Adobe Illustrator Template

When starting a new project in Adobe Illustrator, there are a few things you may always finding yourself doing over and over again. Follow these instructions on making a new Adobe Illustrator template for all your future project needs.

New Document Setup

First go to File > New Document. Before clicking OK make sure these are the settings you want. What is the width and height you need? Make sure to fill that in. Click the down arrow on Advanced to expand. Is it RGB or CYMK? Do you want to align to new objects? (I usually don’t, so I make sure that is unchecked). Once you have the settings down the way you like it, click OK.




If your project/client needs colors, you can include these in your template. Illustrator comes with a default color set, and this may be ok for your project. But, it might not. For this tutorial, I deleted them all except the black and white ones. You can use shift to select more than one at a time.

Next I headed over to Adobe Color, hit explore, and took a screenshot of a color swatch I liked. For you, it may be more worthwhile to grab your corporate colors or another color set dictated by your style guide.

  1. First, you can make rectangles and use the eyedropper tool (i) and change those squares into the colors you want to grab.
  2. Select each rectangle and click the new swatch button (left of the garbage icon).
  3. Type in the swatch name if you wish and press OK.


Graphic Styles

Your project may ask for certain styles be used over and over again. If so, go to Windows > Graphic Styles to open up the Graphic Styles window. Delete any styles you will not be using and create the Graphic Styles that you will be using. Open up the appearance palette when creating Graphic Styles. It will tell you what is being applied for that object.


For those who are not familiar with how to create a Graphic Style, here’s a step-by-step process:

  1. Select the rectangles you just made in the swatches section and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow, change anything you want to change, then select OK.
  2. Drag each of the squares individually into the Graphic Styles Window to create new Graphic Styles.
  3. Create a new shape and test it out.


You could go on and delete or add new symbols, brushes, or any other elements you might want to include in a template. Once you have everything how you want it, delete everything from the artboard.


Then go to File > Save as Template.

Next time you start Illustrator go to File > New Document and select Templates in the bottom left corner and browse to your template file. Your Swatches and Graphic Styles (and brushes, symbols and anything else you tweaked) should be there for you ready to go!

How do you customize Adobe Illustrator templates? Let us know how you add your style in the comments below!

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