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  • Writer's pictureNorthPoint

Pixels To Print: Creating Custom Guides in Illustrator

When creating a balanced and aligned composition, Illustrator guides are here to help you out.  Guides are essentially your fast pass to aligning text and graphics in the most confident and reassuring way.  No more worrying about whether or not your header lines up with your body text or if your grid of photos are perfectly spaced – guides have got you covered.  They will be there to assist you through the process of designing but will not print or export in your final piece.  They are simply there to help you when needed and can be turned on and off when needed or removed all together!

Adobe Illustrator comes with a built-in ruler system in which you can drag out vertical and horizontal guides to help measure and create a basic layout for your design. Access rulers quickly by clicking Ctrl+R or Command+R and start dragging! But what about the instances where you want to create a set of guides based on custom shapes? Any vector shape can be converted to a guide with one easy step (you heard that right - ONE)! 

Right Click > Make Guide. 

DONE! Just like that! You can also create guides by going to View > Guides > Make Guides.  In this drop down menu, you can also choose to lock the guides, ensuring that they stay in place while you work, release the guides, converting them back to their previous vector shape, hide guides, to temporarily remove them from sight (this can give you a better look at what your final design will look like without the distraction of the guides over your composition), as well as clear guides, which removes them completely!  

Tip: Create your guides in a separate layer so that you can easily toggle them on and off!

Custom shape guides are a great tool to use when creating templates, laying out the blueprint of your design, or even just perfecting the alignment of your composition.  Try them out when designing your next piece, and see how helpful they can really be!

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