To Begin

Vector vs. Pixel

There are two main types of applications that you will use to create and edit pictures and graphics:

  1. Pixel – “raster” programs like PhotoShop that allow you to edit pictures using a series of pixels
  2. Vector – “object” programs like Illustrator that allow you to create and edit object using a series of lines and fills

Drawings created in vector programs like Illustrator are composed of separate, distinct and mathematically defined objects that can be edited and re-sized without compromising resolution.

Vector objects have smooth sharp edges regardless of the size that they are displayed – the resolution will depend on the output media like a printer or the screen.

In Illustrator, the key building blocks that you will be using are the Bézier object – composed of anchor points connected by curved or straight lines that may or may not be filled:
ITC298 Vector Graphic m2 Pimento

Where you can see that the “e” is highlighted – showing the anchor points, lines and fill

Creating Files

Launching Illustrator

Within your applications folder you will find the Adobe Illustrator folder:
ITC298 AI icon

Double click the Adobe Illustrator icon inside that folder

Setting up the Panels

Setting Adobe Illustrator Preferences

Creating a New Document

Once Adobe Illustrator has launched you will want to create a new document by selecting  from the Top Menu: File > New Document. This will bring up the New Document Dialogue box

:
ITC298 AI New Document Dialog BoxHere you will be able to name your new document, chose its size & orientation and choose your color mode

The Document Window

Now that you have created a new document, lets take a look at some of its properties:
ITC298 AI New DocumentHere we can see the title of our new document, the Artboard, the Printable Page and Rulers. Turn rulers on by choosing from the Top Menu: View > Show Rulers

Saving the Document

Next, you should save your document – choose File > Save
Save file where desired

Tools

Note: we will be looking at just some of the tools that we will be using in this class – see different weeks for more

Selection Tool

The Selection tool will be your “Go To” here in Illustrator
ITC298 AI m2 Selection ToolThere are two different types of selection tools:

  1. Selection (General) – (black arrow)  to select entire objects or groups of objects
  2. Direct Selection – (white arrow) to select parts of objects, anchor points and the Bézier curve handlebars

Rectangle & Ellipse Tool

Rectangle tool will allow you to draw rectangles and squares:ITC298 AI m2 Rectangle ToolDouble click the rectangle tool then click on the art board, to get a dialogue box to specify the exact size of rectangle

Ellipse tool will allow you to draw ellipses and circle:
ITC298 AI m2 Ellipse ToolDouble click the oval tool then click on the art board, to get a dialogue box to specify the exact size of ellipse

Pen Tool

The Pen tool will allow you to draw more complex object by plotting points and using Bézier curved lines:
ITC298 AI m2 Pen Tool

Type Tool

The Type tool will allow you to create and edit type:
ITC298 AI m2 Type Tool

Line Segment Tool

The Line Segment tool will allow you to draw straight lines:
ITC298 AI m2 Line Tool

Paint Brush & Pencil Tools

The Paint Brush & Pencil tools will allow you to draw much more free-form lines with different textures:
ITC298 AI m2 Paint Brush and Pencil Tool

Rotate Tool

Once you have drawn an object you may use the Rotate tool to rotate the orientation of the object:
ITC298 AI m2 Rotate Tool
If you select your object and use the Rotate tool you will be able to rotate your object to an exact angle using the Rotate Guide Box:
ITC298 AI m2 Rotate Tool in Use

Scale Tool

Once you have drawn an object you may use the Scale tool to scale the size of the object:
ITC298 AI m2 Scale Tool
If you select your object and use the Scale tool you will be able to scale your object to a percentage scale using the Scale Guide Box:
ITC298 AI m2 Scale Tool in Use

Fill & Stroke Tools

The Fill & Stroke tool will allow you to select the color, pattern or gradient of the fill & stroke of your object:
ITC298 AI m2 Fill and Stroke Tool

Palettes

Swatches Palette

You can use the Swatches palette to choose and store default and user-defined colors:
ITC298 AI m2 Swatches Palette
When you have an object selected, you can select either the Fill or Stroke color (via tools) then select your color. You have a variety of pre-defined swatches: web, Pantone, etc.

Color Palette

When you have a color selected in the Swatches palette, you will see the values of that color in the Color palette:
ITC298 AI m2 Color Palette
Here you may change the values of the selected color and make new colors based from the selected one by dragging the new color to the Swatch palette.

Gradient Palette

The Gradient palette will allow you to edit and store gradients:
ITC298 AI m2 Gradiant Palette

Stroke Palette

The Stroke palette will allow you to control the weight of your object’s stroke:
ITC298 AI m2 Stroke Palette
You may also add arrow heads and create dashed lines using the Stroke palette.

Info Palette

The Info palette will allow you to see the position of your object on the Artboard, the size of the object and its color value:
ITC298 AI m2 Info Palette

Layers Palette

The Layers palette will allow you to add and delete layers and sub-layers to your document:
ITC298 AI m2 Layers Palette
You can also use the Layers palette to select, hide, show, lock and re-stack your layers.

Character Palette

The Character palette will allow you to choose the desired font, size and leading of your type:
ITC298 AI m2 Character Palette

Paragraph Palette

The Paragraph palette will allow you to control the justification and hyphenation of your type:
ITC298 AI m2 Paragraph Palette

Align Palette

The Align palette will allow you to align and distribute multiple objects:
ITC298 AI m2 Align Palette

Pathfinder Palette

The Pathfinder palette will allow you to create new, editable shapes from selected objects:
ITC298 AI m2 Pathfinder Palette

Transform Palette

The Transform palette will allow you to edit the position, size and angles of an existing object:
ITC298 AI m2 Transform Palette