Adobe Illustrator CC: Introductory project techniques
4.5 (29 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
278 students enrolled
Wishlisted Wishlist

Please confirm that you want to add Adobe Illustrator CC: Introductory project techniques to your Wishlist.

Add to Wishlist

Adobe Illustrator CC: Introductory project techniques

Learn how to create beautiful vector graphics
4.5 (29 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
278 students enrolled
Created by Gary Bradley
Last updated 5/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 8 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • You'll be able to create logos, company stationery, beautifully rich illustrations, location maps and banners for the web such as Facebook.
  • Become confident in orientating the illustrator interface so that you can quickly find the best tool for the task at hand.
  • Create new documents for print, web and devices to ensure that what you create is fit for purpose 'from the get go' and avoids time consuming mistakes close to your deadlines.
  • Manage document structure with layers and artboards so that you can manage complex projects with greater ease.
  • Discover a myriad of selection tools that will speed up your workflow, allowing you to edit and transform content with the most appropriate tools and techniques.
  • Create preset shapes and objects
  • Master the Pen tool to create unique artwork, either by tracing scetched artwork and photographs or simply by drawing from scratch within Illustrator.
  • Create complex artwork by combining and subtracting simple shapes from one another.
  • Create and apply rich colours, gradients, patterns and effects to your artwork in ways that make editing and updating them intuitive and simplistic.
  • Learn about typographic terminology, characteristics and formatting controls.
  • Import, format and thread text between multiple frames, apply text wrap and place text around and within shapes.
  • Learn industry standard techniques for proofing and outputting your final artwork to the web, PDF and pixel based files such as PSD's and TIFF.
View Curriculum
  • A basic knowledge of how to use a computer, keyboard and navigate for documents.
  • You'll need a copy of Adobe Illustrator (free trials can be downloaded)

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.

Who is the target audience?
  • Suitable for complete beginners.
  • Also suitable for individuals with a little experience who want to learn best practice techniques
  • For Mac or Windows users
  • Over 13 hours of expert video training
Compare to Other Adobe Illustrator Courses
Curriculum For This Course
118 Lectures
About this course
2 Lectures 04:18

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.

Preview 01:09

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.

Preview 03:09
The Illustrator interface
6 Lectures 37:08

This lecture covers the key areas of the interface heling you become more familiar with the editing environment.

Preview 08:37

Modify the editing environment to better suite your needs so that you have more of the tools you need for the task at hand.

Preview 05:00

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.

Create a custom workspace

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'.

Define colour settings

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.

Sync Settings

Ok, so lets see how much knowledge you have retained after the first section. Have a go at the folowing quiz questions!

The Illustrator Interface
5 questions
Document Navigation
8 Lectures 20:34

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.

The Navigator panel

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.

Saving document views

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.

Document preview modes

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.

Artboard navigation

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.

Multiple document views

You can hide some or all of the panels and tools within Illustrator by changing screen modes.

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!

Viewing and navigating files
5 questions
Creating & managing new documents
10 Lectures 53:12

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.

What are vectors and bitmaps?

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.

Colour modes

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.

Create a new print document

Let's now take a look at how you prepare a file intended for on-screen viewing or on the web.

Create a new web document

Illustrator accommodates six different file types, but choosing the most suitable format and defining the most appropriate settings is key.

Saving files

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.

An overview of Artboards

You can use the Artboards panel, the Artboard tool or the Control panel to edit, add and remove artboards.

Creating and managing 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.

An overview of layers

Now we will take a look at a layer strategy for our A5 flyer, creating 'Parent' layers for text, guides and images.

Defining a document layer structure

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.

Adding artboard Guides

Lets take a look at these quiz questions on file preparaton.

Document Setup
5 questions
Selecting, moving and transforming
19 Lectures 01:00:21

To make changes to your artwork one or more elements need to be 'targeted' with a selection tool.

Selecting, moving and deselecting an object

It is far quicker to select multiple objects when making the same edits, rather than selecting each individually and repeating the same steps.

Selecting multiple objects

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.

Selecting one object behind another

Moving content with the mouse can be quick a fairly accurate. But when precision is required you need to turn to cursor key repositioning.

Precise repositioning

Create additional copies of existing artwork is a little more complex than simply copying and pasting. There are more options available to you.

Copying, pasting and duplicating

There are times when you need to 'flip' objects, mirroring them in either a vertical or horizontal axis.

Mirroring objects

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!

Grouping multiple objects

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.

Selecting anchor points with the Direct Selection tool

When it comes to selecting sub-object elements across multiple objects, the Lasso tool provides great flexibility.

Selecting multiple anchor points with the Lasso tool

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.

Saving Selections

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.

The Transform Again command

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.

Selecting by colour with the Magic Wand tool

Scaling allows you to make one or more elements height or width larger or smaller and there are many ways of achieving this task.

Scaling objects

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.

Rotating content

Moving shapes from one parent layer to another is simpler than it might first appear.

Moving content between layers

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.

Align and distribute content

Although not the most convenient way of finding a feature, the Select sub-menu does offer some very handy techniques for unusual selection requirements.

Selections from the menu commands

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.

Moving content between documents

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.

The flexibiity of free transforms

Now that you have witnessed the core selection and transform tools in action, try this quiz to test your knowledge.

Selections and transformations
5 questions
Creating shapes and objects
13 Lectures 01:15:06

Illustrator provides specific shape tools. Learn how to create simple shapes at the size and postion you require them.

The Rectangle and Ellipse tools

Learn how to create other shapes such as stars, polgons and rounded rectangles.

The remainign shape tools and techniques

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.

Line tools

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.

Modifying existing paths

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.

Adding and removing anchor points

Add an abrupt change in direction within a path by breaking handles.

Breaking and linking handles

You can use the Eraser tool, Scissors and Knife tool to slice and dice your shapes in Illustrator.

Cut, slice and erase shapes

Prepare and create a fence post shape with the Pen tool.

Creating a corner based shape with the Pen tool

Create a heart shape with the Pen tool.

Creating a shape with smooth and corner points

Create a tree trunk illustration with the Pen and Reshape tool that will be integrated into the A5 flyer.

Smart Pen tool and Reshape tool techniques

Create the leaves and canopy of the tree artwork.

Creating and duplicating the tree canopy and leaves

Create freeform vector lines and shapes with the Pencil tool.

The Pencil tool

Add a scanned sketch as a template layer into Illustrator and use it to build your artwork composition.

Preparing and creating template layers for tracing

Try these drawing based quiz questions.

5 questions
Colour attributes
21 Lectures 01:28:12

A comprehensive review of the many swatch types and facets of colour in Adoeb Illustrator.

An overview of colour swatch types

Define the CMYK values in the color panel to create a new colour.

Creating a colour swatch

Once created you can save a swatch to have it readily available to re-use again in the future.

Saving a colour swatch

You can load a library of swatches into your document supplied by a colleague, downloaded from the web or from another Illustrator document.

Importing colour swatches

Learn techniques for effectively applying colour to multiple objects and target either the fill and stroke attributes.

Applying swatches

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.

Creating Kuler (Adobe Color) themes

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.

Downloading Kuler (Adobe Color) themes

Gradients blend two or more colours together in linear or radial transitions.

Creating and editing gradients

Yuo can run gradients within, along and across stroke attributes.

Gradient strokes

Make objects see through by reducing their opacity value.

Modifying object transparency

Create seamless patterns, made from Illustrator artwork and turned into pattern swatches.

Creating patterns

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.

Applying multiple fills and strokes

Learn how to scale patterns inside of an object whilst keeping the object size unchanged.

Scaling applied patterns but not the object

Create 'virtual' duplicates of object shapes that can scale, rotate in directions and angles of your choosing.

Transform effects

Apply a rotational transform effect of one object.

Transform effect rotations

An overview of the Brushes panel and the libraries that ship with Illustrator.

The Brushes panel

Apply brush strokes to your artwork that fix to a spine which can be altered with a slection tool.

Applying brush strokes

Apply brush strokes to your artwork that can be re-coloured, replaced for another brush stroke or scaled.

Edit brush strokes

Juxtapose your artwork in outline mode according to the sketched artwork within a template layer.

Arranging content with template layers in outline mode

Alter the stroke weight o a single object making it thicker or thinner at points of your choosing.

Applying variable width strokes

Add additional width points, delete existing points or even alter the thickness of the inner or outer stroke profile.

Edit variable width strokes

Working with colour and object attributes
5 questions
Building content
13 Lectures 46:02

It can be far easier to create an illustration by combining or subtracting two or more overlapping objects.

Combining shapes with Pathfinder

Cut holes or regions out of an object.

Subracting one shape from another with Pathfinder

Complete the Bird and Cow artwork, adding it to the A5 flyer.

Moving and completing the artwork

Add a soft shadow effect under the brown paper bag.

Creating soft shadows with blends

Take pixel based artwork and vector trace it, saving you the hassle of drawing it from scratch.

Vector tracing pixel based map artwork

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.

Expanding and cleaning up vector traced content

Take a complex coloured project file and reduce the colours effortlessly with the Re-color dialogue.

Recolouring multiple objects

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.

Creating symbols for creating maps

Add from a pre-installed library or user created symbols to your document.

Adding symbols to a map

Edit, scale or distort and even swap symbols added to your document.

Edit and replace symbol instances

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.

Creating a chain logo with Live Paint

Use clipping masks to hide part of a photograph inside a shape or text.

Creating a clipping mask

You can edit the clipping mask or the content within it.

Editing a clipping mask and its content

Now that you have taken a walk through skills that can accelerate your artwork generation try this short quiz.

Building content
4 questions
Working with text
15 Lectures 46:35

An overview of the tyographic terminology used throughout the Adobe applications.

Typographic terminology

Learn the differences between serif ans sans serif font familues.

Serif and sans serif type families

Font families contain styles, also known as weights such as regular, bold and Itlaic.

Type styles

An overview of the Character panel and its features. Such as leading, kerning, and baseline shift.

Character formatting

An overview of paragraph formatting, including alignment, space before, indents and justification.

Paragraph formatting

The first step to integrating a text document into Illustrator is by placing, deining the options and formatting.

Importing text into Illustrator

Text is stored in frames that can be altered in size or threaded into other frames and shapes.

Editing text frames

Editing your text starts by making an accurate select of characters, words, lines and paragraphs.

Selecting, copying and pasting text

Our project requires that a PSD (Photoshop document) be imported and text flow around it. You will place this image into the compsition.

Importing a PSD into the composition

Apply formatting across the largest portion of the text, called the body.

Formatting the body of the text

Format headings and captions, changing the character size and leading, paragraph spacing and colour.

Formatting the heading and captions

Create an exclusion zone around an object that text will flow around, called text wrap.

Applying text wrap

Learn how to add text onto a path.

Placing text around a path

Edit the in port and out port position of text around a path, and the alignment.

Editing text placed onto a path

You will next move the wraparound artwork and add it to the A5 flyer.

Moving the artwork to the main composition

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.

Text and Typography
5 questions
Proof, prepare and output
11 Lectures 48:13

Learn effective techniques for merging artwork together from seperate documents.

Merging the front and reverse flyer artwork

Preview, as close as is possible on-screen, how the colours will appear when printed and how to setup a hard proof.

Soft and hard proofing

See an overview of Illustrators Spell checking dialogue box.

Spell checking

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.

Creating a PDF for professional print output

We will take a look at the printers marks within the exported PDF.

Reviewing the 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.

Creating a PDF for screen viewing

You can export your artwork to PSD for use in Adobe Pgotoshop with some of the layer structure intact.

Exporting Illustrator artwork to PSD format

You can export your artwork as a TIFF. A commonly requested file format for professional print scenarios such as adverts in magazine pubications.

Exporting Illustrator artwork to TIFF format

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.

Packaging files for collaboration and archiving

Output to the web in a PNG format commonly best suited to vector artwork.

Output to the web in PNG format

Output to the web from Illustrator to JPG format for files that contain predominantly pixel based content like photographs.

Output to the web in JPG format

One of the most critical stages of project production is the review and output of your artwork. Test your knowledge on this final quiz.

Prepearing your artwork for output
5 questions
About the Instructor
Gary Bradley
4.8 Average rating
34 Reviews
284 Students
2 Courses
Adobe Instructor | Author | Award Winning Designer

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.