How to Install Illustrator Brushes

In Adobe Illustrator, brushes allow you to create unique strokes with various appearances. The software comes with a number of preset brushes, such as calligraphic, scatter, art, and pattern brushes. But how do you install brushes in Adobe Illustrator?

To install Illustrator brushes, download the brush file and go to Windows> Brushes. This will open a brush panel. In the brush panel, click on the top-right icon, and go to Open Brush Library > Other Library. Browse to the folder where you saved the brush file, select it and click on Open.

Keep reading below as we discuss these steps in more detail.

What are Illustrator Brushes?

In Adobe Illustrator, a brush is preset that defines the appearance of the stroke that you paint with using the Brush tool. Several types of brushes are available in Illustrator, including calligraphic, scatter, art, and pattern brushes. 

Each type of brush can be customized in various ways, such as adjusting the brush strokes’ spacing, angle, and roundness. Once you’ve created a brush, you can save it as a preset for future use.

Types of Illustrator Brushes

There are many different brushes in Adobe Illustrator. Some of these are:

Calligraphic Brushes

Calligraphic brushes emulate the look of a traditional calligraphy pen or brush. They create thick and thin strokes by adjusting the pressure of the stylus or mouse. 

These brushes can also be modified to change the angle and roundness of the stroke.

Scatter Brushes

Scatter brushes randomly place copies of the artwork or symbol along the path of the stroke. They create grass, sparkles, or other effects that appear scattered along the path.

Art Brushes

Art brushes apply the artwork or symbol to the stroke as a repeating pattern. They create a variety of patterns, such as stripes, dots, or other designs.

Pattern Brushes

Pattern brushes apply patterns to the stroke. They create repeating patterns along the path, such as those commonly found in tilework or wallpaper.

Graphic Style Brush

Illustrator also has another Brush called “Graphic Style Brush,” which allows you to apply a series of effects, fills, and strokes to an object. This can make it easy to apply a consistent design treatment to multiple objects with just a couple of clicks.

How to Install Illustrator Brushes

To install brushes for Adobe Illustrator, you can follow the steps listed in this section.

For more information on how to load brushes in Illustrator, watch the video below:

  1. Download the brush file you want to install. Brush files typically come in the form of a .ai or .abr file.
  2. Open Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Go to the “Window” menu and select “Brushes” to open the Brushes panel.
  4. In the Brushes panel, click on the small icon in the top right corner of the panel to open the fly-out menu, and select “Open Brush Library” and “Other Library.”
  5. Browse to the location of the brush file you downloaded and select the file. The brushes will now be loaded into the brush library and can be accessed from the brushes panel.
  6. Now you can choose the brush you want and use it in the way you want.
  7. Some brush packs may be in the format of .zip, you will need to unzip first.

That’s it! You should now be able to use the new brushes in your artwork in Illustrator.

How to Customize Illustrator Brushes

To customize Adobe Illustrator brushes, follow the steps in this section.

Step 1: Create/Open Document

  • Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document or open an existing document that contains the brush you want to customize.

Step 2: Select Brush

  • Select the Brush tool from the toolbar on the left, or press the “B” key on your keyboard to activate it. 
  • In the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes), click on the brush you want to customize to select it.

Step 3: Customize

  • To create a new brush, select the artwork that you want to use as the brush, and drag it to the brushes panel. 
  • From the New Brush pop-up dialog box, select the type of brush you want to create, such as Scatter, Art, or Pattern Brush.
  • Customize the new brush by going to the Brush options dialog box and selecting the Brush tile, where you will be able to customize attributes such as size, spacing, colorization, and so on. 
  • When you’re happy with the brush, click OK, and your custom brush will be available for use in the brush panel and can be saved as a preset.

Step 4: Apply

  • To apply the brush to your artwork, select the Brush tool, and then click and drag along the path where you want to apply the brush.
  • To edit the brush after it has been created, double-click on the brush in the brushes panel to open the brush options dialog box and make your changes.


Illustrator brushes allow users to create with more freedom by letting them make unique strokes with a wide range of options. It’s a tool every designer must know how to use. We hope the instructions in this article proved useful when installing Illustrator brushes.