With every new release, Adobe Illustrator expands on its powerful vector-editing capabilities. But if that’s not enough to keep you satisfied, thankfully there’s a vast range of third-party Illustrator add-ons out there to help you save time and add a bit of polish to your design. Here are 15 Illustrator add-ons we recommend you integrate into your workflow.
Fontself allows you to create vector fonts easily. Just drag & drop any letter, icon, or symbol to the Fontself Maker panel within Illustrator, save, and enjoy your brand new font.
2. Gold Rush For Illustrator
This powerful plugin gives you all the metallic, glitter and foil effects you could ever ask for. It includes 174 swatches for you to use in Adobe Illustrator when you’re after that glittering look.
3. VectorPress: Illustrator Press
After that sought-after vintage look but want to keep your artwork in a vector format? VectorPress for Illustrator lets you apply rough ink, halftone, distressed or gravel looks in seconds.
4. ChalkBox – Illustrator Actions
Here’s a set of 7 Actions for Illustrator to give your designs a realistic chalk look. Works well on logos, type, icons and more. They’ve also included a great range of raster chalkboard backgrounds you can use as a backdrop.
5. The Dot Shop – Illustrator Actions
Replicate the age of retro pop art with this set of 15 custom halftone print Actions. Includes a cheat sheet with examples so you can get inspired before you create your own.
6. PosterPress for Illustrator
Give your design the look of an old-timey travel poster or vintage postcard with this finely crafted Illustrator plugin. Includes a range of wonderful old travel photos to help get you started.
7. Pattern Studio
Tired of using the same old lame borders and patterns? Then make your own with this powerful plugin. With the included brushes, symbols, swatches actions, any number of rustic, hand-crafted creations are possible.
8. Inkblock Illustrator Actions
From the makers of the ChalkBox Actions above, another authentic plugin to help you add that subtle grunge texture to next your cafe logo or boutique beer label.
9. CraftType – 3D Sign Painting Actions.
If you’re a fan of the beautifully-crafted storefront signs of yesteryear, this plugin is what you need. In no time you’ll be able to give your typography the faithful, hand-painted look of a Brooklyn butcher circa 1920.
10. Watercolor Fantasies Quick Styles AI
Grunge and vintage styles aren’t always what’s required. Want a plugin to lighten up your look? Then check out these awesome watercolor styles. Easy and breezy.
11. Vintage Comic Press – AI Actions
Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s these beautifully authentic vintage comic book Actions for Illustrator. They overlay your designs with yellow, magenta and cyan layers to give you a convincing offset print look. Also included are halftone variations, 3D shadow and text outline effects.
12. Ink Streak – Illustrator Actions
Don’t bother getting expensive ink stamps made up. These perfectly imperfect ink streak actions will do the job in half the time.
13. 300+ REAL MARKERS FOR ILLUSTRATOR
Scanned at super high-res and cleaned up for your vector-editing pleasure, this is a collection of more than 300 ultra-realistic marker brushes to use on your next design.
14. Dragstrip | Illustrator Brush Kit
There’s no shortage of Illustrator brushes out there. But not many match the fine quality of these. Created by renowned artist Von Glitchka, these are an almost uncanny match for the look of real hand-painted brush strokes.
15. Hand-made linocut brushes
Recreate the look of picturesque retro linocuts with this well-made plugin from the guys at Guerilla Craft.
What Are Your Favorite Illustrator Plugins?
There you have it. 15 Illustrator plugins to help you take your vector designs to the next level. Got a favorite plugin that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.