How To Create Cool Decorative Borders in Illustrator
Adobe products have tight integration. One of the best and native integration is between Photoshop and Illustrator. Although both programs have vector capabilities and tools, it is wise to do vector based work in Illustrator and to not mess with pixel based work which should be done in Photoshop. In this post, I will explain to you how to create cool decorative vector image borders in Illustrator for use in Adobe Photoshop.
Steps to create decorative bordersThere are so many tools and options in Illustrator to create decorative borders. For simplicity sake I will limit this post to simplest and easiest way: using pre-installed brushes.
Step 1 Create new documentThe very first step is to create a blank new document in Adobe Illustrator.
Step 2 Draw rectangleMost of our images and creations are rectangles in terms of shape so you can go with rectangle, square or circle. It's up to you and your needs for the specific project. I will suggest you to remove fill so you have a transparent background for shape.
Step 3 Apply brush to create decorative borderIn this step, you must display Brushes panel from Window > Brushes.
Click on Brush Libraries Menu icon and select some of the pre-installed libraries like Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil.
Start clicking on brushes and choose one that you like.
After choosing a brush that you like you will probably need to Copy (Ctrl/Cmd + C) and Paste in Place (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + V) existing frame because at one of the corners of the decorative frame you won't have stroke connected. To fix this problem use easiest and simplest way as explained above: copy and paste in place then rotate rectangle for 180 degrees using Rotate Tool (R).
At this point, you have a decorative border but do not stop here. Go and experiment by applying different brushes. You can use same brush or to apply 2 (or more) different brushes to create a decorative frame. There are and other libraries do not forget that. Click on Load Previous/Next Brush Library buttons and you will be amazed by a number of brushes which can be used for decorative borders.
Here is result using two different Artistic_Watercolor brushes.
Step 4 Use decorative border(s) in PhotoshopSimplest way to use created borders in Photoshop is to add artwork to Library in Window > Libraries panel. Select graphic and drag it onto Libraries panel then rename it if you want.
It will be immediately available for use from Libraries panel in Photoshop. You can start using vector based artwork (decorative border) with all flexibility that gives you vector object plus powerful tools and Photoshop features like Color Overlay which can be applied as a layer effect.
Another way is to copy artwork using Edit > Copy in Illustrator and to Edit > Paste it in Photoshop either as Smart Object or shape in case you want to save border as a custom Photoshop shape.
Lastly, you can save Illustrator file with border and place it in Photoshop using File > Place Embedded or Place Linked command.
Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Illustrator CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015