Adobe Illustrator: User guide to making the most of any illustration
Do you have any idea what Adobe Illustrator is for?
When talking about digital illustration there are few options as well-known as this, Adobe Illustrator has become the drawer software for many, it is in fact one of the vector graphics processing applications that have been in the medium for more years.
Any designer knows the tricks and possibilities offered by Adobe Illustrator, but if you are one of the new ones in this theme of graphic design or you are just recently, in the following lines you will find what it is, how it works and what Adobe Illustrator is for.
What is Adobe Illustrator and what is it for ?
Adobe Illustrator is an image editing software with vectors, and is part of the creative catalog of the Adobe brand, which includes other programs such as InDesign or Lightroom, to mention a few.
With Adobe Illustrator it is possible to create graphic compositions from scratch that can then be exported at all scales. This is why it is usually one of the favorite applications when it comes to projects for different formats, as the same file adapts to any size. In addition, its support for the cloud allows you to work regardless of location and save changes in real time, making it a flexible and dynamic tool.
Vector drawing: the key of the application, why use it?
What differentiates Adobe Illustrator and its use of other graphics editing software, even those belonging to the firm Adobe, is its vector image processing. These are defined by geometric objects, which in turn depend on mathematical formulas that determine their characteristics. In this way, for example, the formula of a cube would contemplate its dimensions, position, color and line thickness.
Origin and evolution of Adobe Illustrator.
The official release of this program came in 1987 in its 1.0 version exclusively for Apple operating systems. The next came two years later, now available for Windows.
Until its tenth update, in 2001, Adobe Illustrator had as its image an excerpt from the famous artwork “The Birth of Venus” by the Italian painter Sandro Boticelli. It was chosen as a Renaissance piece, as a symbol of the new era that marked a program like this at the time. However, since version 11 it was replaced by illustrations related to Adobe’s Creative Suite, which later became Creative Cloud. Since then its logo has become increasingly minimalist and today it only has the letters AI in a biicolor box, although its home screens do show graphics made with the program.
The latest from Adobe Illustrator.
The most recent release of Adobe Illustrator was in June 2021 and corresponds to the third update of version 24.0 of 2020. The latter focuses on improvements in performance, file management and interface, as well as more agile rendering of images.
Among the novelties of 25.3 are:
Rotation: It is now possible to change the direction of the canvas regardless of the angle of inclination. This will also rotate all the objects that are in it, as well as the rest of the work tables, and will be able to edit with the same freedom as if they were in the original position.
Apple Silicon: from this version there is native compatibility with the M1, the processor of the Apple firm for your desktop computers. As a high-performance chip, program execution is much smoother and more efficient.
Hidden layers: you can remove layers and sublayers that are not in sight, which makes the composition process much easier.
Text without source formatting: comes with the option to paste a text without containing any customization, which makes editing faster
The basics, interface, tools and processes in Adobe Illustrator how to use it? , what is it used for?
The Illustrator environment is quite similar to that of other Adobe programs like Photoshop and InDesign. It consists of a work table that is surrounded by bars on the sides and at the top. The upper ones usually have configuration and customization options for functions, while the buttons and side panels have the tools for immediate use to create and illustrate.
There are a total of 86 tools in Adobe Illustrator divided into six categories that shape all the applications for which Adobe Illustrator is used. We summarize each group with their main options, their target and keyboard shortcuts, if applicable.
Selection (V): take complete elements of the design.Direct selection (A): take part of a larger element.
Magic Wand: select objects that have common attributes such as brightness, color, etc.
Loop (Q): Freely outline and select a formless object.
- Pen (P): is the basic brush and allows to add freehand strokes.
- Anchor point (+,-): add or remove anchor points to existing objects.
- Pencil (N): create sketches similar in appearance to a pencil and paper drawing.
Text, how to use it?
- Text (T): add text boxes on the canvas.
- Area text: Convert any existing closed strokes into a text space (not necessarily a box).
- Dropper (I): copy the color of one object into another.
- Gradient (G): modifies the color intensity from one point to another in the same object.
- Hand (H): move the work table inside the canvas.
- Zoom (ctrl + = , ctrl + -): Zoom out or zoom in.
- Rotate (R): rotate an element without moving its position.
- Free transformation: distorting objects from any of their axes.
What is Adobe Illustrator used for?
With Adobe Illistrator, such a complete program would be easier to tell what Illustrator is not used for. However, we have collected 20 of the most common compositions made by graphic design professionals.
- Banners for display advertising on web pages.
- Covers and content of books and magazines.
- Brochures of marks and businesses.
- Custom fonts with all kinds of shapes, textures and effects.
- Lettering and drawing of freehand letters.
- Advertisements for print media.
- Blogs and web pages.
- Publications for social networks.
- Billboards, billboards and posters.
- Brand tags.
- Flyers and designs for light boxes.
- Packagings of all kinds of products.
- Informative and descriptive infographics for digital content.
- Demonstrative graphs.
- Flow diagrams and processes.
- Illustrations from photographs.
- Logos adaptable to any format.
- Maps of all kinds.
- Photorealism and montages.
- Borders and patterns.
Use Adobe Illustrator: availability, requirements, costs and plans.
As a program that handles graphics, Adobe Illustrator has certain minimum software and hardware requirements to run efficiently on computers. This passes through a 64-bit multicore processor (in the case of Intel) or an AMD Athlon 64. Similarly, 8 GB of RAM and a resolution of 1024 768 pixels are required, although 16 GB and 1920 1080, respectively, are recommended for a smoother execution.
In addition to the desktop version, Adobe also has tablet users in mind. For them they have enabled the program to work on iPads in conjunction with an Apple Pencil, and on Android computers through Adobe Illustrator Draw software.
Although previously used under license, the software has moved to membership mode. It has a free trial period of 7 days and after that has a cost of approximately $500.00 MXN per month for individual users. However, it is possible to opt for an annual contract that reduces the monthly fees up to $399.99 MXN or for a single annual advance payment of $3,600.00 MXN.
Beyond the services of a single program, this program offers packages with all the applications of your Creative Cloud. This is usually very convenient in most cases, as Illustrator is almost always complemented by other design programs. There are also interesting options when it comes to work teams, students, teachers, schools and universities.