Illustrator CC15More Vectors Than You Can Shake A Stick At
Adobe Illustrator CC15
The newest test for Certiport- Illustrator is also one of Rob’s favorite apps. Like many PhotoShop™ users, when first learning it- he was frustrated with the tools and the different way of working! But once a designer learns how incredible Illustrator is- that you get to actually build infinitely scale-able images from scratch- you’ll be hooked!
Looking for the classic tutorials? Check ’em out here.
Guy Who Knows Some Stuff
Rob is the guy behind this site and these projects. What started as a classroom experiment led to this whole site dedicated to teaching design concepts to students and individuals! He’s fascinated by design, creative solutions to unique problems, and community dynamics. Though a successful educator, author, designer, and consultant- he enjoys his work as a father, friend, and mentor the most.
Project 1 - Intro
Illustrator 1- Intro to Illustrator CC15!
Get the low-down on Illustrator. How it works, how to set it up, and how to be super cool like me.Illustrator Quiz 1
- 101- Launch The App – Here’s how to get started and set up documents for printing at home or school, Including Quick Start Templates!!
- 102- Creating Document Presets – Awesome advanced tip for creting new document presets.
- 103- Getting to know Illustrator – Meet Illustrator and the Interface. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
- 104- Customize the Interface – Learn to set the interface and customize it to fit your needs!
- 105- SuperPower Shortcuts – Some critical shortcuts that every Illustrator user should know.
- 106- Vectors VS Pixels – Learn why Illustrator and Photoshop both exist. One’s a pickup, the other is a sportscar.
- 107- About Vectors – More about vectors, and understanding how math creates art. It’s paths vs appearance.
- 108- File Formats – Lean the file formats that keep the power of vectors.
Project 2 - Basics
Illustrator 2- Illustrator Basics
Learn the basics of Illustrator, how to use these super cool tools to create totally original art- straight from your noggin to the screen!Illustrator Quiz 2
- 201- Setup – Set up a new document and quick review of critical shortcuts I’ll use often.
- 202- Path and Pen Problems – The pen tool is weird. We’re skipping it for now- but in case you get stuck, here’s the way out.
- 203- Interface Learning Tricks – Use this trick to learn the panel icons when you’re getting started!
- 204- Text Technicalities – There are two kinds of text in the Illustrator world- learn the differences.
- 205- Formatting Characters – Learn the critical character settings- especially Kerning, Leading, and Spacing!
- 206- Paragraph Styles – Paragraph settings affect all text between two presses of the enter key- no matter how long.
- 207- Warped Tour – Have fun warping your text using the warp tools.
- 208- Edit Warped Text – Quick tips on editing your warped text.
- 209- About Outline Mode – Getting into the X-Ray view that reveals what’s actually underneath your design, amd understanding how Illustrator draws.
- 210- Vector Tweaks – Let’s break apart some text and learn about how vectors and Anchor points work.
- 211- Vector Calligrams – Learn how to tweak text using the vector tools to create fun single-word calligrams.
- 212- Groups, Outlines and Organization – Create pure vector files and learn to group objects to keep them together.
- 212a- Save Your Work! – A quick extra video on how to save your work to be sure you don’t lose anything!
Digging deeper with Shapes:
- 213- Line Tools – Lines, arcs, spirals, and a couple grids to keep you happy- and how to get your lines dressed for any occasion!
- 214- Shape Tools – Rectangles, Stars, Circles, and other basic geometric shapes.
- 215- Brush On, Brush Off – Dig into the brush and Blob Brush tools.
- 216- Pencil Tools and Friends – Some of the most basic, and one of the coolest tools in Illustrator.
- 217- Erase, Replace – Great song by the Foo Fighters, and a nice title for the Eraser tools in the Toolbar.
- 218- Reflecting and Rotating – Take your shapes for a spin, and change object size.
- 219- Distortion Tools – This set of reshaping tools distort your shapes.
- 220- Shape Builder and Live Paint – Explore Rob’s fave tool in Illustrator- the Shape Builder.
- 221- Eyedropper – This little guy often comes in handy, sucking up settings and copying to other objects.
- 222- Draw Eye Guy – Learn to combine the tools to create your own cartoon character!
- 223- Stacking Order and Arranging – Learn the CRITICAL skill of how to arrange and stack your objects.
- 224- Mission Challenge – Create your own custom cartoon or drawing using the tools you’ve learned- a few tips in here.
- 225- Save Your Work! – Save as an Illustrator file as well as exporting for web.
Project 3 - Logos and Design
Illustrator 3- Logos and Design
Learning about design is life changing. You begin to see things in terms of visual design, and you’re so much more aware of all the great beauty and design around you. This series mixes some great tips on creativity and design, and build a logo at the same time!Illustrator CC15 Quiz 3
- 301- Setup – Set up a new document with artboards.
- 302- Enter your Initials – We’ll make a logo with your initials. Get some tips here about how text and fonts influence your design.
- 303- Nothing is Something! – Learn to see nothing as something with Negative Space!
- 304- Creativity Cheat Sheet– Find the resources on Brainbuffet that will help you start to engage your creative brain!
- 305- Bending Your Letters– Learn to combine objects and group them together for creativity.
- 306- Synectic Triggers and Shape Builder – Stuck? Use the Synectic Triggers to help jog creative ideas when you’re stuck- and use the Shape Builder tool to make it happen!
- 307- Go Low– Get 5-10 ideas with uppercase letters- then go lowercase!
- 308- On Creativity… – A quick note from Rob on Creativity. DO. NOT. QUIT! (adobe Video)
- 309- Mix It Up and Shortcuts – Mix upper and lowercase- and also get some shortcuts from Rob.
- 310- Shape Up – Add some shapes in there to get things happening!
- 311- Warp and Distort – Get even more shapes by distorting and transforming the ones you already know how to build!
- 312- Iterate! -Here’s how you get to level 2… experiment with and combine your first ideas to level up!
- 313- Save multiple versions -Save your document, and then save for earlier versions with limited artboards.
- 314- Save for the web -Save a single artboard for the web and wrap it up!
Project 4 - Badges
Illustrator 4- Badges
This set of tutorials gives you some great tips and tricks on working with lines and geometric shapes, tweaking logos, and organizing more effectively when working- Tons of new tips and tricks ahead!
We recommend taking the quiz before the tutorials AND after. This will help you know what to look for and also helps review you caught everything you need. Our quizzes are for LEARNING AND REVIEW! We know there are occasionally some errors in grading, so be sure to review any answers marked wrong- it might just be a grading glitch! (and it helps you guys focus on the review more!)AI15- Quiz 4
- 401- Get Inspired – Good artists borrow. Great artists steal! Learn to get some inspiration before working!
- 402- Setup Page and Rulers – Set up a document for print- and learn to show the rulers and set your units of measure.
- 403- “Guide”-ed Tour – Learn to set up basic guides on a document.
- 404- Your First Badge– Creating a simple badge layout to get started.
- 405- Adding Badge Text– Add text to begin your first badge- pay attention to Rob’s design tips and tricks!
- 406- Lines and Shapes – Adding the graphic elements to your design- Killer tricks in here too!
- 407- Effects on vectors – Adding Effects to your vectors to add a little zig and a little zag.
- 408- Figuring out the Middle – There’s more than one way to skin a cat… or a badge.
- 409- Stoked about Stroke – Kind of a longer video- but with at least 3 amazing tricks that many people don’t learn for years! Be sure to catch all these tricks if you want to truly master Strokes.
- 410- Stroke Ninjas – Two more incredible tricks about strokes and leveling up with the appearance panel.
- 411- Flags and Banners – Information about flags and banners. See what I did there?
- 412- Text on Paths – Twist your words… literally.
- 413- Live Corners and Effects – extend some of your geometric shapes with Live corners and Effects to modify them.
- 414- Find the Path to Awesome Shapes – Use the Pathfinder to create infinite different shapes by combining the basics.
- 415- Extra Tricks for your Toolbag – Here are a few more tips and tricks before I set you off on your own to create cool and creative ORIGINAL designs!
- 416- Going OG (Original Graphics) – We’ve finished about half of our 8 logos… now your turn. Knock down some new ideas, grasshopper!
- 417- Save Your Faves – save all your work, then save a copy with your fave three badges
- 418- Expand Text in Isolation Mode – Almost forgot this important step to preserve our text appearance and review isolation mode while we’re at it.
- 419- Symbols, Layers, and Sublayers, Oh My!!! – Quick intro to symbols and organizing documents- More on this later, but get the basic concepts down now so it’s a little easier when we’re on more complex projects.
- 420- Save For Screens – BRAND NEW FEATURE for Illustrator CC2015! Such a time saver!
Project 5 - Biz Cards
Illustrator 5- Business Cards
Working with print files, artboards, and some cool tricks and tips about team working and linked files.
Here’s another quiz. We sttongly recommend taking the quiz before the lessons and again after! This is proven to help you retain more of the content you’ll need to pass the certification because it preps you to look for key concepts, and also helps you review any core skills you might have missed!Illustrator CC15 Quiz 5
- 501- Holy Mac! – These tutorials done on the Mac. You can celebrate or complain as long as you deal with it!
- 502- Setup for Commercial Press – Here’s the tricks you need to know for setting up a document with bleed.
- 503- Guide me to your Rulers – Setting up guides for print, and working with the rulers.
- 504- Using Grids to help align your artboards – Turn on and use grids to make life easy.
- 505- Setting up your Background – Creating color backgrounds on Illustrator Documents. Easier than you think.
- 506- Text Me – Add some text to your business cards and a text refresher.
- 507- Placing like a Pro – Working with linked files, and breaking them when you need to.
- 508- Pasting like a Noob – When linking/unlinking is a problem, do it noob style- copy and paste.
- 509- Working with Panels – Tweak up your interface to learn your way around and prep to dig in!
- 510- Throwing Shadows – Drop shadows are fine if they’re not overused- and watch the double-bagging of effects!
- 511- Fading into Gradients – Add and customise gradients to throw shade on one end of an element.
- 512- Get some Style – Graphic Styles are a way to save your fave effects.
- 513- UPDATE TO CC17 – Let’s go on an (up)date together to CC17.
- 514- Finish your Text – add some text and finish up your card layout (and learn the fake bold trick!).
- 515 – Tweaking Text for Audiences – When tweaking your settings for text, think about the audience and what you want to emphasize.
- 516 – Working in 1 Color – A few tricks and tips on designing a card when limited to a single color – Perfect for labs with a press where you’re designing for a single-color press.
- 517 – Cheap Challenge – a quick trick for using negative space to make single-color feel like 2 color work.
- 518 – Workspace Setup Review – I jumped to the mac and want my workspace back! Let’s review setting up a workspace and tweaking or updating your layout.
- 519 – STAY ORGANIZED! – Seriously, you’ve gotta start the habit now or pay with interest later.
- 520 – United We Stand – Eyedropper, Global Colors, and Symbols to keep objects unified in your documents.
- 521- Save like a Pro – Learn about multiple ways to save your document to share with other professionals or your printing company to avoid problems.
- 522- Save for the web – Setup your color space and learn to save into files that are great for the web, screens, and home or office printers.
Project 6 - Traced Poster Design
Illustrator 6- Traced Poster
Working with print files, artboards, and some cool tricks and tips about team working and linked files.
Take the quiz to prep yourself to listen for the core concepts you need, as well as helping you review anything you missed when you take it again at the end. Our quizzes are proven to increase your test scores if you review your wrong answers at the end! Also remember that sometimes the quizzes mark an answer wrong when you got it right. We’re looking into it, but be sure to review wrong answers at the end- you might have gotten it right!
- 601- Linking Photoshop Docs – Import a linked Photoshop document.
- 602- Copyright Concerns – Here’s the down-low on copyright.
- 603- Trace that Thang – Tracing raster images in Illustrator.
- 604- Layers Review and Pro Tips – Master Layers to master control over your documents.
- 605- Clipping Masks – Virtual Vector Cookie Cutters.
- 606- Opacity Masks – Invisibility Cloaking for your Illustrator Content.
- 607- Blending Basics – A little clean up and one of the coolest tools in PS to play with.
- 608- Symbol Sprayer – Create Photoshop-like scatter brushes using the symbol sprayer!
- 609- Creating Custom Brushes… the basics – awesome tips for custom brushes!
- 610- 3D basics – Enter a new design dimension using the 3D tool.
- 611- Photoshop Effects – The basics on Photoshop effects in Photoshop.
- 612- Update to Illustrator CC18 – Intro to CC18- brand new release!
- 613- Rob’s Design Challenge- Watch Rob create a poster from scratch using the tools in this tutorial in super-speed. (notes and tips included!)
- 614- Save and export a slice- Export a slice of your image for your portfolio and save your final design.
Project 7 - Pen Mastery
Illustrator 7- Pen Mastery
Here’s the intro to AMAZING illustrator work. These quick projects will help you learn how the pen works and develop some good habits for working with Illustrator. TRUST ME- even though some of these projects seem a little monotonous, it’s like coaching in sports. We’re trying to develop some muscle memory for you on important skills to have when editing vectors! Just do it and partner up with a friend. Knock them down fast and develop the skills for mastering the pen.
You’ll also need these files for these projects:Download The Files
- 701- Downloading and Using Work Files – Get the down-low on how to download and use our project files for this project.
- 702- Pen Basics – Two simple exercises to teach you the basics of the Pen tool.
- 703- Pen Workout – 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on Illustrator skills. Trust me!
- 704 – Closed Paths – Learn the other trick to close out shapes and create more in Illustrator.
- 705- Throwing Curves – This is where the rubber meets the road! This is THE illustrator mastery skill. It’s just an intro, but the first steps on an important road!
- 706- CMYK WARS!!! – A fun game to teach you to get used to “throwing” curves in illustrator!
- 707 – The Maze Challenge – Learn to master your curves and also get a new trick!
- 708 – Manga Man Challenge – Mix your vector Skills and your Layers skills in this challenge!!
- 709 – Wrapping your Head around the Pen – Tracing irregular multi-curve shapes with the Pen Tool. Rob explains some great tips in here you’ll need for the next project!
- 710 – Cheat Like an Artist! – Good artists use every shortcut and cheat they can! When it comes to design, there are no rules!
- 711 – The Curvature Tool – Learn about a new tool and some more cheats and hacks along with Rob!
Want a real challenge? Try to create a self portrait using our tutorials from CC (the original CC release in 2014). The Pen works the same as it always has… the project is really about mastering the tool and creating an awesome self portrait. Check out our STUDENT SELF-PORTRAIT PORTFOLIO and the ILLUSTRATOR ORIGINALS PORTFOLIO for examples of amazing work using the Pen!