How to clean up your glyph drawing in Adobe Illustrator

Images exported as SVG from Glyph Drawing Club are a bit messy, but cleaning up the files is fast and easy. Follow these steps:

Export as SVG
Export as SVG

  • Export your glyph drawing as .svg
  • Open the .svg in Adobe Illustrator
  • Select the Selection Tool (V) and press Cmd + a to select everything
  • Open Pathfinder window (Window -> Pathfinder)
  • Open Pathfinder options which you find by clicking the hamburger menu icon

Open pathfinder options
Open pathfinder options

  • Make sure "Remove Redundant Points" is checked, click OK

The precision number should be left at default
The precision number should be left at default

  • Click Merge (make sure all paths are selected) and close Pathfinder window

Click the merge button!
Click the merge button!

  • Click off canvas, and select the Direct Selection Tool (A)
  • Click on any white area, and go to Select -> Same -> Fill Color

This selects all shapes that have white fill color
This selects all shapes that have white fill color

  • Hit delete or backspace
  • Click on any stray paths with Direct Selection Tool (A)

These stray paths are sometimes hard to see... zoom in to find them.
These stray paths are sometimes hard to see... zoom in to find them.

  • Go to Select -> Same -> Appearance
  • Hit delete or backspace

She's a happy clean dog now
She's a happy clean dog now

  • Your drawing is now cleaned up with a transparent background!

From here it's easier for you to make adjustments to the paths and use the vectors in production.