I've drawn upon all of my commercial experience from the last 20 years working as an award graphic designer, Creative Director, and an Adobe Master Instructor to create a course that will provide a solid foundation of vector editing skills. I'm passionate about creativity and sharing my knowledge. I've spent hundreds of hours carefully crafting this course to help you achieve amazing things with Illustrator's awesome vector tools.
You'll start with little more than a blank canvas and a series of supplied hand sketches, along with concepts for a new branding and marketing project. Working together from detailed expert video lectures you will build from start to finish artwork that will encompass logos, flyers, Facebook headers and stationery packed full of rich and arresting vector artwork. Learn how to make the most of a bewildering array of tools and features, to achieve the results you want, save valuable time and avoid costly mistakes.
Why is Adobe Illustrator the worlds foremost vector editing application? What is it capable of, and what would you use it for? In this video Gary Bradley, your course instructor, will guide you through the highlights of this 'Hands on live project" and preview some of the richly engaging artwork that you will create.
The class files supplied with this course should be used in conjunction with the video lectures. The Adobe Illustrator files have been 'back-saved' to work with CS4 through to the latest Creative Cloud 2014 versions. Please note that if you are still using an older version of Illustrator you may find some of the features and dialogue boxes will appear different, or you may find that a feature is missing.
This lecture covers the key areas of the interface heling you become more familiar with the editing environment.
Modify the editing environment to better suite your needs so that you have more of the tools you need for the task at hand.
Learn how to save the panels you require in the position you want them to appear within the application so that you have the right tools available for the task at hand.
Colour consistency across all of the Adobe apps is key. Not just viewing on-screen for editing but also 'tagging' files with an appropriate colour language when you ultimately send final artwork for print or on a device. The synch feature within Bridge will only work if you have installed your software as part of the Creative Suite or newer Creative Cloud and have installed two or more applications (excluding Bridge). As it needs to have multiple apps installed to 'sync' you may see a message appear that reads 'Requires that a qualifying product has been launched at least once to enable this feature'.
Preferences control the behavior and appearance of many aspects of the Illustrator application. From the interface brightness to language dictionaries.
Sync settings is a Creative Cloud feature that stores important presets such as workspaces, brushes and preference settings. Once uploaded to the cloud you can login to any workstation with Illustrator installed and download all of your settings and assets.
Ok, so lets see how much knowledge you have retained after the first section. Have a go at the folowing quiz questions!
Learn how to magnify the appearance of your artwork by 'zooming' in closer to detail for fiddly edits, or to view a document from a holistic perspective.
Stay at the same zoom factor and explore your artwork in any direction.
The Navigator panel combines all of the zooming and panning features in one place with the added benefit of having a thumbnail of your artwork.
Saving views is handy for returning to one specific area of your artwork. It also captures which layers are visible and active, as well as which screen mode is active.
Changing the preview mode of your artwork can greatly speed up your editing process and simulate what your artwork might look like when printed converted into pixels once exported.
Artboards act rather like pages. You can view one at a time, all or jump from one to another with ease from the Artboard switcher menu.
By default you will see only one file at a time on-screen, but there may be occasions when you need to view two, three or more files at once, or even the same file in multiple zoom levels. That's where 'N-Up' views come in very handy.
You can hide some or all of the panels and tools within Illustrator by changing screen modes.
There are many ways to 'whizz' around your Illustrator documents and view them in a myriad of ways. This short quiz will test your navigational knowledge for sure!
Illustrator is a vector authoring application, and its artwork can be scaled to any size required in print or on-screen without losing quality. Pixel based files, like the ones created or edited in Photoshop are quite the opposite. It is important to undertsand the limitations of both file types.
Preparing your files from the 'get go' is critical to ensuring that when they are completed and printed or displayed on-screen the colours are fit for purpose.
Let's take a look at how we will prepeare our first project file. An full colour A5 flyer, with a design on both the front and reverse.
Let's now take a look at how you prepare a file intended for on-screen viewing or on the web.
Illustrator accommodates six different file types, but choosing the most suitable format and defining the most appropriate settings is key.
Since CS4 Illustrator has been able to accommodate multiple artboards (pages). There are a few little known tips and pitfalls to be aware of when working with them.
You can use the Artboards panel, the Artboard tool or the Control panel to edit, add and remove artboards.
Layers allow you to 'stack' your artwork in one or more levels within your document that appear in front or behind of one another in the composition. Creating a streamlined Layers panel can save valuable time.
Now we will take a look at a layer strategy for our A5 flyer, creating 'Parent' layers for text, guides and images.
Guides help you create and arrange document artwork effectively. They act as none printing lines that attract artwork like magnets and help align content to a clear and consistent horizontal or vertical line.
Lets take a look at these quiz questions on file preparaton.
To make changes to your artwork one or more elements need to be 'targeted' with a selection tool.
It is far quicker to select multiple objects when making the same edits, rather than selecting each individually and repeating the same steps.
So you have arranged your artwork in the correct position, except that the thing you are wanting to edit appears behind another object. The select behind technique can save valuable time.
Moving content with the mouse can be quick a fairly accurate. But when precision is required you need to turn to cursor key repositioning.
Create additional copies of existing artwork is a little more complex than simply copying and pasting. There are more options available to you.
There are times when you need to 'flip' objects, mirroring them in either a vertical or horizontal axis.
So you have arranged all of the artwork in the correct place but you don't want to risk moving each of those elements apart later. That's where groups come in!
Moving and editing a whole element is great but what if you need to change the underlying structure of a shape? The you need a 'sub-path' selection tool.
When it comes to selecting sub-object elements across multiple objects, the Lasso tool provides great flexibility.
Selecting can be a fiddly and time consuming task. That's why saving an active selection is great for future editing of the same elements.
Once you have moved an item, or made a significant edit you can rely on Illustrator to repeat that task again on the same or different elements in the file.
So you have an illustration packed full of flowers but you need to change a specific colour in some of the flowers petals. The Magic Wand can target a specific range of colours allowing you to edit only the required parts of your artwork.
Scaling allows you to make one or more elements height or width larger or smaller and there are many ways of achieving this task.
Rotation, like scaling is a common part of completing artwork. You can define an angle, change it 'by eye' and even define which of the 9 points on every object it rotates around.
Moving shapes from one parent layer to another is simpler than it might first appear.
Making the edges of shapes level, or aligned is not only a common task but sometimes a critial step in producing artwork. Align to the artboard, the edges or centre of a bounding box or to a key object.
Although not the most convenient way of finding a feature, the Select sub-menu does offer some very handy techniques for unusual selection requirements.
Moving artwork between documents can either be achieved in several over engineered steps with unpredictable results or if managed corectly can help save a great deal of time.
Beyond regular scaling and rotating there is the Free Transform tool that can distort artwork into all manner of perspectives and angles.Perfect for scenarios like creating a mock-up of labels on products.
Now that you have witnessed the core selection and transform tools in action, try this quiz to test your knowledge.
Illustrator provides specific shape tools. Learn how to create simple shapes at the size and postion you require them.
Learn how to create other shapes such as stars, polgons and rounded rectangles.
The simplest element inside of Illustrator is the Line tool, drawn in any direction, or in 45 degree increments, as well as other line tools such as spirals, arcs and polar grids.
Before you can learn to 'draw' with the pen tool, it is vital that you first understand how to manipulate an existing object's anchor points, handles and segments.
Hitting the delete key is not the most effective way of removing unwanted anchor points. Add and remove anchor points and maintain the integrity of your shape with Control panel options.
Add an abrupt change in direction within a path by breaking handles.
You can use the Eraser tool, Scissors and Knife tool to slice and dice your shapes in Illustrator.
Prepare and create a fence post shape with the Pen tool.
Create a heart shape with the Pen tool.
Create a tree trunk illustration with the Pen and Reshape tool that will be integrated into the A5 flyer.
Create the leaves and canopy of the tree artwork.
Create freeform vector lines and shapes with the Pencil tool.
Add a scanned sketch as a template layer into Illustrator and use it to build your artwork composition.
Try these drawing based quiz questions.
A comprehensive review of the many swatch types and facets of colour in Adoeb Illustrator.
Define the CMYK values in the color panel to create a new colour.
Once created you can save a swatch to have it readily available to re-use again in the future.
You can load a library of swatches into your document supplied by a colleague, downloaded from the web or from another Illustrator document.
Learn techniques for effectively applying colour to multiple objects and target either the fill and stroke attributes.
Once named 'Kuler' and later renamed 'Adobe Color' in 2014 this colour theme generator is great for building groups of harmonious colours on the web, in Illustator or vie the iOS app.
You can store your 'Adobe Color' themes on the web, tied to your Adobe ID and populate them in your project artwork, share publicly or download to your desktop.
Gradients blend two or more colours together in linear or radial transitions.
Yuo can run gradients within, along and across stroke attributes.
Make objects see through by reducing their opacity value.
Create seamless patterns, made from Illustrator artwork and turned into pattern swatches.
Multiple stroke appearances, patterns with alternating fill attributes stacked in a later type hierarchy. The Appearance panel is one of the most important places to work from within the application.
Learn how to scale patterns inside of an object whilst keeping the object size unchanged.
Create 'virtual' duplicates of object shapes that can scale, rotate in directions and angles of your choosing.
Apply a rotational transform effect of one object.
An overview of the Brushes panel and the libraries that ship with Illustrator.
Apply brush strokes to your artwork that fix to a spine which can be altered with a slection tool.
Apply brush strokes to your artwork that can be re-coloured, replaced for another brush stroke or scaled.
Juxtapose your artwork in outline mode according to the sketched artwork within a template layer.
Alter the stroke weight o a single object making it thicker or thinner at points of your choosing.
Add additional width points, delete existing points or even alter the thickness of the inner or outer stroke profile.
It can be far easier to create an illustration by combining or subtracting two or more overlapping objects.
Cut holes or regions out of an object.
Complete the Bird and Cow artwork, adding it to the A5 flyer.
Add a soft shadow effect under the brown paper bag.
Take pixel based artwork and vector trace it, saving you the hassle of drawing it from scratch.
Each vector tracing you perform will no doubt require some level of cleanup work. Learn how to discard unwanted portions and get to the stuff you do require.
Take a complex coloured project file and reduce the colours effortlessly with the Re-color dialogue.
You can create symbols for a map that are instanced. Change the appearance of one, and all other update. Symbols are not restricted to maps, they are a versitile way of adding linked artwork to your docuemnts.
Add from a pre-installed library or user created symbols to your document.
Edit, scale or distort and even swap symbols added to your document.
Live Paint is Illustrators paint by region tool that saves on complex cutting and slicing of artwork. You can drop colour into overlapping shape regions.
Use clipping masks to hide part of a photograph inside a shape or text.
You can edit the clipping mask or the content within it.
Now that you have taken a walk through skills that can accelerate your artwork generation try this short quiz.
An overview of the tyographic terminology used throughout the Adobe applications.
Learn the differences between serif ans sans serif font familues.
Font families contain styles, also known as weights such as regular, bold and Itlaic.
An overview of the Character panel and its features. Such as leading, kerning, and baseline shift.
An overview of paragraph formatting, including alignment, space before, indents and justification.
The first step to integrating a text document into Illustrator is by placing, deining the options and formatting.
Text is stored in frames that can be altered in size or threaded into other frames and shapes.
Editing your text starts by making an accurate select of characters, words, lines and paragraphs.
Our project requires that a PSD (Photoshop document) be imported and text flow around it. You will place this image into the compsition.
Apply formatting across the largest portion of the text, called the body.
Format headings and captions, changing the character size and leading, paragraph spacing and colour.
Create an exclusion zone around an object that text will flow around, called text wrap.
Learn how to add text onto a path.
Edit the in port and out port position of text around a path, and the alignment.
You will next move the wraparound artwork and add it to the A5 flyer.
From serif's to baselines, in frames around objects and within them. Text can be found in numerous places within an Illustrator project file. Let's see how you fair on this quiz challenge.
Learn effective techniques for merging artwork together from seperate documents.
Preview, as close as is possible on-screen, how the colours will appear when printed and how to setup a hard proof.
See an overview of Illustrators Spell checking dialogue box.
Once your completed artwork is ready for hand-off to a 3rd party print provider you will in most cases be required to supply that file in PDF format that is suitable for professional print.
We will take a look at the printers marks within the exported PDF.
If you intend to make your artwork available via download from a web page and to be viewed on-screen then a PDF of the right quality and file size is critical.
You can export your artwork to PSD for use in Adobe Pgotoshop with some of the layer structure intact.
You can export your artwork as a TIFF. A commonly requested file format for professional print scenarios such as adverts in magazine pubications.
The Creative Cloud package feature, introduced in 2012 is perfect for handing over a 'work in progress' project to a colleague, or for archiving your completed project.
Output to the web in a PNG format commonly best suited to vector artwork.
Output to the web from Illustrator to JPG format for files that contain predominantly pixel based content like photographs.
One of the most critical stages of project production is the review and output of your artwork. Test your knowledge on this final quiz.
Gary Bradley is an award winning Creative Director and Adobe Certified Instructor and author with over 20 years of commercial experience. Successfully leading creative teams to deliver cutting edge projects for global brands such as Virgin Atlantic, as well as work in support of charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Gary also consults as an Adobe Certified Instructor, helping in-house teams such as HSBC, Asda Wal-mart and national charities to take control of their digital marketing material through highly engaging learning experiences. His courses draw upon his twenty years as a graphic designer, communicating complex terminology and processes in a style and language that is easy understand.