Dive Into Illustrator

Dive Into Illustrator

DIVE INTO ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

by Evan-Zane Green

Adobe has an incredible line up of tools used by designers – and people in many other fields – on a regular basis. However, I have to say that my favorite is Adobe Illustrator. But what is Adobe Illustrator? Adobe Illustrator, or Illustrator for short, is the tool of choice that allows users to use “shapes, colors and effects” (Delicious Design League and Wood) to design for “print, web and apps, video and animation” (Delicious Design League and Wood) and many other use cases. Illustrator’s biggest advantage is that it is a vector tool. That means that no matter how large or small an object is, the quality of the object will never decrease. This is great, but how can Illustrator help you? I’m going to share with you my favorite Illustrator tools that I could never live without (in no particular order).

The Pen Tool

Let’s get this one out of the way, not many people like the pen tool. It can be hard to use, especially if you are new. However, if you keep at it, you will soon see that it is an essential part of the Illustrator repertoire. The pen tool helps you create things that would be hard to create with other tools such as the brush tool. It also affords you more accuracy than many other drawing tools in Illustrator. So for anyone who is struggling with the pen tool or just doesn’t see its value. Keep using it. You won’t regret it.

Pen Tool

The Shape Builder Tool

The shape builder tool is a God-send. This tool takes the abilities of the Pathfinder window and cranks them up to eleven (thousand). With this, you can combine or cut up shapes to create new shapes that would be infinitely harder to make with other tools (even the beloved pen tool). Using the shape builder, designers can simplify their workflow. Users aren’t limited to manipulating only two shapes at a time so anything is possible.

Shape Builder Tool

The Width Tool

The width tool is used to simulate pressure sensitivity (as in Adobe Photoshop) in strokes. It makes creating line art, logos or web assets easier and makes projects look more dynamic. Personally, I like the vector look that Illustrator creates but without the width tool I would be unable to give my projects the engaging feel that I like them to have. Almost all of my Illustrator projects use the width tool in one way or another.

Width Tool

The Direct Selection Tool

The direct selection tool is one I really couldn’t live without. I don’t like when my strokes or shapes don’t come out exactly how I want them to look. Rather than deleting them (like I used to do for far too long), the direct selection tool allows me to move the points that make up the shapes to reshape the objects so that they look exactly how I need them to. The direct selection tool can also be used to select and delete unnecessary points.

Direct Selection Tool

The Freeform Gradient Tool

This is a tool that I haven’t been using for very long but I love it nonetheless. This allows you to create gradients in Illustrator that are more interesting than the simple linear or radial gradients. Admittedly, Adobe Photoshop is much better at handling gradients than Illustrator is, but if you need to work in Illustrator or if you are an Illustrator-purist like I sometimes am, it is a great option for creating very eye-catching gradients.

Freeform Tool

Sources

  • Delicious Design League, and Brian Wood. “What Is Adobe Illustrator?” Adobe, 2 Nov. 2016, helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/what-is-illustrator.html.

Credits

Main image by artinthespring

Dive Into Illustrator

DIVE INTO ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

by Evan-Zane Green

Adobe has an incredible line up of tools used by designers – and people in many other fields – on a regular basis. However, I have to say that my favorite is Adobe Illustrator. But what is Adobe Illustrator? Adobe Illustrator, or Illustrator for short, is the tool of choice that allows users to use “shapes, colors and effects” (Delicious Design League and Wood) to design for “print, web and apps, video and animation” (Delicious Design League and Wood) and many other use cases. Illustrator’s biggest advantage is that it is a vector tool. That means that no matter how large or small an object is, the quality of the object will never decrease. This is great, but how can Illustrator help you? I’m going to share with you my favorite Illustrator tools that I could never live without (in no particular order).

The Pen Tool

Let’s get this one out of the way, not many people like the pen tool. It can be hard to use, especially if you are new. However, if you keep at it, you will soon see that it is an essential part of the Illustrator repertoire. The pen tool helps you create things that would be hard to create with other tools such as the brush tool. It also affords you more accuracy than many other drawing tools in Illustrator. So for anyone who is struggling with the pen tool or just doesn’t see its value. Keep using it. You won’t regret it.

Pen Tool

The Shape Builder Tool

The shape builder tool is a God-send. This tool takes the abilities of the Pathfinder window and cranks them up to eleven (thousand). With this, you can combine or cut up shapes to create new shapes that would be infinitely harder to make with other tools (even the beloved pen tool). Using the shape builder, designers can simplify their workflow. Users aren’t limited to manipulating only two shapes at a time so anything is possible.

Shape Builder Tool

The Width Tool

The width tool is used to simulate pressure sensitivity (as in Adobe Photoshop) in strokes. It makes creating line art, logos or web assets easier and makes projects look more dynamic. Personally, I like the vector look that Illustrator creates but without the width tool I would be unable to give my projects the engaging feel that I like them to have. Almost all of my Illustrator projects use the width tool in one way or another.

Width Tool

The Direct Selection Tool

The direct selection tool is one I really couldn’t live without. I don’t like when my strokes or shapes don’t come out exactly how I want them to look. Rather than deleting them (like I used to do for far too long), the direct selection tool allows me to move the points that make up the shapes to reshape the objects so that they look exactly how I need them to. The direct selection tool can also be used to select and delete unnecessary points.

Direct Selection Tool

The Freeform Gradient Tool

This is a tool that I haven’t been using for very long but I love it nonetheless. This allows you to create gradients in Illustrator that are more interesting than the simple linear or radial gradients. Admittedly, Adobe Photoshop is much better at handling gradients than Illustrator is, but if you need to work in Illustrator or if you are an Illustrator-purist like I sometimes am, it is a great option for creating very eye-catching gradients.

Freeform Tool

Sources

  • Delicious Design League, and Brian Wood. “What Is Adobe Illustrator?” Adobe, 2 Nov. 2016, helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/what-is-illustrator.html.

Credits

Main image by artinthespring

Dive Into Illustrator

DIVE INTO ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

by Evan-Zane Green

Adobe has an incredible line up of tools used by designers – and people in many other fields – on a regular basis. However, I have to say that my favorite is Adobe Illustrator. But what is Adobe Illustrator? Adobe Illustrator, or Illustrator for short, is the tool of choice that allows users to use “shapes, colors and effects” (Delicious Design League and Wood) to design for “print, web and apps, video and animation” (Delicious Design League and Wood) and many other use cases. Illustrator’s biggest advantage is that it is a vector tool. That means that no matter how large or small an object is, the quality of the object will never decrease. This is great, but how can Illustrator help you? I’m going to share with you my favorite Illustrator tools that I could never live without (in no particular order).

The Pen Tool

Let’s get this one out of the way, not many people like the pen tool. It can be hard to use, especially if you are new. However, if you keep at it, you will soon see that it is an essential part of the Illustrator repertoire. The pen tool helps you create things that would be hard to create with other tools such as the brush tool. It also affords you more accuracy than many other drawing tools in Illustrator. So for anyone who is struggling with the pen tool or just doesn’t see its value. Keep using it. You won’t regret it.

Pen Tool

The Shape Builder Tool

The shape builder tool is a God-send. This tool takes the abilities of the Pathfinder window and cranks them up to eleven (thousand). With this, you can combine or cut up shapes to create new shapes that would be infinitely harder to make with other tools (even the beloved pen tool). Using the shape builder, designers can simplify their workflow. Users aren’t limited to manipulating only two shapes at a time so anything is possible.

Shape Builder Tool

The Width Tool

The width tool is used to simulate pressure sensitivity (as in Adobe Photoshop) in strokes. It makes creating line art, logos or web assets easier and makes projects look more dynamic. Personally, I like the vector look that Illustrator creates but without the width tool I would be unable to give my projects the engaging feel that I like them to have. Almost all of my Illustrator projects use the width tool in one way or another.

Width Tool

The Direct Selection Tool

The direct selection tool is one I really couldn’t live without. I don’t like when my strokes or shapes don’t come out exactly how I want them to look. Rather than deleting them (like I used to do for far too long), the direct selection tool allows me to move the points that make up the shapes to reshape the objects so that they look exactly how I need them to. The direct selection tool can also be used to select and delete unnecessary points.

Direct Selection Tool

The Freeform Gradient Tool

This is a tool that I haven’t been using for very long but I love it nonetheless. This allows you to create gradients in Illustrator that are more interesting than the simple linear or radial gradients. Admittedly, Adobe Photoshop is much better at handling gradients than Illustrator is, but if you need to work in Illustrator or if you are an Illustrator-purist like I sometimes am, it is a great option for creating very eye-catching gradients.

Freeform Tool

Sources

  • Delicious Design League, and Brian Wood. “What Is Adobe Illustrator?” Adobe, 2 Nov. 2016, helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/what-is-illustrator.html.

Credits

Main image by artinthespring

Dive Into Illustrator

DIVE INTO ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

by Evan-Zane Green

Adobe has an incredible line up of tools used by designers – and people in many other fields – on a regular basis. However, I have to say that my favorite is Adobe Illustrator. But what is Adobe Illustrator? Adobe Illustrator, or Illustrator for short, is the tool of choice that allows users to use “shapes, colors and effects” (Delicious Design League and Wood) to design for “print, web and apps, video and animation” (Delicious Design League and Wood) and many other use cases. Illustrator’s biggest advantage is that it is a vector tool. That means that no matter how large or small an object is, the quality of the object will never decrease. This is great, but how can Illustrator help you? I’m going to share with you my favorite Illustrator tools that I could never live without (in no particular order).

The Pen Tool

Let’s get this one out of the way, not many people like the pen tool. It can be hard to use, especially if you are new. However, if you keep at it, you will soon see that it is an essential part of the Illustrator repertoire. The pen tool helps you create things that would be hard to create with other tools such as the brush tool. It also affords you more accuracy than many other drawing tools in Illustrator. So for anyone who is struggling with the pen tool or just doesn’t see its value. Keep using it. You won’t regret it.

Pen Tool

The Shape Builder Tool

The shape builder tool is a God-send. This tool takes the abilities of the Pathfinder window and cranks them up to eleven (thousand). With this, you can combine or cut up shapes to create new shapes that would be infinitely harder to make with other tools (even the beloved pen tool). Using the shape builder, designers can simplify their workflow. Users aren’t limited to manipulating only two shapes at a time so anything is possible.

Shape Builder Tool

The Width Tool

The width tool is used to simulate pressure sensitivity (as in Adobe Photoshop) in strokes. It makes creating line art, logos or web assets easier and makes projects look more dynamic. Personally, I like the vector look that Illustrator creates but without the width tool I would be unable to give my projects the engaging feel that I like them to have. Almost all of my Illustrator projects use the width tool in one way or another.

Width Tool

The Direct Selection Tool

The direct selection tool is one I really couldn’t live without. I don’t like when my strokes or shapes don’t come out exactly how I want them to look. Rather than deleting them (like I used to do for far too long), the direct selection tool allows me to move the points that make up the shapes to reshape the objects so that they look exactly how I need them to. The direct selection tool can also be used to select and delete unnecessary points.

Direct Selection Tool

The Freeform Gradient Tool

This is a tool that I haven’t been using for very long but I love it nonetheless. This allows you to create gradients in Illustrator that are more interesting than the simple linear or radial gradients. Admittedly, Adobe Photoshop is much better at handling gradients than Illustrator is, but if you need to work in Illustrator or if you are an Illustrator-purist like I sometimes am, it is a great option for creating very eye-catching gradients.

Freeform Tool

Sources

  • Delicious Design League, and Brian Wood. “What Is Adobe Illustrator?” Adobe, 2 Nov. 2016, helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/what-is-illustrator.html.

Credits

Main image by artinthespring