Illustrator Fundamentals Training

Used by professional designers throughout the world, Adobe Illustrator is undoubtedly the most popular illustration software available. Whether creating graphics for print or the web, this is the software you need to know to be competitive in marketing, advertising or graphic and web design. The skills you will learn in this class are common to many other design programs as well, so this Adobe Illustrator training class is an ideal way to break into the industry.

Learning the Illustrator Environment

Get up and running quickly by setting up an "art board" on which you will place shapes, text and raster graphics (such as photographs). After exploring the Illustrator environment, you'll practice using a few simple tools to create a basic logo. Through simple hands-on exercises, you will learn how to:

  • Construct a custom workspace to adapt Illustrator to your particular workflow
  • Quickly set up a new document
  • Create, scale and duplicate simple shapes
  • Combine, group and stack shapes
  • Navigate within a document

Formatting Text in Illustrator

Illustrator edits text with precision, since it creates "vector" (not pixel-based) type that is completely scalable without losing quality. Manipulating text and combining it with simple shapes is basic to designing many print and web graphics. At the end of this section, you will understand how to:

  • Import or create new text
  • Change the size, font and weight using the character palette
  • Apply paragraph and character styles
  • Add flair to your type by inserting it into a custom shape, or onto a curved path
  • Flow type throughout a document
  • Align text and graphics using the transform palette

Drawing and Manipulating Paths in Illustrator

Creating and editing vector drawings is an essential part of designing more complex logos and shapes. However, drawing with vectors can seem quite daunting, since for many it is not an intuitive process. In this Illustrator Fundamentals training class, we break down the process of drawing vectors into manageable steps, teaching you to create increasingly complex shapes. This part of the training covers how to:

  • Draw a custom paths with the pen, pencil and smooth tools
  • Modify a path using direction handles
  • Create eye-catching 3D effects
  • Employ a path to make a mask
  • Create compound and offset paths

Working with Color in Illustrator

Illustrator provides a number of ways to enliven your graphics with color. It lets you match colors in an existing illustration, keep your color choices consistent by using a "library" of swatches, and use blending and filters to create both subtle and exciting effects. By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Apply color to strokes and fills using swatches and spot colors
  • Create new colors with the color panel
  • Copy color exactly using the eyedropper tool
  • Create color gradients and transparencies
  • Add color with live paint

Adding Custom Effects in Illustrator

Once you have placed text and shapes onto your art board, you may want to employ custom effects to develop a more unique design or add artistic flourishes. You can choose from a variety of filters and effects to quickly transform simple text and shapes into attention-getting logos and graphics. Our Illustrator Fundamentals training shows you how to:

  • Apply more complex text effects like stair step, gravity, skew and envelope
  • Use pattern brushes and global colors
  • Wrap text around objects
  • Add spot colors and gradients to both text and objects
  • Create layers and set transparency and blend modes
  • Work with brushes to create unique-looking strokes

Illustrator: Importing & Managing Graphics

Designers often need to add pixel-based graphics (like photographs and continuous-tone illustrations) to their Illustrator files. You can edit these raster graphics to a limited extent in Illustrator, and even trace them to create vector shapes. In this section, the class teaches you how to:

  • Import graphics in various file formats, including psd (Photoshop), jpg, gif and pdf documents
  • Trace raster graphics with Live Trace
  • Use Adobe Bridge to organize and access files

Exporting & Printing Graphics

The process of printing graphics or exporting them to the web requires an understanding of various file formats. In addition, accurate and consistent color reproduction is different for each medium, and for different types of printers. In this section of the Illustrator Fundamentals training, you will learn how to:

  • Size graphics correctly for the web
  • Slice images for quicker download time
  • Choose web-safe colors
  • Export graphics for the web
  • Manage color for web and print
  • Create composite proofs for office printers
  • Make color separations for commercial printers


  • Basic Mac or Windows skills: copying/pasting, right-clicking (contextual menus), finding files, switching between programs, exploring windows

Illustrator training offered at four locations: