Originally developed as the companion product to Photoshop by Apple in 1986, Illustrator came into its own with the rise of the internet. Today, Adobe Illustrator is used mainly for creating vector graphics, logos, graphics, fonts, cartoons, and patterns. With the updates of CS and CS5, new features such as three dimensional applications and realistic brushes, have enabled users to create vector pencil sketches and 3d characters. One of the best ways to start using Illustrator is to find an online tutorial on an aspect that interests you. There are a broad range of tutorials available to everyone from beginners to advanced users. From designing a poster or an icon, to a 3d pencil sketch vector, or animal mascot, there is something for everyone at every level. Below are outlined some of the best online guides to Adobe Illustrator Awesomeness.
A clearly presented and easy to follow design tutorial in Illustrator CS6 including both a video and written tutorial. The tutorial uses the iOS camera icon as an example and then proceeds to detail how to design in both Adobe Illustrator CS6 and then further explains how to develop the icon using Adobe Photoshop CS6 for touch-ups. With simple instructions, plus introductions to some key shortcuts, this website is great for beginners or those wanting to brush up on their Illustrator skill set.
This simple, straightforward tutorial covers the basics of how to create a website layout, and make it ready for use on the internet. The guide is perfect for the beginner or intermediate Adobe user. Tools and guides are clearly explained and shown in pictures, and the explanations on saving and using your final design are clearly detailed.
The favourite of many designers and artists, patterns are made readily useable by Adobe Illustrator, which takes the hassle out of creating tileable patterns for websites. This great tutorial shows how to customise patterns, including the Tile Type, and other aspects such as spacing, and size of the pattern. Try creating your own pattern!
An awesome tutorial which uses the example of the frog princess, to teach viewers how to reproduce a pencil sketch vector artwork using brushes in Illustrator. Creating and using Sketchy Brushes is one of the most fun aspects of using Adobe Illustrator, and this tutorial is a great way to get to know more about them. Filled with great examples and tips, most useful to intermediate or more advanced users, but a fun challenge for artists starting out in Illustrator use.
This tutorial is truly inspiring! Not only does it provide an estimate of the time it will take to create your own vector animal mascot (Exploration and sketching, 12 hours, Vectors and colouring, 5 hours) but it also goes into design strategies when creating a mascot for a brand. Detailed, step by step instructions from Dutch designer and illustrator Martijn Rijven, this tutorial starts from the early design process and then evolves into the technical aspect of using Illustrator to create a vector animal mascot. A must read, and must try for any designer working in marketing or branding.
An interesting guide to creating realistic vector sand and pebble textures using Adobe Illustrator and Phantasm CS, which shares the secrets of some of the more advanced ways to use tools to create different effects. The tutorial is for intermediate or more advanced, and goes into detail about using tools to create textures.
This is a great guide to creating a vector for a beginner to intermediate Adobe user, which also has some fantastic tips and tools which or more on the advanced level. Who wouldn’t want to know how to design a cool vector yeti character? This step by step guide uses basic shapes to create the vector and then a palette of cool colours to make him come to life.
Vintage style typography has become increasingly popular, as more and more artists and designers choose this style to use on their work. There is something very appealing about the look of the handwritten word. This guide is excellent because it details one of the main symbiotic features of using Illustrator and Photoshop together, as it describes how to create a typeface in Illustrator and then use Photoshop to create a typographic design.
One of the most useful and brilliant tools in Illustrator, the Gradient Mesh Tool can also be the hardest to understand and get right! This fantastic tutorial, for the intermediate user, takes the example of illustrating a vector tomato using the Gradient Mesh Tool. It is clearly presented and a good way to practice using tools that maybe are a bit trickier to get right.
A very interesting tutorial featuring the Belgian artist Evert Martin, describing in detail how to use Illustrator to create works of art using the Blend Tool to create 3D holographic projections and x-ray vector art. This tutorial starts with sketching and takes the user through a process of approximately one hour to bring an x-ray vector to life with animation. A great example of how Illustrator can be used in the place of other software such as Cinema 4D or Maya.
A fun and season-appropriate tutorial for the intermediate Illustrator user, creating vector camp badges. Starting off using designer Drew Wilson’s “pictos” icon set, and then using a video guide to go through how to modify and enhance the icons to create cute summer camp badges. This tutorial is a great way to practice using Illustrator.
This is a fun beginner level tutorial on creating and playing with textures in Adobe Illustrator focusing on making a realistic denim texture. Easy to follow instructions, and a wide variety of tools including Gradient Mesh, Blur tool, and the Pen Tool, to build on beginner level skills.
This is a quick and easy guide for Illustrator beginners to create interesting illustrations, icons and vectors, starting with the example of a designer gift bag. The tutorial uses basic shapes and patterns available in Illustrator and the ability for the user to add their own personal touches to the image, for great practice.
Bringing an illustration to life by creating movement and light, such as this fantastic example of a disco ball can seem dauntingly complicated to achieve. With this tutorial it is made simple, with great practice using the Ellipse Tool. The best thing about this tutorial is the tips are applicable to other vectors such as globes or planets, or really any vector that needs movement and light to come alive.
This is a very useful Illustrator tutorial showing how to create retro graphics using shapes and textures. A great intermediate to advanced level guide which is practical and useful, it is slightly hard to follow so good to have some knowledge of using Illustrator.
Using the image of a briefcase, this tutorial gives some great advice that can be transferred to any work in Illustrator on icons, logos and illustrations. Shape tools, Gradient panel and different Effects are covered.
Everybody loves a ladybird vector! This intermediate tutorial shows in detail how to create a fun ladybird vector, with some really useful tips for using shapes and tools to create difficult illustration aspects such as legs, antennae, and eyes.
A good basic, beginner to intermediate tutorial of how to create a beautiful Japanese Cherry Blossom tree using Illustrator CS4 +. Easy to follow description and a nice way to practice the use of Blob Brush, Eraser and the Ellipse tools.
A good beginner level tutorial, this guide shows how to design a calendar icon, using a range of tools including Opacity Mask, Blend Tool and Gradient Tool. Using simple geometric terms to start, this is a great simple design to practice with.
This is an interesting and challenging tutorial on vector art, which shows how to create a beautiful vector portrait in Illustrator, using the Quorra character from Tron Legacy as a model. You can go for as simple or detailed as you like with this vector portrait tutorial. Less layers make the portrait looks similar to the example above, however the more layers you decide to add, the more realistic the portrait becomes.
These 20 examples of great guides to Adobe Illustrator Awesomeness are the place to start building on your existing skill set, whether beginner or advanced there is a tutorial which will help you expand what you already know. One of the best things about the availability of online tutorials, is that one is able to keep abreast of the continuously evolving Adobe Illustrator changes and new tools and options.Tags: Design, Illustrator