Adobe Illustrator: Tips and Tricks

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  1. When creating a logo for a modern website it’s a good idea to use Adobe Illustrator or another program that can create and manipulate vector art to generate an SVG file rather than a photo editing app like Adobe Photoshop that is used to edit and manipulate pixels. The reason to use SVG for a logo and other assets is that SVGs can scale to many different sizes without losing quality and can be manipulated by JavaScript and CSS. In this post I will go over the steps to create a vector logo in Adobe Illustrator and convert it to SVG to be used on your website and lastly how to modify it via code to change size and color.

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  2. The Gradient Tool works with the Gradient Panel. The panel is where the gradient type and colors are specified. The tool is used to adjust the appearance of the gradient.

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  3. Gradient Meshes allow for very flexible and detailed application of color to objects. A Gradient Mesh creates a grid inside the object that follows the contour. Color can then be applied to grid points, and different colors between grid points feather into each other.

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  4. One of the great things about using Adobe Creative Suite is that the programs integrate so nicely. If a graphic component has been created in Photoshop that will be used in an Illustrator layout, the Photoshop layers can be imported as Illustrator sublayers where other effects can be applied.

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  5. Live Paint is a function in Illustrator that allows fill color to be applied separately to overlapping sections in a group of objects.

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  6. The Perspective Grid tools in Illustrator allows you to create three-dimensional looking art to represent what would be see by the human eye in an environmental setting, such as signage on a building. This tutorial will show how to control the grid, then add basic shape and text.

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  7. Creating a variable width stroke is one technique that is often used to give a art a more organic, or hand-drawn look by letting you make the line thicker or thinner in different spots. If you create a varied stroke that you really like, the stroke can be saved for use in other projects.

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  8. There are several types of graphs that can be created in Illustrator. There are also many hidden features that can be used to make a graph more interesting. In this tutorial, line graphs will be explored.

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  9. Art brushes in Illustrator stretch artwork along a path. A pattern brush repeats the art on the path and even allows you to define different art for different sections of the path, such as endpoints, corners and runs. You can also create pattern brushes from raster image files.

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  10. Adobe Illustrator's Isolation Mode is used to edit objects or paths within a sublayer, compound path, group, or symbol. When Isolation Mode is entered, anything not within the isolated object will appear dimmed out. There will also be a gray isolation bar at the top of the document window.

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  11. Spot colors are specially blended inks that are used in commercial printing when color consistency is critical. Color that is manufactured from cyan, magenta, yellow and black can vary throughout the course of a print run. Spot color is also used for metallic or neon colors. In most of the western world, the Pantone® Matching System is the industry standard.

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  12. The Draw Inside Mode in Illustrator lets you create graphics inside graphics, such as stripes within text, or images within shapes. The biggest thing to remember when using Draw Inside is to switch back to the Draw Normal mode when you're finished.

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  13. >p>There are two methods for finding and changing things. The Find and Replace function in Illustrator works with text and is similar to others you may have used, but with some added features. There are also Select Same functions that are useful when changing the attributes of objects.

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  14. There are many methods that can be used to break shapes apart in Illustrator. In this post, we'll explore ways the Pathfinder Panel can create compound paths, or split shapes into divided, separate objects.

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  15. Named for Pierre Bézier, Bezier curves are mathematical formulas for defining curved lines, and form the basis for nearly all vector drawing programs. Bezier curves employ at least three points: two endpoints that are called anchor points which define the span of the line segment, with at least one additional point called a handle to control the bend of the curve.

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  16. Although Illustrator was never intended as a layout and typography program, it can certainly be used for simple multi-page documents. In this example, the structure for a trifold brochure will be created.

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  17. The Shape Builder Tool, which was added in Illustrator CS5, allows you to combine multiple shapes in various. You can merge shapes, as well as subtract one shape from another.

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  18. The Group Selection Tool is used to modify individual objects in a group with out having to first ungroup.

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  19. The spell-check in Illustrator is similar to other spell checkers you may have used.

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  20. Photographic images are raster, or bitmap files. The Image Trace Panel in Illustrator allows you to convert those images into vector graphics, which are then resolution-independent and compatible for large-format output. There are a various options for controlling how realistic the illustration will appear.

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  21. The Global Color option in Illustrator allows you to make dynamic changes to the color after it has been applied to artwork, and all instances of use will be updated.

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  22. The Layers Panel in Illustrator allows you to organize and manage complex artwork. Sublayers are the objects create on a layer.

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  23. Adobe Animate is a vector-based application, as is Adobe Illustrator, so the two programs are often used in tandem. Illustrator provides the robust drawing tools that allow creation of richly detailed art, while Animate puts that art to action. Illustrator files can be imported to either the stage or the Library.

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  24. Illustrator provides tools and commands for merging multiple paths together. In this tutorial, we'll look at ways of combining open paths using the Join command.

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  25. Artboards are the pages in Illustrator. You can have multiple artboards in a file at different sizes, if needed, up to a width of 227 inches.

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  26. Creating a new file in Illustrator is easy. Follow the steps below.

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  27. Color groups are useful for organizing custom color swatches into manageable collections that can be exported as user libraries. You can also use color groups to make global color corrections to artwork.

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  28. Illustrator comes with templates for all kinds of promotional media - everything from brochures and business cards, to t-shirts, disk labels and boxes. In this tutorial, a template will be used to start the packaging design for a carton.

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  29. Hidden characters identify the white space in text, such as paragraph returns, the space between words, tabs, etc. Showing those characters can be useful when proofing a project, or during a Find/Replace operation.

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  30. Many designers start with a sketch, then scan it to recreate as vector art in Illustrator. Placing the sketch as a template has several advantages.

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  31. There are different techniques for creating three-dimensional renderings of art work in Illustrator. This is particularly useful for packaging and environmental designers. In this tutorial, the Extrude & Bevel effect will be used.

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  32. Text can continue from one text frame to the next. This tutorial will explain how to link text frames.

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  33. The primary reason you might want to convert text to outlines is to make the text independent of system fonts installed on any given computer.

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  34. If you know that the next object you create needs to be behind another object already created, use the Draw Behind mode.

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  35. Generating web graphics from Illustrator used to be a tedious process that involved creating web slices (pieces) of the art, then saving those slices in a web-optimized format. Adobe has made that process much simpler.

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  36. Custom pattern swatches can be created from shapes in Illustrator. In CC versions, a Pattern Options Panel was added to allow greater flexibility.

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  37. There are different methods for warping objects in Illustrator. You can use a preset warp shape, or you can make an "envelope" out of an object you create on the artboard. Let's look at both.

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  38. There are various tools and techniques for editing letter shapes. Some methods leave the text intact, and therefore editable. Others require the text be converted outlines, or graphic shapes. In this tutorial, examples of both method's will be looked at.

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