Become a Graphic Designer: The complete Illustrator course

Learn how to expertly use Adobe Illustrator for Graphic Design. Get a free AfterEffects Typography course on completion.
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Instructed by Prem Chand Design / Graphic Design
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  • Lectures 77
  • Length 6.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2016 English

Course Description

Graphic Design is an 11 billion dollar industry in the United States alone. An average graphic designer makes upwards of $70,000 every year. The best of us make more than $140,000 every year. To become a graphic designer, you need to have thorough knowledge of a vector graphics program. The best program available for graphic designers to use, is Adobe Illustrator. It is also the industry standard tool for vector graphic design. This course teaches you this software completely, from scratch. You need not know anything about the software. You will learn every tool, technique and trick in the book. You will learn about the most widely used tools as well as the rarely used but quite useful tools. You will become familiar with Graphic Design terminologies and learn how to work with vector graphics. Whenever necessary, i have provided project files that you could take a look at, before re-creating the files yourself. The course is structured in a systematic way, beginning with an introduction about the software and a tour of its interface. From there, we will move forward and introduce the tools available in Illustrator, one by one. You will learn how to work with each tool and the minor details and tricks involved in using these tools. As you learn each tool, you will create a unique document to showcase the ability of that tool. At the end of the course, you will have worked with all the important tools. I have also provided a bonus section where i demonstrate the use of these techniques to create actual project files. I will add content to this section every week. This course will be expanded and updated regularly. You will need about 6 hours to complete this course, the way it is now. I have enabled preview for some of the lectures. You will find that they are loaded with information and are incredibly concise. If you are interested in graphic design, this is the super course that you should take. Go ahead. Invest in yourself. Also, if you enrol and finish this course, you will get another one for free.

What are the requirements?

  • You will need Adobe Illustrator Software. You can obtain a free trial from Adobe's website
  • You don't need superpowers. A basic understanding of English and Windows/Mac
  • A pc, or a mac

What am I going to get from this course?

  • work like an expert with the industry standard vector graphics tool; Adobe Illustrator
  • Use their skills to create amazing vector graphics and artwork
  • use and control every single tool provided by Illustrator
  • use mutiple techniques and create their own unique style of work
  • become a complete graphic designer, who will be capable of actually making a living with this skill
  • conceive and innovate different graphic styles, patterns, and text effects
  • At the end of my course, students will be able to...

Who is the target audience?

  • If you know enough English and are interested in learning this amazing skill, go ahead and take the course
  • The course is best-suited for aspiring designers, or people who are interested in graphic design
  • If you are interested in creating movie posters, logos, graphics, web page mockups etc:
  • If you are an alien from outer space , or someone who doesn't speak English, this course is not for you.

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: The basics of Illustrator

In this lecture, we introduce the concept of Graphic Design and the most widely used Graphic Design Software; Adobe Illustrator.


In this lecture, we will take a tour of the illustrator interface and look at the different components, and see where everything is and how to get to the tools quickly


We look at the different tools that are in the tool palette and briefly describe those tools


We look at the different document settings available for projects in print and web


We look at the processing of setting up your personal preferences to ease your work in illustrator. We will look in detail into the preferences window and set each item of preference, and take a look at what each item does.

Section 2: Basic Components of the Illustrator Interface

We look at the navigator tool that can be used to effectively navigate your document and artboard. It helps you to zoom in and out of specific areas on your artboard.


We will look at the process of navigating multiple documents that are open in Adobe Illustrator


We will look at the different panels located in illustrator. We will see what each panel does. We will also learn how to dock, undock, hide and bring up the required panels.


We will look at the process of creating and editing custom workspaces that suit your preference. You can build and go to your own custom workspace as you get familiar with the tool. This will really aid your speed and efficiency when working inside of illustrator


We will look at the different screen modes in Illustrator that will help you change the way you experience working in Illustrator. You can choose to see all the tools all the time, or choose your own screen mode to suit your needs.


You will learn how to set custom views inside of illustrator. Custom views can be set to view a specific part of your document, any time you want. You can always switch to the views that you have set, any time during work. This expedites the process of zooming in and out of your document every time you need to take a good look at things.


We will look at placing horizontal and vertical guides and then locking them to arrange our artwork


Learn how to lock and hide objects and layers inside of illustrator. Locking is an effective technique to ensure that a specific part of the artwork is not affected when you manipulate other parts of it. Hiding is another option to ensure the same , and also to see the objects behind an object that dominates the entire frame.

Section 3: Artboards

In this lecture, we will look at the method of working with multiple artboards and navigating between them for different projects


In this lecture, we look at the artboard tool and at the process of creating,resizing and manipulating the artboards using the artboard tool.


In this lecture, we look at the process of exporting the artboards that we have created. We will learn how to exclude certain artboards from being exported. We will also look at how to order the artboards to export them in the way we want to.

Section 4: Layers

We take a look at the Layers Panel, one of the most useful panels in Illustrator. We will look at the process of creating,deleting and arranging the layers inside of this panel.


In this lecture, we will look at the different methods to change layer positions in Illustrator. We will understand the importance of positioning certain layers in a certain way. We will look at the effect of changing the layer positions on our document. 


We will extensively cover the process of arranging layers, including how to move a layer to another layer, how to target a specific layer, how to make a layer visible or invisible and how to remove a layer from a particular group of layers.


In this lecture, we will look at how to ungroup sublayers from the layer groups that they are in.

Section 5: The drawing tools

We look at the importance of paths in Illustrator. We will learn how to create paths using multiple tools inside of illustrator


We learn how to create lines and curves inside of illustrator. We will learn how to use the line segment tool, the curvature tool and also get a sneak peak into other tools that we could use to create lines and curves.


We will learn to use the amazing spiral tool. It is a nifty way to create spirals in illustrator. Instead of using the pen tool , this tool can be used to create even complicated spiral shapes.


We move on to closed  geometrical shapes. We will begin by looking at rectangles and ellipses. They are probably the most widely used drawing tools in Illustrator.


It is  quite difficult to use the rectangle tool to create stars or other polgons. This would be the reason why Illustrator has provided separate tools for these shapes. They are nifty and quite useful for the purpose.


This lecture is for those people who are adept at freehand drawing or would like to become so. Albeit having provided simple tools for preset drawing, Illustrator has also provided you the option to create everything yourself. The freehand drawing tool is one way to do that. You can simply draw out a line or a curve, a star or an ellipse, even an entire constellation if you want to. Take a look at it!


In real life, you can only draw over a drawing that you have already made. Either so, or you will have to erase the existing drawing, make the addition, and then redraw the whole thing. Not here. In Illustrator, you have the option to draw in front, draw behind, or draw within an existing object. Check this lecture out to see what i mean.

Section 6: Basic Selection and arrangement tools

You are familiar with the normal selection tool in Illustrator. There is another phenomenal tool that helps you to select minute details. This is called the direct selection tool. Check it out.


We delve deeper into the concept of grouping and ungrouping in illustrator. 


It is terribly inconvenient to keep grouping and ungrouping layers very often. If you want to edit a particular element inside of a group, there is another way to do it, called the isolation mode. In this lecture, we look at this amazing way to edit your document without destroying the integrity of the groups that you have created.


When you want to create a large number of similar objects, you can use the duplicate tool. If you want to move an object to a different position, use the move tool. In this lecture, we will discuss both these tools.


As the name suggests, scale tool is used to scale objects up and down. There is more to it than that. See the lecture for a full description and tutorial on how to use this tool


Rotate tool is used to rotate the objects around an axis. You can even create a copy of the object while you rotate it. Learn how to use the rotate tool in this lecture


This is a rather  interesting and incredibly useful tool that can be used to create amazing patterns in Illustrator. It helps to transform each minor property of the object that you have selected and it can replicate this effect to make multiple copies of the object. Try it out.


The reflect tool can reflect your object about any axis. This is incredibly helpful when you create symmetric objects, like a face. You just have to create half the face and then reflect it to get the whole face.

Section 7: Manipulating objects and their properties

This tool can be used to fill an object with a gradient of colors rather than just one solid color


Multiple strokes can be applied to a single object in Illsutrator. This lecture shows you how.


By far , you have learned how to apply a solid color stroke to an object. This lecture shows you how to apply a gradient as a stroke. This technique can be used to create a 3D looking stroke effect. Just take a peek.


This is one of my favourite tools. The width tool allows you to dynamically change the width of a stroke, or a line segment or a curve to create a curvy line or a curvy curve :D In this lecture, we will create a string of beans using this technique

Section 8: Colors

We look at the different color settings in illustrator. You will also get to know what setting to use for your unique purpose.


We will look at the process of creating custom color swatches. This is an extremely handy technique. You will develop your own unique palette as you work with color in illustrator. You will want to save these colors as swatches. There are different types of swatches based on the way they affect the selected objects. Take a look and you'll know.


If you want to use a particular color, multiple times with the same accuracy, you can save it as a spot color. Its quite different from using a process color. Spot colors reproduce the exact same color that you saved, everytime you use them.


You will learn how to create, group, ungroup and regroup color groups in illustrator.


Swatch Exchange is an amazing service provided by Adobe. You can go the adobe colors website and take a look at their color wheel. They have provided preset rules based on which you can create your own color swatches. You can even build your own set of rules and create custom color combinations that you could later save for use.

Section 9: Appearance

The appearance panel is one of the most versatile yet underappreciated panels in Illustrator. This is the first part of a two-part lecture. Through these lectures, you will learn how to effectively use the appearance panel for easier manipulation and organization of your artwork and to effectively modify the appearance of the object in question. Make sure you practice this section really well. 


The appearance panel is one of the most versatile yet underappreciated panels in Illustrator. This is the second part of a two-part lecture. Through these lectures, you will learn how to effectively use the appearance panel for easier manipulation and organization of your artwork and to effectively modify the appearance of the object in question. Make sure you practice this section really well. 


You will learn how to create your own unique graphic styles and then save them as a graphics style library for use in future projects,

Section 10: Advanced Drawing Tools

We will begin the advanced drawing section of this course by learning about compound paths and how you can create compound paths.


The Path Finder panel is another useful feature of Illustrator. It houses the shape modes and path finder tools. These can be used to manipulate the order and appearance of paths in illustrator. Try it out in this lecture.


The Paint Brush is another freehand drawing option. You can choose the size and type of brushes to create unique brushstrokes. You can choose for the strokes to either be smooth or to accurately follow your mouse pointer.


The eraser tool is similar to that in photoshop. In illustrator, however, you can confine the effect of the eraser to the boundaries of a particular object or a group of objects. Try this one out.


Very often, you will want to create complex shapes that cannot be created by the obvious geometrical tools in illustrator. In these cases, you will want to use the shape builder tool. The shape builder tool can combine different basic shapes to form advanced shapes. It can also be used to delete a specific shape from within a group of connected shapes. A remarkable tool. Try it out in this lecture.


Very often, you will want to create complex shapes that cannot be created by the obvious geometrical tools in illustrator. In these cases, you will want to use the shape builder tool. The shape builder tool can combine different basic shapes to form advanced shapes. It can also be used to delete a specific shape from within a group of connected shapes. A remarkable tool. We will look at this tool in detail in this lecture.

Section 11: The Pen Tool

The Pen tool is considered difficult to use by most graphic designers. This is probably because they haven't bothered to systematically learn how to use the tool. It is one of the most versatile tools in all of graphic design, irrespective of the software you use.We will tackle the complete usage of the pen tool , beginning with this lecture. This entire section is dedicated to learning the pen tool. It's so important, and it is the tool that  differentiates the great artistes from the good artistes.


We will learn how to create curves using the Pen tool. Often, when you try to draw curves using this tool, you will find that you are not able to maneuver the tool the way you want it too. This is one of the main reasons why people shy away from using the pen tool. We will tackle this problem , and look at how you can use this tool effectively to draw curves.


We will look at the process of creating closed figures using the pen tool. Pen tool  can be used not just to create lines and curves. It can be used to create complicated closed figures that would otherwise take a long time to create.


We will look at how to enable or disable the rubber band feature of the pen tool. We will also look at how to change the direction of curvature while you are using the tool for drawing.


We will demonstrate one of the most useful features of the Pen Tool; to trace images. We will bring in a jpeg still life image and then use the pen tool to convert it into vector graphics that will never lose quality if you re-scale it.

Section 12: Type Tools

We begin working with the text type tools in Illustrator. In this lecture, we will learn how to type using the point type tool and also to make your text confine to an area that you draw out.


We will look at the extensive text editing toolkit in Illustrator. Text can be edited and its appearance modified in any way you want to. 


We will modify  the character styles and paragraph styles of the text that we created. Different styles are appropriate for different purposes. You will get an idea about styling the characters to suit your overall composition of the document.


We will look at the text wrap feature, which essentially makes the text move around an object that you have created. These types of illustrations are usually found in magazines and newspapers, where they have the picture of a person or an object in between the text, and the text goes around the picture, adhering to the contours of the picture. We will learn how to emulate that effect.


You can draw out a custom shaped path and then make the text stick to that path. This is a quirky yet useful feature in Illustrator. See how you can work with it.


We will look at the different keyboard shortcuts pertaining to the text tools in illustrator. We will also look at modifying a path, lengthening or shortening the area of text displayed on a path and so on.


Text can be converted into vector paths in Illustrator. There are advantages and disadvantages to this conversion. The obvious disadvantage is that you cannot add more text in between the text that you just converted. The advantage is that you can deform and modify each character to create a unique style. 

Section 13: Working with Raster Graphics

When resolution dependent graphics files like jpeg or png are imported into Illustrator, the program does not actually create a copy of the file. It will rather link the imported file back to the original file on your computer. We will demonstrate how that affects your document when you import such graphics into Illustrator.


We will learn how to embed image files into Illustrator projects so that they will be independent of the original file that you used to import it in. You will also learn how to use clipping masks so that a portion of the imported image is discarded when you work with it. This is particularly useful if you don't want the whole image to be in your document.


We had earlier learned a way to convert raster graphics into vector graphics, using the pen tool. However, that could get really tedious when you work with incredibly detailed graphics. Illustrator has a one click fix for such situations; the Image Trace Panel. You will learn how to work with this panel and also how to use the expand function to expand a traced image and convert it into detailed paths.

Section 14: Printing and Exporting Artwork

You will learn how to modify the print settings to suit the project before you print out your artwork. You can also save your artwork as a pdf. If you do not choose the right settings, your artwork will not be reproduced exactly in the print.


If you want to send your project out for a commercial print, or for another designer to work on it, you will have to make sure that the project gets displayed exactly as you made it, using the same fonts and graphic styles you used. Simply saving the project file and sending it over won't do the trick. You will have to package the entire project, including all the images, fonts and styles. In this lecture, you will learn how to do that.


You will learn how to save your project for display on the web. You will also learn how to save the project so that they can be edited on earlier versions of Illustrator. This will ensure that a designer with an older version of Illustrator would be able to work on your project when you send it over.


You will learn how to use Illustrator along with Photoshop. We will observe how these two remarkable pieces of software can work together to get a particular job done. We will see how you can exchange files between them and modify the same file in different ways using these different softwares.

Section 15: Practice Activities

We put some of the techniques that we learned to practice. We use them to create the design of a pencil. Watch and DIY


We create a 3D text effect using the type tool, with help from other tools as well. This adds a 3d looking shadow to the text that you create.


You can create and save custom patterns that can later be used instead of background images. In this lecture, we will look at how to turn one of our designs into a pattern. Incredibly helpful technique. Take a look.


We will re-create the famous long shadow effect, most widely seen in logos and posters. It is quite simple and can be accomplished using simple replication tools inside of illustrator. We are going to do just that , in this lecture.


We look at the built-in scribble effect in Illustrator. This effect turns your text into strokes that look like they were scribbled using a pen, or  a marker. There are different settings that you can adjust to make it look childish or professional. Watch this lecture.

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Instructor Biography

Prem Chand, Engineer, Web Developer, Programmer and Film Maker

I am a Film-Maker, Engineer, Programmer and a techie. After graduating in Civil Engineering, I underwent a masters course in Computer Applications. I have worked in multiple fields including IT, Construction, Tourism, Education and Cinema. I'm here on Udemy to teach. It has always been my passion to impart knowledge and learn about technology. I'm here to combine these passions. :)

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