Help dealing with heavy Illustrator file


I’ve created a repeat square that uses rasterised vector illustrations, the reason being that placing all the illustrations without rasterising into a repeat square will make the file massive (1gb +) to the point of unworkable.

When I started this project, I thought it’d be smart and more efficient if I were to vectorise these illustrations so I could easily change colours and assign PMS shades to it if need be, but what I’ve ended up creating are very large files (around 500-700mb each) that are slow to save and work with as the files use a lot of custom watercolour and bristle brushes that use transparency.

SO, using raster images for the repeat square has been working fine for me until recently, when a digital fabric printer asked me to send them an unflattened file so they can make sure the colour matches a PMS swatch!

I’m panicking and wishing I'd created these illustrations in PS.

I wonder if, without rasterising, there is anything I can do to the bristle and watercolour brush strokes that will lighten the file size???

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thank you!

2/3/2014 8:47:00 PM

I don't believe there is anything you can do to lower the size of files using brushes other than the perhaps to expand (not flatten) the brushes. However, even then you may be dealing with issues due to the number of objects. Illustrator simply chokes once you pass some magical threshold of objects.

Perhaps you could simply copy/paste artwork into Photoshop, convert to greyscale, save as tif, re-import to Illustrator, embed, and assign your Pantone color.

2/3/2014 9:24:00 PM