2 Days

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Introduction Course

Learn the basic elements that make up vector graphics – paths, strokes and fills – and examine how to use Illustrator’s powerful drawing tools. Learn to create complex shapes from simple paths and trace bitmap images and line art. The course also explores the benefits of using layers and symbols, and shows how to edit text and draw in perspective. The course finishes off with an explanation of how to output your work in several formats and use Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign.

Learners do not need to have any prior knowledge of using Adobe Illustrator. You should be comfortable using a computer for general use, such as basic keyboard and mouse skills, opening files and folders, and launching applications.

1. Getting Started

  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Setting preferences
  • Touring the interface
  • Exploring the panels
  • Working with the Control panel
  • Creating and saving workspaces

2. Working with Documents

  • Creating files for print
  • Creating files for the web
  • Navigating within a document
  • Using rulers, guides, and grids
  • Changing units of measurement
  • Locking and hiding artwork
  • Creating and using artboards

3. Selecting and Transforming Objects

  • Setting your selection preferences
  • Using the Magic Wand tool
  • Using the Lasso tool
  • Selecting objects by attribute
  • Grouping objects
  • Using isolation mode
  • Resizing your artwork

4. Working with Colour

  • RGB vs. CMYK
  • Adjusting Illustrator colour settings
  • Process vs. global swatches
  • Creating spot colours Using the swatch groups
  • Working with colour libraries Importing swatches
  • Using the Colour Guide panel

5. Working with Fills and Strokes

  • Understanding fills and strokes
  • Working with fills
  • Working with strokes
  • Creating dashes and arrows

6. Working with Paths

  • Understanding paths
  • Understanding anchor points
  • Open and closed paths
  • Joining and averaging paths
  • Using the Knife and Scissors tools

7. Creating Shapes

  • Understanding drawing modes
  • Creating compound paths
  • Creating compound shapes
  • Working with the Shape Builder tool
  • Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
  • Smoothing and erasing paths

8. The Pen Tool

  • Exploring the Pen tool
  • Drawing straight lines
  • Drawing simple curves
  • Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
  • Converting corners and curves
  • Tracing artwork with the Pen tool

9. Using Type in Illustrator

  • Adjusting your type settings
  • Creating point and area text
  • Basic text editing
  • Creating threaded text Using the type panels
  • Creating text on a path
  • Converting text into paths

10. Exploring the Appearance panel

  • Attribute stacking order explained
  • Applying multiple fills
  • Applying multiple strokes
  • Adjusting appearance with live effects
  • Saving appearances as graphic styles

11. Working with Layers

  • Exploring the Layers panel
  • Creating and editing layers
  • Targeting objects in the Layers panel
  • Working with sublayers
  • Using the Layers panel menu

12. Working with Images

  • Placing images into Illustrator
  • Working with the Links panel
  • Embedding images into Illustrator
  • Cropping images with a mask
  • Exploring the Image Trace panel
  • Tracing photographs
  • Tracing line art
  • Converting pixels to paths

13. Creating and Using Symbols

  • What are symbols?
  • Using prebuilt symbols
  • Using the Symbol Sprayer
  • Creating new symbols
  • Breaking the symbol link
  • Redefining symbols

14. Drawing in Perspective

  • Defining a perspective grid
  • Drawing artwork in perspective
  • Applying artwork to the grid

15. Printing, Saving, and Exporting

  • Printing your artwork
  • Saving your artwork
  • Saving in legacy formats
  • Saving templates
  • Creating PDF files
  • Saving for the web
  • Creating high-res bitmap images
  • Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign

1 Day

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Advanced Course

We start by demonstrating how to effectively manage layers, clipping groups and swatches so as to efficiently swap out colours and content. To follow; the creation of customized strokes and patterns, and the building of complex gradients with transparency and dynamic effects, applying these features to paths, groups and editable text to create professional quality artwork. Live Paint and its Pathfinder operations will be also addressed. The course finishes by showing you how to prepare projects for print and save them for distribution on the web.

Learners should be comfortable using Adobe Illustrator for most of the topics covered in our Introduction course.

1. Layers and Groups

  • Containers that give you control
  • Objects and layers
  • Creating and using sublayers
  • Creating 3D type as a group
  • Selecting and working inside groups
  • Creating clipping groups
  • Working in an isolation mode
  • Applying effects to groups and layers

2. Swatches and Stacking Order

  • How swatches and stacking works
  • Multiple views and power duplication
  • Lifting a colour and creating a swatch
  • Creating and using global swatches
  • Searching swatches by name
  • Managing swatches
  • Assigning and eyedropping colours
  • Trapping your art with rich blacks

3. Strokes, Dashes, and Arrows

  • The Stroke panel
  • Caps, joins, and miter limits
  • Dashes and arrowheads
  • Width tool to vary line weight
  • Closed path outlines
  • Making coupon borders with scissors
  • Combining dashes with round caps
  • Masking patterns inside backgrounds
  • Creating tapering rules

4. Gradients and the Gradient Tool

  • How gradients work
  • Gradient fills
  • Using the Gradient tool and annotator
  • Editing multiple gradients at a time
  • Establishing symmetrical gradients
  • Creating a radial gradient
  • Adjusting the midpoint skew

5. Mixing gradients with blend modes

  • Adding transparency to a gradient
  • Applying and editing dynamic effects
  • Assigning a gradient to editable text
  • Editing dynamic-effect text
  • The three gradient stroke option
  • Linear spirals using Polar Grid tool
  • Preparing to make a pattern
  • Using the Pattern Generator
  • Tile types: Grid, Brick, and Hex
  • The Size Tile to Art and Overlap

6. Align and Distribute

  • Alignment and distribution
  • Snapping anchor points together
  • Aligning a group to the artboard
  • Distributing objects across artboard
  • Aligning to a fixed key object
  • Specifying distributing amount
  • Optically aligning objects
  • Adding a credible 3D cast shadow

7. Live Paint and Interlocking Paths

  • Managing overlapping areas
  • Introducing Live Paint
  • Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket
  • Using the Live Paint Selection tool
  • Adding paths to a Live Paint object

8. Building a Celtic knot

  • Weaving a path outline into another
  • Creating a path that overlaps itself
  • Painting a path that overlaps itself
  • Combining gradients and depth
  • Swapping Live Paint fills and strokes
  • Casting shadows in Live Paint
  • Placing Photoshop Images
  • Illustrator and photographic images
  • Scaling and cropping
  • Cropping an image
  • Image borders and colourizing
  • Creating a trendy gradient page curl
  • Photoshop images with transparency

1 Day

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Infographics Course

Infographics help visualise your data and tell a story. In this course we show you how to design charts, graphs and other infographic components in Adobe Illustrator. We demonstrate some sources of data that you can use in production workflow, and reveal key components of great information design. We take you through the various types of tools, charts, and functions that you can use in infographics, and how to output your final product.

Learners should be comfortable using Adobe Illustrator for most of the topics covered in our Introduction course.

1. Key Concepts

  • What is an infographic?
  • Storytelling with data and graphic design
  • Online data sources for infographics
  • Companion tools for creating infographics
  • Top five infographic tips

2. Illustrator Tools for Infographics

  • Why use Illustrator for infographics?
  • Illustrator symbols
  • Illustrator Dynamic Symbols
  • Symbolism tools
  • Illustrator graphs
  • Illustrator graph anatomy

3. Illustrator Chart Essentials

  • Choosing the appropriate graph
  • Getting data into Illustrator
  • Illustrator graph settings
  • Defining the value axis for a chart
  • Using graphic styles with charts
  • Text styles and charts
  • Creating and applying a column design
  • Making a rounded column
  • Creating and applying a data marker
  • Adding numeric values with column designs
  • Using charts as a starting point

4. Creating Infographics: Charts

  • Planning your infographic
  • Setting up a document
  • Using a bar graph
  • Using a line graph
  • Using an area graph
  • Using a scatter plot
  • Using a radar plot

5. Creating Infographics: Graphic Elements

  • Creating simple icons
  • Challenge: Shapes
  • Solution: Shapes
  • Creating color themes
  • Appearances and graphic styles
  • Symbols and 9-slice scaling
  • Dynamic symbols for variation
  • Scale and area

6. The Final Product

  • Export options
  • Print
  • Digital
  • SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

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