12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator

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12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator

Post by discovery on Thu May 10, 2012 12:40 am

12 Beginner Tutorials for Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator, the industry-standard vector graphics application, is the
tool you use when you need flexible, scalable vector graphics such as
logos and artwork that will be printed in various formats, mediums and
. Getting Started in Illustrator

First thing’s first: You need to familiarize yourself with
Illustrator’s graphical user interface. This quick and easy-to-read
tutorial talks about Illustrator’s workspace, pointing to areas such as
the Tools panel, the Status bar, the Artboard where you craft your
vectors, and so on. It also touches upon how to create your first
Illustrator document, as well as the different items you can find within
the Tools panel.

2. Illustrator’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide

The primary drawing feature of Illustrator is the Pen tool. If you
have aspirations of becoming an Illustrator ninja, you’ll need to have a
strong command of this tool. This Illustrator tutorial from Vectortuts+
(a leading vector graphics tutorial site) covers all the things you
need to know about this powerful, but oftentimes daunting, tool.

The tutorial covers the concept of Bezier curves, which are used to
draw shapes with smooth curves, the need-to-know keyboard shortcuts, and
even provides a practice sheet that you can download and import into
Illustrator to help you practice your vector-drawing skills.

3. Fun with Illustrator’s Blend Tool

The Blend command is deceptively simple in function. It takes two or
more shapes or colors, and then blends them together smoothly. But as
this Illustrator tutorial will show you, the Blend command is a very
effective feature for crafting stunning graphics effects quickly and

4. Adobe Illustrator Tips: Live Trace

Live Trace, which appeared in Adobe Illustrator CS2, is a
game-changer. Before Live Trace, an artist sketching an art piece using
pen/pencil and paper would have to scan their work into Illustrator,
then spend hours manually tracing it with the Pen tool and other
Illustrator functions.

When Live Trace was introduced, this process was made simpler through
automation, saving you precious hours. From sketch drawings to
photographs that need to be converted to vector graphics — Live Trace is
an excellent option to try. This tutorial goes over the process of
using Live Trace by using a stock headshot photo, discussing how to
execute Live Trace, the various options, as well as showing off a
handful of examples of where Live Trace has been used in existing

5. Illustrator’s Type Tool: A Comprehensive Introduction

Illustrator is also a popular graphics application for print
designers. From logos, business cards, and brochures, all the way up to
posters and large billboards, Illustrator can help you make flexible and
scalable designs.

A big part of print design is quite obviously text. This Illustrator
tutorial will help you begin to explore the Type tool. It covers ways
you can set text on vector paths for unconventional text flows, talks
about the associated panels such as the Character and Paragraph panel,
and provides useful keyboard shortcuts.

6. The Power (and Ease) of Patterns in Illustrator

Using patterns allows you to make repeating graphics. Experimenting
with patterns can lead to excellent artwork that looks like it took days
to complete.

Creating custom pattern brushes and applying them to vector shapes is covered in this Illustrator tutorial.

7. Mastering Illustrator Effects

Effects in Illustrator allow you to add all sorts of wonderful
graphic treatments to your artwork. From applying 3D effects to creating
faux colored pencil looks, this set of Illustrator features will let
you rapidly enhance your work with a few clicks of the mouse.

If you’d like to discover the abilities of Illustrator effects, check
out the above tutorial, which discusses various processes — such as
Roughen and Scribble — as well as the Appearance panel, which allows you
to modify applied effects, among other helpful tips.

8. Everything about Gradients

The Gradient panel in Illustrator is a wonderful feature for applying
color and pattern gradients to your work. Gradients allow you to
stylize your graphics such that they have smoothly blended fills or

Learn everything you need to know to get started with gradients from
this tutorial, which discusses topics like applying gradients, modifying
the angle and direction of the gradients, saving gradient swatches, and

9. The Stroke Panel

In Photoshop, a
sibling of Illustrator, strokes (creating an outline around the edge of
an object) seem like an afterthought. But in Illustrator, where your
vector paths take center stage, the stroke feature is very important to

This Adobe Illustrator tutorial covers the use of the Stroke panel in creating vector objects.

10. Pathfinder: Explained

The Pathfinder panel is a popular time saving feature for working
with shapes and paths. This panel is a collection of commands that allow
you to unite, divide, and subtract two or more shapes, among other
functions. Utilizing these commands gives you the ability to draw
complex vector graphics using basic shape tools.

Learn how to use the Pathfinder panel with this excellent Illustrator tutorial.

11. The Power of Smart Guides in Illustrator

Don’t have a steady hand? Having trouble drawing shapes that align
with one another? Smart guides give you snapping features that will
enable you to draw objects more accurately.

Explore the fundamentals of Illustrator’s smart guides through this beginner-friendly tutorial.

12. How to Make a Custom Illustrator Brush

Brushes in Illustrator are a quick way to save objects that you will
reuse later in your projects. Art brushes, for example, take a vector
object that you’ve drawn and allow you to then apply those objects later
as strokes or fills of other vectors.

In this step-by-step guide, you will discover the awesomeness of custom brushes in Illustrator.

These 12 tutorials will set you on your path to Illustrator mastery.
If you’ve had success with other tutorials not on this list, let us know
about them in the comments below.


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