I'm working on the large sign 24" X 60" in Illustrator CC 2014. My problem is the size of the .eps file. I'm still new to Illustrator and learning new things with every project. I'm trying to achieve the water bubbles effect on the background of my sign - image attached. I created one bubble and added gaussian blur effect and a drop shadow. I then copied and pasted this bubble multiple times all over the artboard. Now, after I saw the saved file size I started reading, I know now, that I shouldn't use drop shadow, especially when working with huge signs/banners. The question is, how can I easily replace these effects with something less heavy? Thanks!

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Create one bubble, drag it to the Symbols Panel to create a symbol of it.

Then duplicate and place the symbol to create additional instances.

Symbols are used effectively to duplicate the same thing repeatedly. This way Illustrator only stores 1 copy of the artwork, then merely replicated that artwork as many times as you want.

Without symbols, Illustrator has to store each and every bubble.

Related questions here:

How can I have a vector shape that is smart-cloned and kept in sync in Illustrator?

automatically duplicate and scatter a shape

For what it's worth, raster effects will always increase a file's size, especial in a flat format such as .eps.

  • Well.. I did a quick check and unfortunatelly, the file size didn't improve much using this technique... but thanks anyway, I learnt something new here Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 21:24
  • Eps is a flat file format... everything will be expanded and flattened in the EPS format. using Symbols will dramatically reduce file sizes for .ai files.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 21:39
  • Usually a pdf file is much smaller than eps file. Can you explain why?
    – Troy Woo
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 23:17
  • PDFs are not inherently a flat file format like EPS is.
    – Scott
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 23:29
  • Pdf is compressed, eps is not.
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 8:16

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