How To Draw Arrows In Illustrator

Arrows are an important part of visual communication. They can be used to symbolize processes, progression, and many more concepts that are otherwise difficult to describe using symbolic representation. As such, it is important for graphic designers to be able to create visually appealing arrows on Illustrator. But how can you make this happen?

Designers can use three main methods to create arrows in Illustrator. The most popular is to use the Stroke tool. Alternatively, you can try to add arrows through the built in brushes specifically used to create arrows. Finally, you can also use the symbols menu to create unique arrows in Illustrator.

As you can see, there are many different ways to go about this process, and we will explore them all in this tutorial. So, if you are interested in learning the easiest and quickest methods to create arrows on Illustrator, you are in the right place! Keep reading to understand how you can make interesting arrow designs with just a few steps on Illustrator. 

Drawing Arrows In Illustrator

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, designers can use many different methods to create arrows. So, let’s take a look at each method in detail, and we will explain how you can use each one to create unique arrows in Illustrator. If you want to see how brushes are made visually, make sure to check out this tutorial as well:

Using The Stroke Tool

One of the most common and easy ways to create an arrow in Illustrator is to use the built-in Stroke tool. You can create arrows in just a few steps, and customize it to give the exact look you are going for, all through the steps below:

  1. Launch Illustrator and start a new file.
  2. Now, move to the Window tab, and then choose the option Stroke.
  3. The Stroke panel will now open up. 
  4. Create a new path, and select it, to see options in the Stroke Panel.
  5. From here, choose the arrowheads for either side of your path.

You can choose from one of 39 options in order to have a unique arrow. The arrowheads can be applied to both the start and end of the path in question. As you adjust the arrow, you can use the same panel to swamp the arrowheads, change the size of the arrow, adjust the colors, including using gradients or patterns available in your program.

Using The Arrow Brushes

One thing you may not know is if you explore the built-in brushes available on Illustrator, you will notice that some of them are specialized to create arrows. These can be a great way to create arrows, especially if you want to make them more curved or stylized, and still appear to be natural. Here is how to use arrow brushes on Illustrator: 

  1. Launch Illustrator, and open up a new file.
  2. Now, go to the Windows Menu, and choose Brushes. 
  3. The Brush Library will open up. From here, choose Arrows.
  4. Draw out the desired shape of your new arrow using the brush of your choice.

If you want, you can also create your own custom brushes, or download available options online, and then load them into your computer. There are always a lot of choices with these brushes, and you can choose from a range of rendering and stylistic options. Some are even available in your Illustrator as default options. 

Using The Symbols Menu

The final method we are going to explain in this tutorial is to use the Symbols panel available in Illustrator. You can use the symbols panel to just choose a specific symbol, scale it, and use it within your project. Here is how you can do this:

  1. On Illustrator, choose the Windows tab.
  2. From here, select the option ‘Symbols.’
  3. A menu will open up, from which you can choose the ‘Arrows’ category.
  4. Select the symbol you want to use, and drag it out to your canvas.
  5. You can now adjust the symbol as needed and use it within your work. 

Final Thoughts

Arrows can be a quick and succinct way of showcasing many ideas, and can help make any project or work look dynamic and free-flowing. With the methods described in this article, you, too, can make your work stand out and use unique and creative arrow styles to achieve the perfect look!