Adobe Illustrator Mastery: Zero to Hero in Illustrator

Illustrator introduction for beginners or illustrators who want to learn more about illustrator. Learn the essentials!
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  • Lectures 42
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English, captions
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2015 English Closed captions available

Course Description

Learn Illustrator and start creating logos, infographics, vector art and more illustrations today!

In this course, students learn the essentials of Illustrator, the industry-standard vector software, including

  • formatting and stylizing type
  • creating custom shapes
  • applying effects and styles
  • drawing with the brush and pen tools
  • tracing over photos
  • creating basic logos
  • using the various tools in Illustrator, including when to use certain ones
  • creating patterns, blends, and more

Instructor Qualifications:

I've used Illustrator for years as a freelance graphic designer, and I've also used Illustrator when I was Internet Development Director at an award-winning advertising design firm. While I was Managing Editor of two international graphic design magazines, one of the magazines I oversaw focused on Illustrator.

For the past eight years, as I've continued freelance work, I've taught students Illustrator and logo design in classes such as Layout and Design, as a full-time university professor.

I have a BA in Communication, an MA in Journalism and Media Studies, a PhD in Communication, and a passion for teaching.

Enroll now and let's get started learning and illustrating!

What are the requirements?

  • You will need a copy of Adobe Illustrator, either through 30-day free trial, Creative Cloud subscription, or older versions will work for most techniques.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Design illustrations with Adobe Illustrator
  • Use the various tools of Illustrator
  • Stylize and customize type and shapes in Illustrator
  • Apply gradients, warp effects, blends, and other styles to shapes in Illustrator

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for people new to Illustrator or those who know a little about it and want to know more.
  • This course is NOT for people who are experts at Illustrator already.
  • If you already enrolled in my higher-priced Logo Design: Become a Professional Logo Designer course, then you do not need this course, since much of the Illustrator introduction in a few sections of that course overlaps with this course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to the Illustrator Course

I introduce the course and explain my background and qualifications to teach the Illustrator course.


Download the support files in the additional resources link of this lesson in the upper right corner.

2 pages

This printable PDF handout includes common Illustrator keyboard shortcuts.

Section 2: Getting Started in Illustrator

In this lesson, you will learn how to use and customize panels and workspaces in Illustrator.


In this lesson you will learn how to zoom and navigate around Illustrator documents. Different tools and keyboard shortcuts are covered.


In this lesson, you will learn how to create custom documents in Illustrator. Options and settings to consider when creating new documents in Illustrator are included.


In this lesson, you will learn how to work with multiple documents in Illustrator, including various ways to move and arrange documents in Illustrator.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to add, remove, adjust, and lock guides. You'll also learn about using grids and snapping shapes to the grid. You'll learn the purpose of smart guides for better alignment in illustrations.


In this lesson, you will learn about paths and points in Illustrator. Anchors, anchor handles, and other parts of vector illustrations are covered.


In this lesson, you will learn how to apply fills and strokes to objects in Illustrator. Various options and styles are included.


In this lesson, you will learn how to use the selection tool, the direct selection tool, the group selection tool, and how to use isolation mode in Illustrator.

Section 3: Drawing and Editing Shapes in Illustrator

In this lesson, you will learn how to use the Pen Tool in Illustrator, including how to draw straight and curved lines and how to reset angles of paths. You will also learn how to add and delete anchor points and use the Anchor Point Tool.


You will learn how to use the Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator in this lesson. Keyboard shortcuts and tool options are included. The Curvature Tool is similar to the Pen Tool in Illustrator, but a little different. I explain how they differ and how they are similar in this lesson and when to use the Curvature Tool.


You will learn how to use the Line Tools effectively in Adobe Illustrator in this lesson. Lines can be customized and adjusted. You will also learn how to use the Arc Tool and the Spiral Tool, as well as the Rectangular Grid Tool and the Polar Grid Tool.


In this lesson, you will learn how to use the various shape tools in Adobe Illustrator, including the Rectangle Tool, the Rounded Rectangle Tool, the Ellipse Tool, the Polygon Tool and the Star Tool. You will also be able to customize rounded corners in rectangles and use the Polygon Tool and Star Tool to create more shapes than just the default shapes. For example, you can create a triangle and a diamond shape or a star burst shape used often in advertisements. Shapes can also be stylized and the fill and stroke can be changed.


In this lesson, you will learn how to use the Paintbrush Tool and the Blob Brush Tool in Adobe Illustrator, including keyboard shortcuts and best practices. You will learn how to customize and adjust paths after they are drawn with these tools and when each one would be used. Using these tools we can add to currently selected objects or create new ones. It is also easy to adjust the options for the Paintbrush Tool and Blob Brush Tool.


In this lesson, you will learn how to effectively use the Pencil Tool, the Smooth Tool, the Path Eraser Tool, and the Join Tool in Adobe Illustrator. Differences between the Pencil Tool and the Paintbrush Tool are explained. You will also learn how to update options in some of the tools.


In this activity, you'll practice tracing and stylizing a city landscape with Illustrator.

Section 4: Working with Text in Illustrator

In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Type Tools, including the Type Tool, the Area Type Tool, the Vertical Type Tool, the Vertical Area Type Tool, and the Touch Type Tool. Various ways to resize and adjust text are included, including changing the size and style of text.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to create type on a path in Illustrator and how to adjust the type, including placement and orientation, once it's typed in. Use this method to create type in a circular pattern or on a custom path created with the Pen Tool.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to modify character and paragraph settings of text in Illustrator, including font size, style, alignment, and more.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to outline text and then add effects to text in Illustrator.


In this activity, you'll create a stylized logo.

Section 5: Using the Tools in Illustrator

In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Magic Wand Tool and Lasso Tool in Illustrator in order to select objects.


In this lesson, you will learn how to use the Eraser Tool, Scissors Tool, and the Knife Tool in Adobe Illustrator, to create new shapes or adjust and modify shapes and paths.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Rotate Tool and Reflect Tool in Illustrator.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Scale Tool in Illustrator. You'll also learn how to use the Shear Tool and the Reshape Tool in Illustrator.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Width Tool, Warp Tool, Twirl Tool, Pucker Tool, Bloat Tool, Scallop Tool, Crystallize Tool, and Wrinkle Tool in Illustrator. You'll also learn how to customize the options in the tools such as size, angle, and more.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Free Transform Tool in Illustrator.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to apply and adjust a gradient in Illustrator.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Eyedropper Tool to copy attributes such as fill and stroke from one object to another. Using a keyboard shortcut to apply multiple changes is also included.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Blend Tool and how it can be used to create custom color schemes as well.


In this activity, you'll practice creating vector art in Illustrator by using the Width Tools, the Rotate Tool, the Eraser Tool, and applying gradients.

Section 6: Mastering Illustrator Workflows and Functions

In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Appearance Panel to toggle and adjust effects and styles of various objects in Illustrator.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to stylize shapes, including adding drop shadows, round corners, the scribble effect, and more. You'll also continue to use the Appearance Panel to adjust these effects.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Envelope Distort effect by creating a new look using a top object and some text. Warp effects are also included.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Transform Each command in Illustrator in order to create unique patterns.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to use the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator, in order to combine and customize shapes. For example, Unite, Intersect, Merge, Outline, and other custom effects can be used to modify shapes in Illustrator.


In this activity, you'll practice creating warped text and a radial pattern in Illustrator.

Section 7: Printing, Saving, and Exporting in Illustrator

In this lesson, you'll learn how to save, export, and package files in Illustrator, including reasons for using the various functions. File types described include the default AI format as well as EPS, GIF, JPG, PNG, PDF, and more. When you package files it's to include placed images that are linked in an Illustrator file as well as to include fonts. Otherwise, the type should be outlined in case the printer or other person doesn't have the same fonts that you have.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to print in Illustrator, either to PDF or a regular printer. Settings such as fitting to page and orientation are included.

Bonus: Learn Even More in My Other Courses!

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Instructor Biography

Dr. Chad Neuman, Professor / Designer / Developer / Photographer 20+ yrs exp.

I love seeing students succeed in their designs, writings, productions, and careers!

Do you want to learn become a better designer or communicator? Do you want to learn industry-standard editing and effects in Photoshop? Do you want write for magazines or web sites? Do you want to learn new skills that are in demand in the new digital economy?

Welcome! I'm passionate about communication, writing, and design education, and I'm currently a full-time professor of graphic design and digital journalism at Southeastern University. I've taught classes on design, photography, and writing for the past eight years. My university students have become full-time, award-winning photographers, web designers, creative specialists, reporters, and layout designers. And now, you can learn from me as well!

Get started by enrolling in my courses, learning new skills and knowledge, and asking me questions in the discussion boards.

About the instructor:

By combining my professional in-the-field experience (both full-time and freelance), formal education, and experience in education, I've been able to produce top-notch courses that maximize learning and enable students to become better graphic designers, logo designers, photo editors, and writers.

Professional Experience:

I've worked as Webmaster and Advertising Designer at a regional newspaper (The News Chief), Internet Development Director at an award-winning advertising design firm (Reed Advertising Design, now merged with Brand Madden), Technology Librarian at a city library system, and Managing Editor at two international graphic design magazines at Kelby Media Group. I've also written for publications and designed web sites and other promotional work for clients on an on-going basis for the past 20 years.


Besides relevant marketplace experience, I also have a B.A. in Communication from Southeastern University, an M.A. in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, and a Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University. My Ph.D. dissertation focuses on the mythic branding of Apple's Macintosh/Mac in their primary commercial campaigns (1984, Think Different, Switch/Real People, and Get a Mac).


My combination of professional real world experience, formal education, and experience in teaching have all enabled me to produce quality courses that help students become better graphic designers, photo editors, writers, and illustrators.

I'm the founder of Good Creative Academy, the premiere online school for learning and creating. If you're looking to learn more about graphic design, writing, and new media entrepreneurship, you have arrived at the right place!

Fun tech-related facts about me:

I taught myself QBasic when I was 13, and later used that programming language to write a program that simulated the DOS prompt, to fool my high school graphic design teacher into thinking the computers had been hacked.

I used web banner advertising on my web sites in high school and during my freshman year of college, which brought in about $750 a month in income.

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