A bit about Illustrator

Illustrator; what is it good for?

Illustrator is used to create artistic type, logos and emblems as well as being used for illustrating. It’s rubbish for photo editing, which is what you use Photoshop or InDesign for. Images are resolution dependant. All you do is blow up the pixels and make them bigger and bigger.

Illustrator is one of the many handy tools you need to be equipped with in the graphics world, and it’s much easier if you know how to use it to your best abilities. The best way to do this is to just experiment. Create things. Anything. Just make things; good or bad. You’ll always learn something from it.

Vector and Raster; whats the difference?

Vector: Mathematical shaped based object. These are shape independent. Vector shapes automatically resize themselves. If you export as a JPG you are reverting it back to an image and it struggles to resize and will just pixelise.

Raster: These are pixel based. A raster image will distort and become more and more pixelated as you scale up.

You should always save as PDF as this saves both vectors and rasters. SVG scalable vector graphic: purely for web. If you design something for a phone but it opened on the web, it will automatically reshape to be applicable to web.

Shapes and bezier curves:

Illustrator doesn’t use pixels to build artwork, but uses shapes from anchor points and bezier curves instead. These are the little squares that appear when you draw a shape, this is why illustrator files are scalable. The anchor points always stay in their retrospective space meaning you can scale in any which way you want, the shape itself will always remain the same.

Tools of the trade:

Selection tool, direct selection tool and pen tool.

Automated to essentials, but it’s better to use Layout. This option has align and pathfinder.

Fun fact: The Twitter logo was formed using the pathfinder tool and a series of circles.

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Published by

Betsy

First year studying Graphic Design at Plymouth College of Art.

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