One way to tidy up artwork in Adobe Illustrator is to round off the corners of drawn shapes, and there are several methods of doing so. For example, we could select the Add Anchor Point tool (located behind Illustrator’s Pen tool) and add a new anchor point near an existing corner. We could then use the Anchor Point tool to tease out curvature on the line at that precise point. This is only one of many methods you can learn at Illustrator training courses.
Another method is a function of the top Effect drop-down menu. Here we find the Appearance panel. To illustrate how this works first create a simple shape like a rectangle. Fill this with a solid colour. Next open up the Appearance panel to add a new fill from the panel options fly-out list on the top right of the panel. You now have two fills on the shape, although only one is visible since they are identical. Select the new fill (top) and return to the top Effect drop-down menu. This time choose Round Corners from the Stylize list. You may then return once again to the Effect menu to select Transform from the Distort & Transform options. Here in the Move section we can offset this fill slightly. The effect can be edited at any point later on by returning to the Appearance panel and clicking on Round Corners, whereupon the options appear again.
We may also apply a similar effect to a text object by first selecting it, then going into the Effect menu to choose Rounded Rectangle from Convert to Shape. In the example shown here we have created rounded joins on stars. In addition this appearance can be saved as what’s known as a Graphic Style in Illustrator. To achieve this effect, first create a few star objects using the Star tool – this is located in the basic shapes set behind the Rectangle tool. Group these objects together. Next we open up the Layers panel to note that each star is represented by a sub-layer within a layer. To modify these go into the Appearance panel and select Add New Fill. Then pick a colour from the Swatches panel; blue for example. By double-clicking on the Content label in the Appearance panel we may add a New Fill. Select the bottom fill, choose orange (for example) then Effects, Path, Offset Path, and offset this by 10 pixels, for example. And lastly choose Join and Round.
It’s worth noting at this point Illustrator’s Isolation Mode function. This is activated when we double-click on an object or a group. The selected item is then isolated for editing; we also note that other unselected objects are “greyed-out”. This allows us to move, scale or rotate items, as well as change colours and anchor points without disturbing the adjacent objects. To exit this isolation mode we simply hit Escape or the top left Back button.
To save a set of attributes as a Graphic Style for future application to other objects, we simply drag it into the Graphic Styles panel. This set of features will be saved within this Illustrator document. To apply the style to another object select it and click on the new graphic style. If later modifications are needed we may return to the Appearance panel to make adjustments.