Intro to Adobe Illustrator
4.6 (14 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.
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Intro to Adobe Illustrator

Get up and running with the design world's standard software for drawing logos, icons, and all types of vector artwork.
4.6 (14 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.
194 students enrolled
Created by Joseph Caserto
Last updated 10/2015
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  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Launch Adobe Illustrator and navigate the interface.
  • Use the shape tools to draw vector objects.
  • Create and apply color swatches.
  • Add and style type.
  • Convert type into vector outlines.
  • Transform objects: Move, scale and rotate them.
  • Combine two or more colors into a gradient.
  • Create, and manage layers, and use them to organize and select objects.
  • Create artwork with the Paintbrush and Pencil Tools.
  • Use the Pen Tool to draw bezier curves, and add, delete, and convert anchor points.
  • Cut and join paths.
  • Use the Pathfinder Panel to create complex shapes.
  • Create compound shapes.
  • Create clipping masks.
  • Apply Photoshop effects.
  • Place artwork saved in .jpg, .pdf, and other file formats.
View Curriculum
  • Adobe Illustrator is required to follow along with lessons.
  • Basic computing skills are required to follow along with lessons: Clicking, dragging, opening and closing documents, creating folders, etc.
  • Some knowledge of the printing process, file formats (.pdf, .jpg, etc.) and using color for print and web (CMYK vs. RGB) will be helpful.

Every professional designer who wants to be marketable MUST know Adobe Illustrator, the industry standard software for drawing icons, logos, and vector artwork. Vectors are the curves that you draw with Illustrator, and they can be enlarged many times over without loosing quality, unlike raster art, which uses pixels on a grid, and distorts if it gets too large. Illustrator's vector files can be exported to raster formats, like .jpg, .gif, or .png, for projects that need them, like websites. I'm Joseph Caserto, a graphic designer with over two decades of professional experience, and I've been creating vector artwork that whole time. In this course, I'll help you master the basics of drawing simple vector shapes. Once you've got those essentials down, we'll move on, and use them to help you learn more intermediate ones. You'll build a solid foundation, which you can use beyond the course, to develop your own projects that showcase your skills in this application that's critical to know if you're going to be competitive in the professional design world.

What You'll Find Inside

  • A curriculum that lets students build confidence and skills by starting with essential techniques, moving on to fundamentals, and finishing with advanced methods.
  • Downloadable files for students who want a hands-on learning experience, allowing them to follow along with lectures.
  • Six hours of instruction through 50+ high-quality, downloadable HD videos that have clear audio and easy to see menus and windows.
  • A quiz at the end of each section so students can review their knowledge before moving on.
Who is the target audience?
  • Graphic designers interested in producing logos, icons, and symbols.
  • Illustrators and fine artists who want to create vector artwork.
  • Web and UX designers who want to create vectors for elements like icons and wireframes.
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Curriculum For This Course
55 Lectures
1 Lecture 01:00

Learn what Adobe Illustrator is used for, meet Joseph, and find out how this course is structured.

Note: Before moving on after you've viewed this lecture, If you want a hands-on experience, use these resources:

  1. Intro To Adobe Illustrator Resource Files, found Under Downloadable materials, is a .zip archive of the files shown in some videos throughout the course. Download and save it to your system, and expand the archive to access the files.
  2. Use the link under External Resources to download a 30-day free trial of Adobe Illustrator, If you do not have access to the software.
    TIP: Save your work as a .pdf or .jpg before the trial expires if you don't plan on purchasing a subscription to the software! (See Lecture 52: Outputting a Document.) You won't be able to edit the native .ai files in Illustrator, but will have a read-only copy that you can view in Apple Preview, Google Chrome, or other application.
Preview 01:00
Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator
5 Lectures 27:38

See how Illustrator looks and get a feel for how to navigate through the application as you work. Choose a workspace that sets up the application's panels to suit the job you're doing, or create one of your own.

Preview 08:08

Preferences let you choose such things as the units in which a document's measurements are displayed. Learn how to set and edit them.

Preview 03:18

Create and manage Adobe Illustrator documents.

Creating and Working with Documents

Rulers help you to determine the size of elements in your artwork. Non-printing grids and guides aid in aligning and placing objects.

Grids, Rulers and Guides

Learn about this unit of measurement that print designers use.

What are Picas and Points?

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator
4 questions
Working with Objects
9 Lectures 01:00:26

Anatomy of vector objects.

What Are Shapes?

Learn how to draw rectangles and squares.


Apply color to an object; combine several objects so they can be selected and transformed as one.

Color Swatches and Groups

Objects are arranged one on top of another, or "stacked." Learn about this, and how to move an object's position.

Stacking Order

Change the angle of an object.

Rotating Objects

Create ovals and circles, learn how to draw objects from the inside out, and add an outline to an object.

Ellipses; Drawing Techniques, Adding a Stroke

Illustrator has a tool that allows you to create stars, easily.

The Star Tool

Learn how to make shapes with three or more sides.

The Polygon Tool

Here's a chance to apply what you've learned. If you get stuck, don't worry. You'll find the solution here, too.

Let's Try Recreating an Example

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Working with Objects
5 questions
Aligning Objects
2 Lectures 19:16

This feature lets Illustrator help you position objects precisely as you work.

Smart Guides

The Align Panel allows you to line up objects exactly, with one click.

The Align Panel

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Aligning Objects
5 questions
Color Swatches
4 Lectures 25:22

A swatch lets you specify a color's mode and breakdown, give it a name, and apply it with a single click.

Creating and Applying Swatches

A global swatch lets you change a color by editing the swatch used to apply it, even in multiple objects at once.

Global Swatches

Use the Swatches Panel to add and delete color swatches.

Managing Swatches

Learn how to access and use the PANTONE® swatch library. PANTONE® is a company that is recognized as the global foremost authority on color and producer of color systems and technology. For more, see the link under External Resources.

PANTONE® Swatches

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Color Swatches
5 questions
2 Lectures 13:26

We'll explore the Gradient Panel to create and manage gradients.

Creating, Applying, and Editing Gradients

See how to create a swatch for a gradient, and apply it to an object's stroke.

Applying a Gradient Swatch to a Stroke

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Gradients
5 questions
2 Lectures 14:39

All documents have one layer by default. We'll use the Layers Panel to add more and edit them.

Introduction to Layers

Layers are very useful to manage complex artwork. Here, we'll see how to select and change the stacking order of objects using the Layers Panel.

Using Layers as a Layout Tool

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Layers
5 questions
6 Lectures 34:18

Learn the basics of using type and specifying its attributes.

Type Essentials

Good letter- and word-spacing is a sure sign that your artwork was done by a pro.

Kerning and Tracking; Applying Color

Congratulations, you've reached a milestone!

Halfway Done!

See how to import text from another file type, such as .docx (Microsoft Word), and edit its formatting.

Placing and Styling Text

Type can be rotated, scaled, and sheared, just like objects.

Transforming Type

Make vector outlines out of any font loaded in your system.

Converting Type to Outline

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Type
5 questions
Drawing and Painting
3 Lectures 17:18

Use the Paintbrush Tool and create artwork in a painterly style.

The Paintbrush Tool

Just like an art supply store, Illustrator has plenty of brushes to choose from, and it also lets you create your own.

Paintbrush Libraries

Use the Pencil Tool to draw lines with a hand drawn feel.

The Pencil Tool

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Drawing and Painting
5 questions
Drawing Vectors with the Pen Tool
5 Lectures 31:18

See an example of a complex illustration, created entirely with the Pen Tool, and explore its anatomy.

The Pen Tool

How to add anchor points and draw segments with the Pen Tool.

Drawing Paths

Close a path to form a shape.

Drawing Simple Geometric Shapes

A heart shape is a perfect one to practice with, because it combines corner and curve points.

Drawing a Heart with the Pen Tool

Tracing shapes that aren't geometric is how to master the Pen Tool. We'll work with a simple one to get you started.

Drawing an Organic Shape with the Pen Tool

Test your knowledge on topics covered in this section.

Review: Drawing Vectors with the Pen Tool
5 questions
5 More Sections
About the Instructor
Joseph Caserto
4.7 Average rating
237 Reviews
5,369 Students
12 Courses
Design Professional :: Educator :: Consultant

I'm Joseph Caserto, a design professional, educator, and consultant. I have over 20 years of experience as a publication art director and designer, and worked on the staffs of several national magazines before starting my own business. Since then, I've worked with many publications, including BusinessWeek, Marie Claire, PC, TV Guide, and Vibe. My projects have included helping to produce several issues of the iPad edition of Fortune, and consulting on the launch of Parents for iOS (Apple iPad) and Android (Samsung Galaxy).

I'm also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Digital Communications and Media, at New York University, School of Professional Studies, Center for Advanced Digital Applications, Department of Design Digital Arts and Film. Formerly, I was an Adjunct Lecturer at the City College of New York, in the Art Department's Electronic Design and Multimedia Program. I have several online tutorials published, and have been a guest critic and speaker at Cooper Union, and SUNY Fredonia.

I've consulted with clients including FP Design, The Archdiocese of New York, and The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York to help them learn and maximize the potential of their software, and to explore graphic design principals.

I earned a BFA, with Honors, in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute, where I completed one of the first classes that explored graphic design produced with a Macintosh. I'm a member of AIGA, Freelancers Union, the Graphic Artists Guild, and The Society of Publication Designers. A lifetime resident of New York State, I've lived in Brooklyn since the late 1980s.