A reader from Poland wrote in that he was trying to recreate the European Union flag - where 12 stars are distributed in a circular pattern. This reader tried several techniques including a blend, but wasn't getting the result he was looking for.
In reality, there are many designs that call for distributing art along a path. And while Illustrator has some nice Align and Distribution tools, and even Smart Guides, they won't help when you're trying to align your objects to something other than a straight line.
Enter the Blend feature - yes - the very same Blend feature that has been in Illustrator since the beginning of time. When the main purpose for blends was to create shading or blends between colors (something we all use Gradients for these days). But blends are more powerful than people think. And more importantly, when you understand what makes a blend tick, you can use it for a variety of purposes -- including distributing art along any path -- even if that path isn't straight.
Enjoy the video tutorial. You can find additional tutorials on my Vimeo page here. For complete training titles on Illustrator and Flash Catalyst, head on over to Lynda.com.