Learn more about Adobe Illustrator & our classes
Adobe first released Illustrator in 1987, three years before the release of its most popular program, Photoshop. Illustrator’s main strength is the creation of vector graphics, an easy-to-resize format for digital artwork. Illustrator can be used to create ads, draw or digitize graphics, develop logos, and design business cards. In recent iterations, Adobe has improved Illustrator’s ability to typeset text, resulting in some designers’ preference for Illustrator to Adobe’s text-layout program, InDesign.
What Is the Main Purpose of Adobe Illustrator?
The primary purpose of Adobe Illustrator is to draw, design, and edit vector graphics. A vector graphic could be an illustration of a concept, a logo, or a graphic representation of text for a business card. The critical thing to note about vector graphics is that resizing is easy to do without stretching or comprising the quality of an image. For example, if you create an abstract design for your business card, the design can be enlarged to use on a t-shirt, and also reduced to use on a pen or stationery without sacrificing image quality.
Should I Use Photoshop or Illustrator?
The two primary reasons that a person may choose to learn Illustrator over Photoshop are to create artwork that will include text, or design a graphic image that will be used in multiple sizes. Adobe Illustrator is used for a variety of tasks including the following:
- Designing business cards
- Creating abstract graphics
- Making graphical representations of text or typography
- Creating print ads, posters, or notecards
- Creating logos
- Designing flyers, documents, or one-page texts
- Creating graphic cartoons
- Creating illustrations of objects or places
- Developing any graphic that will be used in multiple sizes
If you are doing any of the following tasks, Adobe Photoshop may be a better fit than Illustrator:
- Designing web banners
- Editing photos or creating GIFs
- Adding filters or special effects to photos
Adobe InDesign Vs. Illustrator
Both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign can be used to create documents. The most significant difference is that Adobe Illustrator is used for one-page flyers, posters, or banners with text that is incorporated into a design. The illustration and graphics creation capabilities are very limited in Adobe InDesign, as its primary purpose is document design and layout.
If you are doing any of the following tasks, Adobe InDesign may be a better fit than Illustrator:
- Designing layout for a print or digital book, magazine, or newspaper
- Creating a multiple page document, such as a PDF presentation or brochure
- Building a master document template to save and use again in the future
What Does Adobe Illustrator Do?
In an Adobe Illustrator course, you’ll learn a variety of skills to help you create, edit, and draw vector graphics, whether you are using Illustrator CC (cloud-based version) or the hardware version of Adobe Illustrator. Things you can do with Adobe Illustrator include:
- Create and edit shapes
- Transform objects
- Draw colorful graphics with the pen, pencil, paints and brush tools
- Work with layers to add depth to your designs
- Blend colors and shapes to form new objects
- Create different types of graphics, including a logo
- Design an illustrated sign
- Use a variety of techniques including drawing corners, curves, and lines
- Draw and adjust anchor points
- Trace and paint images
- Digitize hand drawn images
- Design a book cover
Adobe Illustrator works with Adobe companion products, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. Consider learning all three programs to develop a comprehensive skill set for a career in graphic design.