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Guide to Adobe Illustrator: Essential Tips and Tools

Are you trying the Adobe Illustrator for the first time? Using the program at first can be pretty overwhelming because of the different tools and panels that you can use. This article is a quick guide to Adobe Illustrator. 

Adobe Illustrator is popularly used by graphic designers, web designers, and visual artists to create high-quality artwork.

Whether you want to create stunning illustrations or typographic layouts, the Adobe Illustrator is the ideal tool. Here are a few of the essential tools that you should know to guide you in using Adobe Illustrator.

The Blend Tool

The blend tool helps you create new objects, textures, and patterns in seconds. It works in any object and text, with only a few exceptions.

This tool allows you to create a new object by combining the shapes and colors of two or more objects. You can replicate an object for a number of times, modify those objects into another, and create smooth gradients between different colors. 

The blend tool blends and combines colors and objects to create a smooth transition. Once you use the blend tool to an object, the treated object changes accordingly when you morph the original object or its anchor points.

With the blend tool, you do not have to create objects and patterns manually, which can be really time-consuming.

Learn more about the blend tool through this link.

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Clipping Mask

Using the clipping mask is a huge time saver. It is a shape that masks other artwork or objects so that the only content within the shape is visible and masks the content around the shape.

The clipping set is the clipping mask and the objects that are masked. You can create a clipping set from all objects in a group layer, or selection of two or more objects. Clipping masks lets you combine text and shapes with patterns, textures, and gradients quickly. 

Learn more about clipping masks through this link.

Shaper Tool

You can draw shapes perfectly and freehand using a mouse, pen, or any touch device with the shaper tool. This tool recognizes certain natural gestures as you draw to convert them into perfect vector shapes. 

You can also combine shapes, remove fill, or delete shapes using the “scribble” gesture.

The shaper tool is a useful tool to get sketches quickly. It can help you create an intricate design by drawing, sketching, or scribbling.

Learn more about the shaper tool through this link.

Touch Type Tool

This tool supports a multi-touch device so you can use a stylus, mouse, or any touch-driven device to manipulate individual objects or characters as if they were separate objects. It works with any existing text. You can adjust the font size, add texture, or fill colors. You can move, rotate, scale, and layer characters in a word while keeping the word still editable. 

This tool is extremely useful in making stylistic changes to your type, and it can bring fluidity to your artwork. 

Curvature Tool

Draw smooth curves and straight lines to get just the results you want quickly. Just like the pen tool, it can be daunting at the beginning when you are still new with the Adobe Illustrator. But this tool is really useful when you have trouble using the pen tool in creating curves or editing paths.

Curvature tool is useful when creating, adding, toggling, editing, or removing smooth or corner points.

Recolor Artwork

The recolor artwork in Adobe Illustrator is often taken for granted and many designers are not even aware of this feature. However, this is a powerful and helpful tool, most especially for intricate designs because it allows whatever you have selected to switch colors.  

You can also precisely convert CMYK to RGB color space and fine-tune a conversion to grayscale. Switching color is easy with the recolor artwork option.

Learn more about how to change color and strokes through this link.

Global Edit Tool

You can edit similar objects at the same time with the global edit tool. This tool allows you to select similar objects based on image, shape, size, or color, and edit them all in one go. Your changes will be reflected in all similar objects.

The global edit tool is commonly used for designs containing multiple copies, such as logos in text pages. You also have an option to deselect particular objects that you do not want to include in editing globally. You can also globally edit similar groups that contain similar objects.

Learn more about how to find similar objects for editing through this link.

Shape Builder Tool

You can make different artworks and vector graphics using shapes and patterns. The shape builder tool lets you merge objects, break overlapping shapes, subtract one shape from another, and more. Create complex objects by merging, overlapping, breaking, and erasing simpler shapes with the shape builder tool. 

Learn how to create shapes using the shape builder tool through this link.

Enroll in Adobe Illustrator Online Courses

Online courses cover topics to guide you and help improve your skills with Adobe Illustrator. Here are three of Skill Success’s Adobe Illustrator online courses.

The Power Of Adobe Illustrator Basics

If you are new to Adobe Illustrator or just want to gain more knowledge of its purpose, toolset, and capabilities, then this online course is for you. by the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of the following:

  • Selection tool
  • Direct Selection tool
  • Magic Wand tool
  • Lasso tool
  • Pen tool
  • Type tools
  • Line tools
  • Shape tools
  • Paintbrush tool
  • Eraser, scissors and knife tools 

Make A Game Background In Adobe Illustrator For Beginners

Discover how you can create a 2D game background using Adobe Illustrator. This online course will teach you specific and important skills, so you do not have to spend long hours going through a long course.

Adobe Illustrator CC Advanced

This online course is designed for the experienced user of Adobe Illustrator. You will learn the advanced functionalities of Adobe Illustrator CC and have a more advanced look at Illustrator. This course will speed up your productivity and personal workflow with in-depth lessons on the following: 

  • Drawing
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Color and patterns
  • Workflow speed
  • Typography
  • Strokes and lines
  • Depth, perspective and 3D
  • Charts and graphs
  • Artboards and pages
  • Creative cloud
  • Images
  • Transform, distort and blend
  • Web UI design
  • Animating

Ready to learn photography online? Click here to get started.

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