In this brief guide, we've outlined how to group layers in Illustrator, so you can consolidate the project and speed up your workflow. This process will help you to stay sane, and if you decide to collaborate with other artists, it will be much easier to share the project as well.
How to Group Layers in Illustrator
First, load an Illustrator project and access the Layers palette by choosing "Window" > "Layers". This lists every layer in your project, so you can select, edit, and group them as desired. Any visual element that you place on the artboard will automatically be added to the Layers palette, whether it's a simple object or complex image.
To merge multiple layers into a group, hold Ctrl/Command and click on the layers to select them. You can also click on a layer, hold Shift, and click on another layer to select all of the layers in between them as well. Then, press Ctrl+G (Command+G on Mac) to group the selected layers.
Your new group will appear in the Layers palette as a main "<Group>" layer, with a drop-down arrow that reveals all of the layer components. If you'd like to select the entire group, just click on the main layer in the palette.
Creating Groups Within Groups
With a more complex project, you may need to create sub-groupings that exist inside a normal group. To do this, hold Ctrl/Command and click on the circle-shaped icons to select any items in the group. Then, right-click on the selection and choose "Group".