A Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Illustrator | Wave Interactive

If you’re an artist, chances are you’ve heard of all the Adobe products including Adobe Illustrator. However, unless you’ve dabbled in graphic design, you may not know how to really utilize such a versatile tool. Truth is, understanding how Illustrator works can help take your art to the next level, even if you aren’t a graphic designer by trade.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to see exactly what Adobe Illustrator has to offer and some helpful tips any beginner can put into practice.

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What is Illustrator?

So, before we get into the details, let’s start from the very beginning – what is Adobe Illustrator? What does it do? By definition Illustrator is a vector drawing program that is usually used to create logos and icons. However, it can also be used to create models, charts, print design, and more. These creations are crafted specifically to be printed at a later date (either on paper, or otherwise).

Unlike other drawing or editing software, Adobe Illustrator uses mathematical equations to draw shapes. This means drawings can be scaled to fit multiple sizes. Other advantages include high resolution, small file sizes, and (what some might see as most important) no loss of resolution while you edit.

Understanding the Workspace

If you have used other Adobe software program, the Illustrator workspace should look fairly familiar. However, if you haven’t then the wide range of available tools is most likely a bit intimidating. Here, we’ll go through a few of the main areas of importance that you should know about before getting started.

This is the place where you do all your work, it might even look like a piece of white paper. Theartboard can be changed depending on your preferred dimensions and the type of art you are creating.

Tool Panel
Just like the name suggests, this is where all your tools are located. Some of the items that can be found include:

  • Selection
  • Wand
  • Pen
  • Eraser
  • Screen modifications
  • Type/Text
  • Eyedropper
  • … and lots more!

Control Panel
This is where you can control the variables for the tools you use. Change color, thickness, opacity and more.

Panel Docking Area
This is where you can dock or undock different panels to see and edit more tools. In short, it keeps all important palettes such as Color Swatches, Layers, Stroke options, and Appearance in one place for easy access.

Helpful Tips

Now that you know some of the basics, (although, if we’re telling the truth, there is so much more to learn about this tool!) it’s time we share some of our favorite tips.

  • Keep track of your layers. The last thing you want is to start working and realize you’ve been manipulating the wrong area.
  • Use Libraries to find great templates. Window->Libraries and select from Brush Libraries, Swatch Libraries, Graphic Style Libraries or Symbol Libraries.
  • Create your own brushes! You may not always find what you need within the predetermined tools. So, why not make your own?

You may be new to Adobe Illustrator, but we hope that this brief look at the basics of what the tool provides gives you some insight to look further into using it in the future. It’s time you take your art up a notch and try creating like never before!

Need a logo or design for your company and not sure how to get started? Contact Wave Interactive today to see how our team of designers can help you!