AI_Align and Distribute.pdf (462.4 KB)
The Algin and Distribute pallet defaults to Align To: Artboard.
This can be changed to Align To: Selection in the bottom right of the pallet, for when you want alignment to a shape within a larger design.
(edit: with the CC2018 release, it looks like it now defaults to “Align to selection”. YMMV)