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How to Merge Shapes in Illustrator

In logo design, it’s often useful to have a variety of tools to choose from so your clients are pleased with the final work. One of the best features that Illustrator has to help you create the perfect logo is the ability to merge shapes. You can merge various types of objects to create something totally unique and memorable. When you’re trying to work on a complex piece, this tool can be handy. Here is a tutorial on how to merge shapes in Illustrator.
 
Select Your Shapes
 
It’s easy to learn how to merge shapes in Illustrator. First, you need to place some shapes on your Illustrator canvas. Select a shape from the side toolbar and change the menu default from rectangle to a shape you want. Or, you can open shapes you’ve already created from other projects. The next step is to position your shapes so that they are close to each other or overlapping. Open the “Pathfinder” toolbar. Make sure you select all of the shapes before going any further. In the toolbar, select the “Unite” option to start the process of merging.
 
Make Adjustments
 
Once you’ve united your shapes, the end result will be one new figure. The border lines between each individual shape will disappear and give you a uniform and smooth look. With the Pathfinder toolbar, you can also perform some unique effects on your new shape. If you choose “Hard Mix” or “Soft Mix,” you can adjust the coloring on your newly created shape. Choosing “Intersect” keeps the original shape borders if you want your project to have some edges.
 
Take Away Space Using the Pathfinder Tool
 
Sometimes, instead of simply merging two shapes together and creating a new silhouette of the two combined, your project will need something a little more unique. The Pathfinder toolbar also allows users to create negative white space in the project when merging two shapes together. This allows you to achieve a cutout look for your new shape. To get this look in your project, create or open new shapes on your Illustrator canvas. Place the shapes in the correct position for your design’s style. Put the shape that will be the cutout negative space on top of the main shape. Then, click on the “Subtract” option in the Pathfinder toolbar. The end result will give your larger shape an interesting look with a portion of it cut away.
 
With Illustrator, you can achieve new and exciting things for your graphic design work. Shutterstock can help give you new ways to try different effects in your project and achieve an iconic look.
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