring some cool ideas to life and take advantage of the capabilities of this program.