So I'm new to using the grid. This is the effect I am going for.

Overall Effect

If you look closely you will notice the curves don't quite match up with the edges as shown by the next picture. Close up of corners

At first I thought this was because I was using text instead of using shapes created from the grid. But even when I did that you still can't quite get them to snap. Now here's the issue.

In order to get the curves the nice shape I want I used circles and then used the shape builder to cut out the curves. The only thing is I couldn't get the curves to line up exactly with the edges using the circles. I would have to disable "snap to grid" and then mess around with its size until it fit but then it wouldn't line up with the anchors.

In the other case the 'T', I used the pen tool to create the curves. So this case using the shapes created from the grid instead of the text worked to line up but then I couldn't get the exact curve shape that I wanted...

So what is the best way to get these curves to be exact? Or line up with the grid?


Grid are not the be-all-end-all. Many pieces are artwork can not align to grids if you want a specific appearance. Trying to get everything to align to grids, all the time, will be a lesson in frustration.

Using grids is great for rectangular objects with squared corners, even for angles at times. However, as soon as you introduce curves you can pretty much disregard using grids for snapping in many instances.

What I would do.. disable snap to grid... maybe leave snap to point on initially. Switch to Outline Mode (View > Outline) and manually align the paths/anchors so they overlap. If I was having difficulty aligning paths/anchors due to snap to point, I'd disable that as well. Although, generally speaking snap to point isn't a problem.

If precise alignment is my desire I always use Outline mode and never rely on Preview mode.

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  • Thanks for the advice I’ll give it a try! Would you also have any recommendation for doing the ‘o’? I need three pieces since that’s the theme but to get the curves all exactly the same I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out the best way to do that – CTOverton Sep 26 '17 at 18:15
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    I generally, much prefer using overlapping shapes and Pathfinder or Shape Builder to remove the superfluous pieces. That way things align automatically (assuming Align to Pixel Grid is off). – Scott Sep 26 '17 at 18:22
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    Not really with curves. Nothing really "snaps" with curves except their anchors. It jsut takes zooming and and manual precision (using X/Y position on Transform Panel can help sometimes). There are 3rd party plug ins like ColliderScribe which handle curve snapping, but nothing within Illustrator itself. – Scott Sep 26 '17 at 19:35
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    Copy... Edit > Paste in Front... then Free Transform tool.. hover just outside a corner.. click-drag to rotate, then remove pieces you don't need. (Guessing in general) – Scott Sep 26 '17 at 19:41
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    You can also use the Rotate Tool. Click once to set the rotation point, then move away from that point and click-drag to rotate. – Scott Sep 26 '17 at 19:41

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