Adobe Illustrator Speed Course: Increase Workflow & Efficiency | Jon Brommet | Skillshare

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Adobe Illustrator Speed Course: Increase Workflow & Efficiency

teacher avatar Jon Brommet, Crusoe Design Co.

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Image Cropping & File Size Reducing


    • 3.

      Creating a Custom Workspace


    • 4.

      Awesome & Kick Ass Shortcuts PDF


    • 5.

      Creating Custom Templates


    • 6.

      Using the Type on Path Tool


    • 7.

      Creating Custom Swatches


    • 8.

      The Mind Blowing Appearance Panel


    • 9.

      Creating Custom Symbols


    • 10.

      Align To Key Object


    • 11.

      The Dynamic Measuring Tool


    • 12.

      Astute Graphics Plugin Discount Code


    • 13.

      Simple Dashed Lines


    • 14.

      The Smart Removal Brush


    • 15.

      Global Colors


    • 16.

      Outro & Thanks!


    • 17.

      A Message From Future Jon


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About This Class

Learn my top tricks for using Adobe Illustrator with super speed. Your workflow will never be the same again. Illustrator has some great futures including quick keys, shortcuts, custom tool bars, workspaces, symbols, swatches, and more. With a little practice and setup, you'll be using Illustrator with far more comfort and efficiency moving forward. Time is money, why not make things faster?

Get the free Illustrator Shortcuts .pdf in the Class Project section as well.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jon Brommet

Crusoe Design Co.

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hey, what's up internet? My name is Jon Brommet, and welcome to Adobe Illustrator speed course. In this course, I'm going to be teaching you how to use Adobe Illustrator as efficiently as possible and how to save a lot of time on things that you are probably doing on a day-to-day basis, but maybe not the fastest way. I'm also going to teach you things like setting up your workspace, setting up custom toolbars, how to set up custom swatches, symbols, and ways to just really make sure that every day, you're saving some time. This class is mostly aimed towards intermediate users who are using Illustrator every day, and they just may not have the time to go through all those menus, to read the manuals, and to research every new tool and even old tools that are kind of hidden in sub-menus. That's what I spend my time doing. Instead of during client work, I'm going through and I'm trying to learn as much as I can so that I can relay that information to you. There's a lot of different information in this class. In fact, I probably packed it full of too much information. Although this class is aimed towards intermediate, there is some beginner information like how to type on a path, how do you some quick keys, and how to use things like dash lines. But even for the intermediate student who may find some of that boring, there is information in here like the appearance panel, which you may be comfortable in, but didn't realize how much you can actually do in it and how much you can make fully editable, especially if you're doing type. You can go in there and change it and it'll be foolproof if a client comes back and changes some artwork and wants you to make some changes that normally would have taken you a long time, are now going to be really quick and easy. I'm also going to talk about some really cool plug-ins by Astute Graphics that makes using Adobe Illustrator even easier and faster. I can't get to all the things that I put it in this class. It's a long one, but there's lots of good information. Without further ado, let's get into the class. 2. Image Cropping & File Size Reducing: Hello and welcome to the class. This class is all about making you a faster Adobe Illustrator, there's lots of different ways to be faster and more efficient. There's setting up your workspace, setting up your toolbar, learning Quick Keys, having an idea of how to use actions, there's definitely lots little tips that you may not know, different ways to do things that you're used to doing, and just little ways to try and make your life a little faster, a little easier, a little smoother. This is going to be great for intermediate and even experts because the experts don't necessarily have time to learn each new thing that comes out with each new revision. They don't have time necessarily to go through every panel and learn every button and every little hidden feature and it would be a lie to say that even I know them all, at this point, even though I've actually gone pretty far out my way now to try and learn a lot of the little hidden things and pay a little more attention, than I think even most experts would. But that's my job to try and teach you guys and to basically try and learn what I think is the best way to do something and I'm not always going to be right. But the idea is that the more I know, the more I can teach you and make your lives a little easier so that you don't have to spend hours reading boring manuals.[ LAUGHTER ]. The first thing I want to do is hit you with a really quick tip. This one is specific to Adobe Illustrator CC 2017. I believe the version that came out in April was the first to introduce this and that is to crop an image. Now, if you are using an older version of Adobe Illustrator, do not close or quit this course, don't worry. Most of these are going to be open to lots of different versions of illustrator. This one in particular just happens to be specific to the new version. I think it's actually the only one, in this class that is specific to the newest version of Adobe Illustrator. The good thing about this is when you are doing work for clients or doing work for other people you're going to have to send them a file. Keeping an eye on the file size can be important and sometimes what you want to do is to shrink a file down as much as possible or try just eliminate possible errors. Now, there's a lot of different ways to do that and I'm not going to get into all of them but I'm going to show you one way to fairly quickly reduce file size and be able to send it to a client faster and save some space on the Cloud or whatever way you're going to send it to them. What I'm going to do right now, is I'm going to get the info on this exact file and I will bring it up, I'm using a dual monitor, lets bring it up here. You can see that at this point right now this file is 67.7 megabytes. We can actually get that down quite a bit by just doing a couple of things and that is cropping some images. This is a fairly high-resolution image and it is going beyond the artboard. We can actually reduce that. It doesn't need to be that high. One way to do that is just to go to this crop image tool. This is new, in older versions of Illustrator, you had to either bring them into Photoshop and crop them there or you would just use mass but the image was still be off the edge and therefore the data's still there, therefore your file's still big. In doing this is destructive. You can't move the image afterwards. You can finalizing your artwork. For that reason, I do recommend saving a second file. Yes, this isn't going to save space on your actual computer, per say, but it's going to save space and time when sending it over the internet to somebody and it's going to also be a way of making sure that people don't mess up your artwork. Because when they open it and if they were to shift things, they can't basically. What we're going to do is we're going to crop this background image. I have my smart guides on, if you've taken any of my other classes, you know I love smart guys, that's command U. I'm just going to drag it down and because the smart guide is on, it snaps exactly to that point. I've seen a lot of beginning designers that don't use smart guides and they miss those a little bit and you might get a hairline. You want to make sure your arts really clean or at least crop it a little bit off of the edge. If you're not comfortable with smart guides. We're just dragging them and you can see they're nicely snapping to the edge there and it's that simple, we just hit "Enter" and now, that image is exactly cropped to the outer edge of this hierarchy, there's no image going beyond it. Now in this speed, however, if we double-click a couple of times, we're going to go into that group and you'll see that I have this image of the car, that's what I was using and make that texture. If I go to command Y, that's my wireframe, that's control wiring a PC, If I forget to say control at some point, basically, command on a Mac is the same as control on a PC, and option on a Mac is the same as Alt on a PC. If I say the Mac version, you should hopefully know that the PC version by that, again, assuming you're in intermediate anyway. We're just going to drag this down and rather than go right to the edge, I'll just go a tiny bit past. Just give me a little bit of wiggle room, give myself a little bit of safety. But basically, I mean wireframe so I can see the edge of the word speed. I know where I can crop this. I hit "Enter" and there you go. I'm still using my high-rise images. Everything is basically the same. I'm just cropping the excess data that didn't need to be there. Reminder that it was 67.7 megabytes. I'm going to go ahead and hit "Save". We'll just give it a second, of course, how fast it goes depends on your computer and there we go. If I go down here and I hit "Get Info Again", that file is 16.4 megabytes. You can see that doing those little things is going to save you a lot of space. It's going to make it a lot easier for you to send files, depending on who you're sending it to and the internet connection they have. This can be a lifesaver. That's a quick little tip and now we'll go on to learning about how to set up a custom workspace. 3. Creating a Custom Workspace: One of the key aspects to being proficient in any program is making sure that you have quick, easy access to the tools that you need. Now those tools are going to depend on your use of the program. Just because I have certain panels that I have opened that I feel that I need a lot and I use a lot on day-to-day basis, doesn't necessarily mean that the right panel for you and that the right tools that you're going to need on your basis. It's all going to be personal preference and suited towards you and what you actually do in the program because you may be doing different things than me on a daily basis. The main things that I always have open are the most important to me. That is color, swatches, stroke, character for adjusting topography, and transparency. Those are the things that I use the most. Transparency I don't use quite as much, but it's a small panel. It fits nicely down in there. Because I use these so much, they're expanded. If I wanted to contract them up here in the upper right, I could collapse them just to icons like that saves a little bit of space on your monitor. But I like to have them open. They're nice and easy. I can always access and click them. From there, I have two more columns, as you can see here. These are the ones that I'm not using quite as often, I don't need them quite as accessible. But if I wanted to, I could expand them. They're still nice and tidy here. It's easy if I'm using my dual monitor, I've got a larger monitor. I can still get to all of these without taking up too much space. Otherwise, I'll just keep them shrunk. Then from here, I have another set. Now these ones if I expand them, it gets a little messy, I've got all these tabs. That panel I never actually expand. I just simply click on the tool as I need them. Now there are some tools in here like the actions and the pathfinder that I actually use constantly. I've set up my F keys as actions so that it'll automatically do some of those tasks, and Path finder is one of them. Flipping, rotating, things like that are all just on my F keys, so my hand doesn't have to leave the keyboard, I don't have to bother searching around for tools. That's why the Pathfinder panel is hidden because I can use the quickiest is to get to them, and I don't actually need the panel open. This is all going to be different based on your taste and same with this toolbar. What you may be looking at something a little more like this essentials workspace. You can get to the different work spaces by clicking this bar up here, and you can choose them. Another way is to go to window and go down to workspace, and then you can choose the one that is most important to what you're doing. Now some people actually like to switch between them depending on the work that they're doing. I personally like to have one that's versatile for everything I need to do. I always know where panels are, I always know where my tools are. I don't mess around too much with that stuff. What I suggest you do is to simply open your essentials, and all you're going to do is you're going to go down, and you're going to click new workspace at the end when you're done, and then you're going to name it. Then anything that you have set up here will become your new workspace. It'll be saved and you'll be able to use it there going forward. My suggestion would be to open the window tab and it goes down here and uncheck. There's not a check mark beside anything you don't need. Image trace is one like I don't think you're going to need that because if you're tracing an image, the option will show up here anyway is with the image selected. It's something that I don't find that useful. Links is going to be dependent if you're using images lots, but basically go through here, check-mark the things that you do want to use a lot. If you want to use Pathfinder, make sure there's check and I'll pop up here. Then you can choose to whether you dock it in the little bar down here, or if you pull it back out, expand it, you can drive it in here. It's a lot of dragging and dropping. It's not a big deal. One thing you may be careful of is if you hover over a certain panel like this, you can see the blue line all the way around the rectangle. That means that it will add it as a tab under links in this case. But if you hold it above it, you'll see one single solid blue line and that will put the panel in between the two that you clicked sometimes two, like in this case, the spectrum doesn't need to be so big so you can drag it up. Certain panels will allow you to shrink or expand them, some won't, but that gives you a little bit of an option there. Setting up all that is actually really easy. It's just simple, dragging in dragging out the panels that you want. When you're done, you just want to go to that new workspace type and a name, and from then on you have a workspace. The same idea applies to the toolbar over here. This is something I actually didn't know I could do for a very long time and I was customize my toolbar. You go back to John's workspace. This is set up exactly how I like. But if I go down to Window and I go to Tools, I can also click "Default." That is my default toolbar. You can see there's a lot of different things. There's lots of tools in groups underneath things and layers of tools. I had some really great plugins by Astute graphics, which also makes the panel even larger. There's a lot going on and a lot to access, and I realized recently I don't use most of it. There's a lot of things I don't use. I don't use graphs, I don't use any of this stuff. I rarely use sprayers, I rarely use any of this. I want to just clean up and get rid of the clutter. I don't if I don't use the tool on a daily basis, I don't want to see it. If I get stuck in a position where I suddenly need one of these tools, I can do what I just did, open the tool, go to default, but rarely do I use any of the tools that I don't have in my bar. Simply, all you have to do is go to Window, Tools, this is if you don't have a bar like I do. Go to new tool panel, it's a little bit of the opposite of this side. You can call it whatever you want. I'll just call it one in this case. It's showing on lower screens I'll bring it up, and simply grabbing the default, just drag them into there. Anything you need. If you need that tool at, there's a tool underneath in a group you just hold select, go down to the tool, so you on that cropped image. That's Astute graphics as well. If you don't have that, don't worry. Just things like that just keep dragging it over. If you want to grab any of these tools, you drag them in, and once you're satisfied that will now be saved. If you wanted to, you could just drag this out. If you drag this over and hold it to the side, you'll see this blue that's going to snap at nicely to the side. Then from there you just save your workspace. Now all of your panels would be where you want, your toolbar will be where you want and you enclose all this other stuff. It's a really nice way to make sure that everything streamlined and set up exactly how you want to. Then you don't have to worry about the clutter. It's actually useful for beginners as well because you can hide a lot of those overwhelming tools. When you open a new program for the first time as a beginner and you get hit with a ton of tools, it can scare you off. Sometimes dumbing it down is actually easier. If you know somebody that is just getting into a program, do this for them, set them up with a custom panel with only the minimum amount. Or if you just want to type it, keep it nice and organized like I'm. That's another super good use of using the workspaces. Again, this isn't going to save you a ton of time off the hot. It's going to actually take you longer to set it up. But once you set it up, you should be able to really easily get to the your tools. Just keep a little bit of an eye each day if you're working on something and you go for a tool that's taking a little longer than it should, try and figure out a way to put it in a panel where you can get to it faster or try and figure out a way to use a quickie or an action or something like that. That's it for workspaces. I know this one's not exciting, but it is going to be very useful to you in your day-to-day workflow. 4. Awesome & Kick Ass Shortcuts PDF: Before we get too far into the class, I want to let you know that I have a PDF available for you to download that I think is going to be really useful for you. Whether you're new to Adobe Illustrator or whether you're an expert, I pretty much guarantee you that it's going to at least be a few shortcuts in here that you never knew existed, because there were some in here that I didn't know existed not too long ago. Here's a little quickie for you. As you can see, my art board is off to the side of moved out here. If I want it exactly centered into my art board, nice and easy to see. I'm going to hit "Command Zero" or "Control Zero" on a PC. Simply by clicking that, you now have it exactly centered to your art board. Which is nice and useful and it's fit at the right size to comfortably fit your screen. That's really useful little quickie. That's the example of things that are actually going to be in here. Easy for you to refer to, an easier for you to take a look at. You can see fit our board to window was Command zero. It's really easy. There's going to be lots of options for you to try and take a look at. It may be overwhelming for you at first, but the idea would definitely be to know every single one of these, eventually. I actually have omitted a whole bunch of different shortcuts because they're ones that I didn't think were as important or that I rarely use. I didn't want to overwhelm you, but there's definitely a lot of really good information here, that I think you should take your time and just try and learn. This PDF is nice and easy to download and for you to actually print out and refer to. Maybe, tape it to the wall beside your screen and just try and go over it and every day try and learn a new tip. Once you're comfortable and you know all these shortcuts, you'll find your soul much faster at using Illustrator. It's just a quickie is probably the most important thing I've talked about it since day one in my videos. There's lots of these you're probably familiar with, like copy, paste, cut. Those are all really obvious. Here's one that I didn't know existed before it Paste on all Artboards. That's Option Shift Command V, really easy, but it's just one I didn't know existed. Here's an example of that I'll use. I'm going to hit "Command N" to start a new document. It doesn't really matter what my size is, I'll just make it three-by-three. I'm going to make 20 artboards. Let's just say I'm adding Billy (phonetic), let's say this is a job that I want to print. Now that I have these 20 artboards, I'm just going to zoom in on our board number one. Again, what I could have done instead of clicking it is just select it with my regular selection tool and hit "Command" or "Control" in the PC then hit "Zero" and now zoomed in nicely on that artboard. Let's say that I simply just want to add a page number. Now of course, if you're using a different program like Adobe InDesign, there's a lot of different ways to do this, and Adobe InDesign is definitely the master at setting up books and pages and things like that. But let's just say for the sake of using Adobe Illustrator, that you want to have a page number on every single document. Now what I used to do is I would grab it. I would "Command C" or "Control C" on a PC. So anytime I say command on a PC, that is the Control button, and anytime I say option on a PC that's the Alt button, everything else shift and all of the numbers is all the same for Mac to PC. But that way if I ever forget to tell you the PC version, you'll know it. I've written out on my shortcut page for you as well. What I used to do is I would copy this and then I would paste it in front, which also paste it in place. Make sure that your selector, you can see a darker black outline on the artboard that's selected. Select this "Command C", and now make sure that with your selection tool you click this Artboard. I'm clicking on this so you can see a darker black outline hopefully. I'm hitting "Command F". Now that would paste it in the exact same spot on this page. Now, of course, if I zoomed out, I could go "Command F". Keep selecting each artboard and doing "Command F". Again, it works, it's pretty efficient. Then I can go in there and just change the page number right manually. That's all really useful. In InDesign, There is a way to do this so that it automatically page numbers them. But for the sake of it, illustrator, this is just one example of getting everything done at once. Now if I have this selected, I'm just going to go copy, "Command C" and then I'm going to go "Command Shift Option V". Now you can see that it is pasted it automatically on every single page in the exact same spot. That's really useful, a lot of designers when I'm seeing their work, and when I'm printing it, I noticed a lot of inconsistencies from page to page. They accidentally wiggle something in one spot, or they accidentally bump something over there. It's important to try and keep your artwork really clean, really consistent, and that is a really useful tool for quickly applying the same thing across all of your artboards in your document. You can see how fast that was. Now, yeah, I still have to take a second to go through and actually number each page, but I know confidently that the page number is going to be in the exact same spot on each page. That's the artwork that you want as a designer. It'll be the cleanest and easiest to use. I'm going to close that. That was just an example of one of the many different things that you can learn from this PDF. Definitely make sure you download it, print it out for yourself, so that you can refer to it all the time. I'm going to talk about a few of them in this class, but make sure that you learn the rest of them so that you know, going forward. 5. Creating Custom Templates: If you're an avid user of Illustrator and you're using it everyday, using templates is something that's going to be pretty invaluable to you. If you're a graphic designer and say that you're making business cards all the time or maybe you work in the web space and you're making Facebook cover photos or something like that, something that you're making very consistently rather than setting up your measurements every time setting at board set it at bleed, the color mode, all that stuff, it can get really tedious and there is a way to really speed up that process. Now, newer versions of Illustrator have this recent dialogue box that shows what you've used recently, but for me, I use so many different types of artwork when I'm making signs and making things for the web, that it's all over the place and it's constantly changing for me. It also has this tricky panel called saved and from all the research I've done, it is not very intuitive and it's very difficult to save things in here. So let's just ignore that for now it's probably something that Adobe will fix in newer versions. If you go to mobile, you go to web, you go to print, you're going to see a lot of potentially useful automatic sizes. But if we all view all presets here, this is one that I custom made just to try and test this out but if you can see my business cards are 252 inches by 144 inches, definitely not the size that I set up my business card. That shows there's definitely some problems in adding your own preset. What I find is that these presets are not very useful. They're not very intuitive for what I use a lot. One of the things I do a lot is business cards. I'm going to show you how to set up a business card, save it as a template and then save yourself a lot of time moving forward. Business card is 3.5 inches wide, two inches tall and I want it to be a double-sided, meaning two art boards and I do want the orientation to be landscape which is selected here. I want one-eighth of an inch blade, which is 0.125 inches and I want the color mode CMYK because then we're going to be printing it and that's a good color mode. Go ahead and click "Create." Now, that's not a big deal, that wasn't too hard to do. Of course, typing that in each time is not going to save you a ton of time by not having to do it. But another thing that I had find important is having my margin setup. With my rectangle tool selected, I'm just going to click anywhere on their board and this little rectangle dialog box pops up. I want my safe margin to be another eighth of an inch in from the edge of the art board, meaning that I don't want to go beyond that because when paper is being printed or when it's being cut, sometimes it shifts a little bit and you don't want any important information getting cut off. To learn more about this, I've actually already done a setup for print class so check that out and you'll be able to learn a lot more about bleed and crop marks and margins and things like that. I'm going to set this up to 3.25 inches by 1.75 inches, which will give me one eighth of an inch all around. This is the crop mark, that's where the car is going to get cut. This is bleed, the background stuff needs to go off that edge. Again, if the art board shifts a little bit when cutting or printing, then you're not going to get a little white line. Now, if I hit "Command C" and I select this art board over here, I'm clicking on it once and hit "Command F", it's going to paste it in front and then it's also in place. Now, those are both there nice and easily for me. Here's a little quick tip. I've seen a lot of artists who will turn this into another layer and they'll call it margins or guides or something like that. But the problem is if you're accidentally leave that on, those lines will actually print. One way to do it to make sure that they never print is to simply turn this into guides. There's a quick key for that. That his command or control on a PC and the number 5 and now those are now shown up as guides. They will never print no matter what and if you didn't accidentally leave them on or not, they are only going to show in the program on your screen. That's a really useful way, you don't need to make another layer worry about locking and hiding things. It's just a really fast way to make sure that they're set up nicely. Then you know exactly where to keep your important information in. That's how I like to set up my business card file. Now, doing that every single time I start a business card, a few times a day could be annoying. Another thing I could do is open an old business card file I've already made and use that, but the fastest thing to do is simply going to file, save as template and then it doesn't really matter where your folder is, just make sure that you know how to get there. Of course, as you'll see here, I've already set up too, four over zero meaning single-sided, four over four mean double-sided. Technically, that means four colors over four colors CMYK but I know what it means for me in this case so you don't need to worry about that too much. But name your card wherever you want and click "Save." I'm not going to bother because I've already set it up right there. Now, anytime that you make business card going forward assuming you don't have this open, all you have to do is go to File and New from template, also command shift and on your keyboard and that'll pop up this Templates folder you may have to navigate to that folder that you keep your templates in the first time, then from then on it should be there. Simply select that, hit "Enter" or click "New" and now we have our template open. It's that easy if I do it again and I opened my single-sided business card, you can see it is nicely set up how I want. You can also take it a step further by adding some things that you use all the time into your art board. Templates are really useful and I suggest that you use them for anything that you're doing daily or very often to save yourself some time. 6. Using the Type on Path Tool: So in between the heavy sort of taking a lot of time setting up fancier systems and things that are going to make it a little easier for you moving forward, I'm just going to hit you with some really quick, faster tips. These are going to be the easier one that aren't such long videos and we're hitting fast on them. I'm going to hit these in between each video so that you've got a lay easy thing and then a little bit more labor intensive, but they should all pay off. What we're going to do is we're going to open a new document. It can be any size because all I want to do is show you a quick little tip that you may not know. I've pasted this logo that I've designed and it is for a tattoo company that is opening in Vancouver soon and you can see that it's all nicely set up. Normally what I would do when I give this to a client, is I would have it outlines, so we don't have to worry about any font conflicts when they open it up, I may even merge them down. I would take these and I would merge them in the pathfinder panel or if you set up your actions then me, I would just hit F5 and go ahead and click continue now or that you can see it's already automatically done for him. Nice and easy of course, if you haven't checked out my actions class, please do. That is something on the shortcuts list any of those F buttons that you see at the top. They are set up by my actions as out of my actions class. The thing is you may be wondering how exactly did I make this? Well, I showed you a second ago, so let's go back. You can see that these two lines, now, these I had already converted to lines because I made some adjustments to the text. But these are actually text on a path, so that means a circle with text on it. That may be not something you're familiar with or may be something you're familiar with. There's a few different ways to do it. You could do an effect and warp and you could arc it. But it's nice to actually be able to do it to an exact circle that you've designed or an exact shape. It doesn't have to be a circle, but circles or ovals probably going to be the most common use for it. What we're going to do is off that art bar just to the side here, I'm going to draw a circle. That is LMI keyboard for the ellipse. If I hold ''Shift'' and I hold ''Alt'' or ''Option'', then that's actually going to dry out from that point that I made. That's just a nice clean circle. If I let go of ''Shift'', you can see I can make any oval if I get let go of ''Alt'', that means that the corner will start from where I am but I always hold out, it's just a habit of mine. I like to start my circle from where I drew. That's the center of the circle and anyway holding ''Shift'', you can see right there. We've got this shape now. What I want to do is I want to type this text on it, but how do I get some of this upside down? How do I got [inaudible]. I'm going to hit ''T'' on my keyboard. Now you may see because in my custom toolbar that I built, there isn't that little arrow where I can click and hold and get the text on path tool, so how do it? Well, sometimes if you hold over it and may give you that option, but what I want to do is just click ''Alt''. If I click ''Alt'' and hold it along the path, you can see this squiggly line thing and that'll allow me to type on a path. In the newer versions of illustrator automatically put in some of this gibberish or lorem ipsum. That way you can see what it's going to look like. Now I'm just going to type in the words tattoo. The font that I use is called Cornerstone and we're just going to blow it up. Now there are quick keys for doing this to enlarging the text rather than going up here and selecting it, so that is command or control on a p.c, ''Shift'', and the arrow buttons, not your typical arrows that you are moving, but the ones above the period and above the comma, so the right arrow will enlarge the text, the left arrow, it will shrink it all while holding down that ''Command'' and ''Shift''. That whatever size we want at this point is not that important, but you can see that because of where I clicked if not perfectly centered, so what I want to do here is click "Center" and now it is centered to this line, but these are where they should be. Using my direct selection tool, which is LMI keyboard. I'm going to drag this and I have my smart guides on such it just snapped to the center. I'm going to drag this, that was the end of the path. Now I'm going to drag the start of the path again, snap it to the center, so now we know that tattoo is exactly centered. Now what we could do across here too is that we can mess with the kerning, which is just option and using your normal arrows, not the ones above the comma in period, just your normal everyday arrows that you click all the time and that will adjust the tracking and kerning. You can adjust those however you see fit. I'm not going to finesse those right now and take everybody's time and now to get the other side of the circle, this is something a lot of people don't know. What someone might do is they may add a lot of spaces and then my add company and then, and maybe take away some of those spaces because they want and then do this thing and so now what you have is tattoo this way and companies upside down. The way that you avoid that is holding this, we're going to "Command C" to copy it, "Command F" to paste it in front in place and then we are going to hold in ''Shift''. I'm going to use my rotate tool basically. If you have over the corners, you should see those double arrows that allows you to rotate. If you hold ''Shift'', it'll do it in like 45 degree increments, so now it's directly underneath. Now we're going to select that with my type tool and type in company. Now as you can see, same problem, it is upside down. The way to fix that is selected normally within normal selection tool and now with your direct selection tool A on the keyboard, you're going to find a little tiny line in the center. Basically rate in there, that's not tall line. We're going to grab that and we're going to drag that down. It can be a bit finicky, but you want to just do that, so let's zoom back out and let's do it. I we'll try and keep it in the same spot so it's dead center there nicely and you can see it's moved now the center is there. That's okay if that happens, we'll just shift and drag this down. There we got now company is now in the right way. Now the only problem is these are out of sync to each other, so if draw another circle, you can see they're not lining up nicely. What does that mean? The way that you avoid that, basically you want to make sure that both of these are in line so you can see how the two circles are overlapping each other. What you want to do is drag the company circle to be just at the top most part of your tattoo text and using your eye dropper tool, which is on the keyboard now because this is enlarge this text, I'm going to select that to make sure that the text is the exact same size. That is essentially how you're going to make a text on path. You could do that with any shape. It doesn't have to be a circle. A circle is just the most common. Of course, in my logo, I ended up making company smaller. I didn't want it to be as big as the word text and I [inaudible] it out and stuff which you can use your quick keys for and that gives you the idea of how to type in a path, nice and easy, straight forward. There are some beginners that know that, but intermediate and advanced maybe probably already do, but just in case there you go. Nice and easy. Type on path. 7. Creating Custom Swatches: Now it's time to talk about something that is again, very important that I use every single day and that is custom swatches. To do so what I want you to do is open a new document, which is Command "N". The document can be any size you want. Again, that's not very important right now. It's got automatically to the business card setup that I used before. Totally fine. So what you should see is you're probably not going to see my "Swatches", I would hope. Instead you're going to see yours which are small in here so you could drag them out and make them larger, depends how it looks on your screen, but you got all these different options. Now I don't know about you, but personally I can't see myself using this pattern very much. That's actually made by a pretty good designer. [inaudible] is his name. It's cool that Illustrator is giving you these free templates and these free patterns in these crazy things but realistically, you're not going to be using the very often and if you use them very often, I don't know why you're using someone else's art all the time. That being said, what we want to do is eliminate the color. That's what this whole class is about. Get rid of the color, just keep the things you need the most accessible to you. So all you have to do to make your own swatches is simply use whichever library you want to start with and get rid of the things you don't need and add the things you want.So i n this case, this group of brights, I don't use, I don't need it there. I'm just selecting the folder over here which selects all of them in the line. Otherwise I could click on the purple hold "shift" and click all the way to the red. It would do the same thing and we'll just hit delete and "Yes" , but you can see the folder still there, so delete "Yes". I actually do use the grayscale a lot, so I like to keep those there and I don't need any of these crazy patterns or any of that stuff. I just delete all of that. I also get rid of the black and white gradient. You might want to keep that if you find it useful. So I just delete all that stuff. So now it is no longer in the swatch panel, which I find to be more useful. What we're going to do is if you have any kind of colors that you use a lot, you could go over here and you can pick the color that you like. So let's just say, it's this black purple color and click and drag from the fill and drag it into your swatch panel. Now it's there. This has to be color that you want to use all the time. In my case it's not, but I'm just showing you the example. If you have that, and then when we save this custom swatches, that'll always be there for you every time you open Illustrator. What I've actually done is I keep everything the same, so I'm going to delete that. It doesn't need to be there I'll just pick a random color and then I have these two specialties. One is called a "Cutcontour" and the others "RDG White". When I'm working at a sign shop, if I'm making a specialty item like a D cow, then this is actually the cut line that the computer will see, so it knows where to cut be sticker out. So printer will actually see this line. It won't print it. It's a special color. That's why it's made like that. A little blade will come along and cut that shape out. That's just how it communicates with the printer and color. That's a color that I use all the time and what I did is I had to custom make it and I'm not going to show you exactly how to make this. I actually do show this in my stickers class because I of course explain all this but the idea is that it's a color that I needed and I wanted to add, and I did the same thing with this color. You can see once I select it, it's dropping these both into the swatch panel. Once you have your swatch panel setup exactly how you want and all of you are most useful colors to you are set up in there. Let's just say, for example also that you want to use another color palette. If we click here and we go down to "Open Swatch Library", Illustrator gives you a lot of different ones that you may find useful. I always have to go in the pattern ones every once in awhile. Otherwise there may be different things. Let's just say you that you'd liked one of these will go to "Neutral" if you like them, of course, you can just drag that into your panel and now that'll be a part of your swatches whenever you set it up. That's an example of how you would take them from there. Once you have it you're set, you just go down to file and save "Swatch Library as, ASE. Do the ASE and not the AAI because it's most recognized by all different programs, and then you can save that in your Swatch palette as long as you know where to load it again from. I'm going to click "Cancel" because in this case I already have mine. Then all you do is go to "Open Swatch Library" afterwards. This is important and then go down to "Other library and now find that file wherever you saved it. Maybe you saved it in Swatches". Click it and "Open" it up. Once it's open, which is the case in mind. So here you can see I have mine open. So it's already set up an open here. What will happen is once you close Adobe Illustrator right now if you were to quit it and then you start the program up again, it's gone. The way to get it back is if you have your swatch panel open, you just hit those lines. You go down to "Open Swatch Library" and you should see your swatches here, otherwise you click other library reloaded again but that's a pain about you don't want to do that every time you open Illustrator. So this is another little tip that I didn't know for years. I learned a few years ago and it saves a ton of time. Go to your custom swatch, once you have it open, like do all that, open it, and then hit those lines and make sure down at the bottom that you have "Persistent" checked on. That's a very small tip, but it's extremely useful now, every time you open Adobe Illustrator, your swatch panel will be shown because it's clicked persistent. That's a good way to make sure that it's always going to be there every time you load up Illustrator, super-useful custom swatches, make your own. 8. The Mind Blowing Appearance Panel: At this point, if you are not certain that this class is for you, your thinking, now these tips are okay, but I know most of them. Let me hit you with one that's going to blow the hinges off the door to your mind. Let's just say hypothetically a client has said, "I really like this text that says A POOP, anyway that you can make that for me?" and then you say, "Oh sure, if I have to recreate it, that's boring, but I'll do it for you." Let's go ahead and do it. Using our type 2, we're going to type 'A POOP.' We already know the font is Mission Gothic Black, which you can get from You're going to enlarge it. We can use our quick keys to do some quick kerning, but we don't need to worry about that too much. We're going to change the fill, of course over here, to about 90 percent as roughly the same, and now we're going to put a stroke onto it. As you can see, we're going to add a stroke, and let's just blow that stroke gap over here. Now already we're starting to notice some problems. This one has a nice point here because the stroke is to the outside of the letter, while this one is getting cut off it's starting to look bad because the stroke is going to the inside of the letter. How do we avoid that? Well with the stroke, we would normally just click this little button here this is a align stroke outside, even though it allows me to click it nothing happens. So that's a problem. So what do we do? Well we're going to convert it to outlines, that's Command Shift O. Now, if we go over here, we can align it to the outside so that is an option. Another way that someone might do it, let's just change the stroke color, it looks like it's a little lighter there 60 or 50. It's probably 60. Now we're going to just go ahead and you can see we've got some spaces here so we can move this over, and so on and so forth and play with that stuff. Another way that someone might have done it is to add another layer behind it, and that's how they would make sure that that stroke was behind it. For example, if I copy this, I'm just going to get rid of that stroke. I'm going to paste another one with this like this, but it's the full thing and then we put it behind it. Now, we've got these two layers going on. That's two ways that you could do it. So let's go back. Let's just say you did it this way, now you want to get this offset. What you're going to do is click and drag this down, and you're holding Option and Shifts so it's on a nice 45 and it's going to copy the text there. I don't need that stroke, I'll get rid of it, I'll change this to the lighter color, which is something like that. Then you say to your client, "Hey, look client, I did a fantastic job, I've matched exactly what you want." and they go, "You know what, that's immature, let's just make it say Jon," and you go. Now, you've got to redo all this over again. All of this artwork is garbage, and you may as well start from scratch and delete it. That is of course, if you made it the sucker way. I'm going to show you how to make it the smart person's way. Once again, we're going to type 'A POOP.' We're going to use a tool that you probably have heard of, but you probably haven't used it enough and that is the Appearance panel, right over here I have it hidden. If it's not showing you at a window then make sure that appearance is checked for you. I've got a nice and big here so you can see what's going on. I'm going to show you some tricks about how to use the Appearance Panel to your benefit. If you double-click on character, you'll see that our fill is black and we can change our stroke. I'm going to change it to that 70 or 60 percent. Then I'm going to enlarge it. Now, you're getting the same problem, if we just zoom in here, we're getting that same issue. Just again, we'd like to send that to the outside, but once again, I can't do it. It's not letting me do that on editable text. Why is that? I don't know. That's Adobe Illustrator for you. There's some flaws. Here's the trick that we're going to do. We're going to get rid of the fill by putting it to none and we're going to get rid of the stroke by also putting it to none. Then we're going to click up here where it says type, no appearance. Now what happens is, the type character is a hidden layer in the appearance. What we want to do is we're actually going to add our effects from this point. If I go over here and I click this button, that is an add new fill, its going to automatically make it black, and I'm going to change it to about that 80 percent or 90 percent black again. Then what we can do is we can change our stroke. Here we're going with the 60. So we'll leave that 60, and we'll blow it up to two. Now the same issue, and right now I cannot click aligned to outside. How do we solve this? By grabbing this panel and dragging it below the characters, it is now a layer beneath those letters. You can see if we zoom in here, that there's a nice point, just like there is in our example up here. We've done this and it's still editable. We just have to blow it up a little bit more to match. But now, that is on the outside and it's all one nice editable layer. Now a lot of the times what you still might do is just drag this down, you can get rid of this, and we'll make our fill this light gray color something along those lines. But because your clients asked you to change it, that's not a big deal, we're just going to select this text. We're going to type 'Jon,' and we're going to select this text and we're going to type 'Jon.' Let's say they made a whole paragraph and there's tons of letters and you don't have to retype everything twice because you have it here and you have it here and it's a bit tricky to select. While we're at it, here's a little trick for you too. A lot of the times you might want to select some art beneath that layer that you can't get to, right now if I click anywhere here, it's only selecting this top texts, which is annoying. If we hold the Command or Control button, and we click again, well that's selected, but you can see the arrow beside my arrow, if you will. If we click it again, it is now going to select the next layer down. As you can see, am grabbing the layer beneath it, which is convenient for you to do. So anyways, that's how you could do it, that would work. But let's take it a step further as I hit Commands at bunch of times. Let's get rid of that. Let's make that shadow actually editable too. What we're going to do is we're going to select our fill, and we're going to go over here, to the duplicates select item. So now I have two fills and we're going to make this fill nice and light. You can see it's filling up over here. Now we're going to go to our effects, and we're going to go down to distort and transform and then transform. In this panel you can play with the settings, but I happen to know it because I am fairly magical. We're doing that, we're just going to offset it by 0.1 inch, 0.1 inch. You can play with all these things, but you don't need to. We just need a grab this fill and we're going to drag it beneath the stroke, beneath everything so it's down there. You can see maybe it wasn't quite far enough and maybe I wasn't so magic. Something along those lines to get it pretty close, maybe we'll go right in the middle. The cool thing about this now, is using the appearance panel. This is fully editable to artwork, so you send it to your client and they go, "Now never mind, I wanted to say, "Butts" because they are very mature. Boom, you can do that, you can go in here, we can ingest some kerning and our type is nice and editable. I'm going to guess that even if you're an intermediate, there's a good chance you didn't know you could do all this if you did know the appearance panel this well, I don't know why you're watching tutorials videos because you're pretty smart. Anyway, if you're a sucker before, now you're a genius. I hope you liked this video. 9. Creating Custom Symbols: Now it's time to talk about making custom symbols. This is something I see a lot of intermediate users of Adobe Illustrator and definitely beginners that just aren't using it enough. It's a really useful panel. It's a good way to be able to grab any artwork or pieces that you use a lot in different documents and store them there. So that if you're working on a client's logo all the time and somebody you work with all the time, you don't have to open an old file and copy their logo and paste it in your new file. Instead, you can just add it to your symbols. So you can see I've done that with my own logo, I've done that with social media icons that I use all the time, and I've done that with the Octopus. Hi, my name is Mark, which is a clothing company. I do shirts for all the time, but I want to add some new stuff to it. Adding new stuff to it is not as intuitive as it should be. Again, areas for illustrator and Adobe to actually work on. What I'm going to do is I'm going to navigate to a folder. Doing this, I have dual screen so you can't see it, but that's not too important for the moment. I'm going to open this business card file. What I'm doing is it's a client called Brunswick Bierworks. Right now I'm missing some fonts, but that's okay. That's unimportant. What I really want is this logo right here. Now because this is a PDF that was sent to me. It's not a logo that I've designed. It's in a weird format. All we want to do is, I'm going to use the direct selection tool and I drag. I'm grabbing all of these clipping mask and things like that and I want to delete them, hit "Delete" a couple times and then that's gone. Now I can select all of this logo command G, which groups it. Hit Control G on a PC, and now that's nice to group. What I should be able to do is drag it into my symbols, but I actually can. Setting up your symbols the first time is a lot like setting up swatches and you definitely want to make sure you have persistent on. The problem is when you add stuff to it, it's not very intuitive. It's not useful. As you can see when I drag it in there, it doesn't like it. If I click here, I can go Add to symbols. That's a tease by Adobe, it still doesn't work. It's not added in there. What I actually have to do is to go through the hassle of re-saving over this file. It's a little bit crazy, but it works. The idea is that once you've set up your symbols once or maybe twice, you shouldn't have to mess with this a lot. Just try and think of any logos that you're using all the time and import them right now. That is what I'm going to do. I'm going to copy this. I'm going to close this file, I don't need it. I'm going to open another file. Let's just make this and typical 8.5, 11, one page, no bleed, size doesn't matter. I'm going to paste it in there. There's Brunswick Bierworks. I'm just going to think for a moment if there's any other clients that I deal with on a regular basis. Craft brand CO is another one that I do deal with. I'm going to go in and I'm going to grab their file now. The idea is that a lot of designers and illustrators and things of that nature will do this all the time. Every time they work on a new job they'll go in and open some old file, and then they'll copy the logo, and they'll paste it over. Now what we want to do is much like when we're setting up our workspace, we're going to do a little bit more work right now so that we can save ourselves doing that work in the future and that's going to be really useful. I'm going to grab a couple of the old ones. I'm just trying to think of stuff that I use all the time that I should have in here that's going to be useful to me. Another thing is I'm going to add these sublime logos. Logos that I made, that craft brand Cohen I actually made as well. You could make all these different versions of it because it's vector, I can pull it apart. I'm just going to take just these two. Copy them and Paste them in here. Those are all the ones I can think of right now that I'm using a lot lately and I should just have it my symbols pallet. Again, if I try and drag them in, not going to work because this is my custom symbol panel. What I want to do is I'm going to click Window. I'm going to go down to the Symbols panel and open it is the default one. You might see something like this, you never know when you might need some paints, but those are trademarks. But I don't want any stuff no flowers for me. Select all that, Delete. I'll get rid of that now my Symbols panel is empty. Now I can drag just by clicking the easier action to see them automatically add in, or if I select them all, I can drag them in and now it's mirrored those symbols from my old panel. Let's pretend this old panel doesn't exist for a minute. Now here's all my cool fancy symbols, now I can actually do it. I can drag them in because this symbol is part of this document and I make it a graphic and I'm going to type in Brunswick. It's up to you whether you're on the full name and then instead of a dynamic symbol, I'm just going to leave a static symbol. Am not going to explain a lot of this right now, just the idea of how to set it up and there we go and now I want to make sure this is group, so that's command G. Drag it over. I call this SUBLIME horizontal, meaning it's horizontally wider. Graphic, Static, same thing and we can reposition them to how we want and i don't need those anymore. Am going to bring in another one, I'm going to call this SUBLIME vertical meaning it is vertically taller. You could name them however you want. The idea is just try and think stuff you use all the time. The social media is really good ones. You can download those probably online, or you can create them yourselves and then drag them in. This one is CraftBrandCo. Same thing, Graphic, Static. Now I've got all those in there and just and hit Delete and now the problem is I still won't be able to drag them over to my own thing. So what I'm going to do is go Save Symbol Library. It's going to automatically open up symbols. This is my symbols. I am going to save over it. So I want to replace it so that once you have all the symbols out of there and we saved it, what I want to do is open it again. We're going to Open Symbol Library, User Defined JonsSymbols. Make sure everything is there, they didn't make any mistakes and have to start the whole process over again. Now if we open a new document we're going to go to Window and then go down as Symbols, you'll see those same generic symbols again. Open Symbol Library, User Defined check JonsSymbols are, of course, I would hope you named yours something else and then we're going to drag it in there. Click it and once again, make sure persistent is on. If you follow both those things right, we should be able to just quit Adobe Illustrator and we're going to reopen it. Your swatches should be there and your symbol should be there. Let's take a look. Now will relaunch Adobe Illustrator. Of course, depend on the speed of your computer, may take a second or two. We've got a lot going on including recording a video. Once it's open, just go ahead and open any kind of a new document, it doesn't matter what it is and then once you click on your Symbols, they should be all there nicely easy for you to use. Every time I have a document, I can easily just drag the side, break the link if I want to or not and I've got that logo, nice and easy to use. 10. Align To Key Object: Here's a really quick tip, but it's extremely useful and that is aligning your artwork to a key object. Generally, if I were to take this snake part of my illustration, I've got this blown apart because I made a 3D sign of it which you can see on my Instagram. But if I grab this and I grab the skateboard, I simply go up here to my align, whether it's aligned to Artboard or it's aligned to Selection. What will happen is we'll equally move each piece, that is to move the skateboard deck towards the right and it moves the snake design towards the left so that they kind of met in the middle. But in some cases. I'm going to want to keep some of my artwork in one space specifically. In this case, let's say I want to make sure the skateboard deck doesn't move. It's exactly where I want it. All I have to do is select both again, and holding down option or Alt on my keyboard, I'm just going to select the skateboard deck again. You can see it becomes like a darker blue outline, and that means that it is now my key object. You can see up here this little box with the key in it. It's now aligning to key object, and if I simply hit that same button again, it's bringing that snake artwork over and it's staying in the skateboard decks. It's a really convenient, easy way. We can do it again here. You can see that that's really easy and useful. I just need to move my artwork down a little bit, and this skateboard wheels are showing the deck through because they need a fill on them, but that wasn't useful for my 3D sign that I was building. But that gives you the idea. Another example is if you have some more complicated art like this and you want to make sure they, let's say I wanted to center this E to the actual letters. Now I've got them all in groups, so I'm just going to ungroup some of this stuff. But now let's say I want this E to be centered specifically to this black square, that is the key. The problem is I don't want that key to move because it's evenly spaced with all the other keys. That is a better use of it. Selecting the E and now selecting the key, and then holding the option or Alt on that black key, and then once again we'll just center that horizontally and center it vertically. Now it's perfectly centered without moving that key. 11. The Dynamic Measuring Tool: If you take a look at a truck wrap I designed recently for Sublime Graphics. I'm going to show another really cool little tool from Astute Graphics. Again, this is a paid plug-in that you have to pay for, but if you go to, they're a really great website. They do a lot of really cool plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator, and I've been dealing with them for many years. They're super nice people. I can't urge you to explore them enough. They make using Adobe Illustrator so much easier with their plug-ins. When I'm making something like a vehicle wrap, now I know this looks really busy and it is a busy vehicle wrap, but what happens is you have to take an account printing. Some of these grays, I had to brighten up in this image here, which makes it look really busy and crazy. But when it actually printed, we did some test printing, some of the grays really darkened up and you couldn't see them. They're very subtle, which is the look we are going for, so try not to judge it too much on it being too busy. What I want to do is show you a measuring tool. I'm going to simply select the back end of the truck and I'm going to group it and copy it. I'm going to start a new artboard. The reason for this is that these templates that I download are actually at five percent of the scale. That means, that I have to use the Resize tool and I make them 2,000 percent larger and now, that is real life, true life size. Something that I've always had to do in the past whenever I've done any vehicle graphics, is I would grab my Rectangle tool, and I would select from one point to the next, like this. I would drag this box somewhere down here. I'd give it a stroke, a little bit thicker, so you can see it, and then I draw a point and click the direct selection tool, hit delete. We have this little bracket thing going on and then I take a look here, it is 62.14. I copy that. Using my text box, I'm going to paste that, blow it up nicely, make it centered, and then put it like this. This shows now that this tailgate is 62.1204 inches. I know it's really specific, but that can be useful sometimes when doing vehicle graphics. Then I would repeat the process for a few different things just to basically test and make sure that we measure the truck in real life, and we don't have to worry about any unexpected surprises in the template, not being perfect or how it's designed, because we don't want any information cut off. We want it to look as true to what we were intending as possible, but it would take awhile to actually do this and go through each little piece and make sure that I measured everything out, but Astute Graphics has made a really great plug-in that does this for you. Also in the VectorScribe plug-in by Astute Graphics, that's There's lots of really cool tools, but the one I want to show is Measurements which is right here. It can be used in a lot of different ways, but in this case, I find it very useful for this, with "Distance" selected and you can choose whether you select Angle. There's lots of different options. I'm not going to break down the entire toolbar. You can read lots of important things on their website. But basically, what I'm going to do is select this point right here and click once and I'm going to drag out my other point here and click again. Now, this is telling me that it's 61.9733. That's a little different in the measurement I had before, but that's because basically, I clicked on a slightly different spot. Let's click a little higher. You can tell, this would be the same thing if I drew my rectangle, depending on where I draw it because this is slightly curved line, these measurements are going to be different. But now, all I have to do is simply click this little arrow down. Right now, this is on top just like almost a guide. It's there, but it won't print. It's just a nice easy measurement for me to be able to refer to, to talk to somebody if I need to on the phone, and make sure they can measure it. But another thing I can do is clicking this arrow, it will actually drop that in as a real measurement in real time. What it does is it puts it on another layer. Go to the "Layers" panel, you'll see it locked right there. Let's lock our other artworks, so we can select that. Now, with my Selection tool, I'm just going to drag it down, so that it's hidden and out of the way. Now, this tool is super useful. It is now telling you the exact amount of degrees and the amount of inches really fast. The only thing I have to do in this one little instance is I need to increase the size of that font because it wasn't exactly intended for a 62-inch truck necessarily. But, if we blow up this line nice and big, you can see that we've got the line. It tells you exactly from this point to this point and even the angle. If I held shift, it would be a nice straight line. But the idea is using that tool if we hide this and again, using our measurement tool, I can get all the measurements I need. We can go from here to here on the text, drop it in, move it over here, blow up that text, and it's just a lot faster. We get these nice little arrows too that we can expand and enlarge. That's a really useful tool. It's really smart. That's really great. That's really useful, but I want to show you, taking this a little step further to make your life a little easier, if you're in the measurement phase and that is to simply use this tiny artwork which is only scaled. I'm going to show you how to not have to blow it up and do all that work to get the right measurement. All we're going to do is we're going to select from here to here again, but this time, I'm going to turn off "Angle" because I don't need that information for this. I'm clicking here, it's nicely snapping to my artwork and holding shift, I'm going to click it this point. I'm going to do the same thing where I hit the arrow to make it actually permanent and I have that layer already unlocked right there. I'm going to drag that down, just so it's out of the way, but that shows that that measurement is from there to there. Now, of course, it isn't 3.1283 inches. Here's a really cool tip, if I were to just draw a box and then over here, I typed in 3.1283 inches and hit enter, it's going to make it the same width as that line. Now to figure out what the scales do, if I simply delete the IN for inches and I input an asterisk that's over the eight If you hold shift and that's basically saying times as in multiplication. I'm going to take that and I'm going to times that by 2,000 percent and hit enter. That's going to give me the actual number right there is 62.566. Again, these measurements are shifting just a little bit because I picked a funny spot on the truck. But now, if I delete that, I can simply paste that number in there and I actually have the exact right scaled measurement. 12. Astute Graphics Plugin Discount Code: I just wanted to quickly say that Astute graphics is doing some cool stuff for students who check out this class within the first few weeks or few months and that is not only are you going to have an opportunity to actually win some free plug-ins, but you are also going to get a discount code so you can buy any plug-ins that you want. They're really great company and I've been happy to work with them and happy to have them on board in this class so please check out their website at and take a look at the discussion for more information on the contest and the discount code. 13. Simple Dashed Lines: For this quicker tape, there is a local disc of course that was having a tournament, then need a stamp to go on the disk for the tournament. Also, side note, if you haven't tried disc golfing it is to me one of the most fun sports there is. Is it a lot like what it sounds like, it's basically like playing frisbee golf and using frisbees and baskets instead of golf balls and little cups. It's a really cool, fun way to get out and a lot of time at least in Canada in Ontario it's free and it's just awesome. That's a really fun game. But that aside, we're going make some dots. There's a few different ways that you could do this as there is with basically anything in Illustrator or any kind of Adobe program. One of the ways you could do this is using your ellipse tool. You could drag out a little black dot like that. Using select polling options shift, you could drag out another one over there, grab them both, group them what's wiggled. We going to move over with my arrow keys. Then what you could do is use your rotate tool, which is our on your keyboard. Hit "Enter." I know I'm moving a little quick here, but that's because this is not the best way to do this in my opinion. One tip a lot of people don't know when using the rotate tool is you can try and guess the amount of degrees that you were to rotate. But let's say instead, we want to just have 24 of them. What you can do is, 360, 360 degrees, divide that by 24. This will automatically compute this for you having preview and we're just going to hit "Copy." Copy means it's going keep the same two dots where they are and it's going to move to more dots in a circle. Just like that, now hitting angle, hitting enter and hitting copy again and doing that over and over enter copy will actually get you nice circles all the way in a line. When you're all done, you will have 24 circles, nice and easy. Of course I had more, but that's a good idea of how to do it. But there's an even faster way and that is to quite simply using your ellipse tool to drag out a circle. We're just going to change that to from a fill to a stroke hitting shift x, we can blow up that stroke a little bit and making sure that you have your stroke can open that window and then make sure stroke is checked. You just go over here and make sure that this is showing. Hit these little lines and hit show options if it's not and we're just going to simply select dashed line. Now it's important to make sure that our cap is rounded and you can have the corner rounded if you'd like. We'll change this dash point to one and we'll separate it by say, 12 points just to get the idea and they owe a really quick way to make sure that you have dots. You can see that these dots are perfectly circular. If you want to make sure they are perfect, you just need to go 0.01 and that will make sure it's a perfect circle of basically the smallest dash you can make. Once it has the rounded cap, it looks like a circle. That is a really fast way to make circle artwork and of course you can use that in a variety of ways. If you'd like to make an old-fashioned tag and make it look like it's stitched. We could do something like this and I'm selecting that stroke and making it white. Then if we shrink it down a little bit and we change that dash, just say a 4. It gives the impression of a stitched effect and you add shadows and things in depth to make it look more real. 14. The Smart Removal Brush: As you can see here I have some hand-drawn artwork of a lion that I did as a logo for a company called Royal Budline and what I did here is I drew it out on paper using a marker and I brought it into Illustrator and using the live trace function which I've shown many times in other classes, I've converted it to vector and then I've done a little bit adding to it but I've left it pretty rough because I like the hand-drawn look for some of the art that I'm doing. Now, the only thing not great about image trace sometimes is that you're going to end up with a lot of points in your artwork which is something that I like to try and avoid. If you take my monoline illustration class, you'll see I like to try and keep the artwork as clean as possible with as few points as possible and makes it easier to edit in the future and it just gets you that perfect clean artwork. Now, selecting this artwork, if I hit the A tool, you'll see all of these points, a ton of points happening here and some of them are very unnecessary and that's just what happens when you're using image trace. If I were to create these lines myself, they would only have 1, 2, maybe 3 points, very small amount of points for hair strand in this example. There's a few different ways that you can use this and there are some plugins that are going to make it really useful for you. There's a company I've talked about before in a different class, my half tone class called Astute Graphics. They're in the UK and they are really great company for making plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator. In fact, they're best. The great thing about them is they're constantly innovating and coming out with a lot of different ideas. They probably wouldn't want me to say this but to be completely honest with you, there's a few instances where they make something that's so good that Adobe actually inputs that and steals that idea and puts it into a new version of Illustrator. Again, I'm sure they wouldn't want me to say that but that's the truth, they're really innovative, they're really smart company and they're definitely making a product for designers, for illustrators, for people who are using the program every day and they're filling in some holes and some of the neglect that Adobe uses. The unfortunate thing about Adobe Illustrator is that for Adobe, I believe Photoshop is their white knight. So every time a new Photoshop update comes out, there's 50 new updates are amazing. At this point, you can click a button and Photoshop will just magically make something for you. Illustrator usually gets 1, 2 or 3. There's a lot of programs that Adobe kind of ignores, and they just don't give as much attention to because it's not as popular of a product is something like Photoshop, which is a household name. Probably your grandma has heard of Photoshop. So for a small amount of money, you can purchase some really amazing products from these two graphics, and there's too little products that will actually make this really useful. One of them, as you can see right here, is vector first aid. So it's a really cool plug-in and it does a lot of different things, and I definitely encourage you to go to and check out all of the amazing things that each one of their plug-ins does. I'm going to focus on one specific thing for this video and that is to clean up those points. They actually have a second tool that does it a little bit differently and maybe a little bit better, and that is the point removal tool in VectorScribe. In this case version three. I'm going to show you both of those. We're going to go back here to my art panel and use my direct selection too you're going to see all of these points. Now if I pop open this vector first aid panel, which you could go to window, go down to vector first aid and check right there. But I've got it saved here nicely. With this outward selected, that's Command A. I'm going to click "check selection". Now it's going to find all of this so-called flaws with this artwork, and I can choose to fix specific things or fix them all. So I'm going to go ahead and click "Fix All", and If you pay close attention on these artwork the points that are on it right now. Once I click "Fix All," it's going to remove a decent amount of points. It removed, as we saw before, 50 unneeded points. So that's a lot of points. It's going to make your artwork and little cleaner. But as you see, there's still a ton of points left. So now I'm going to go over and use that tool called the smart remove brush from vector scribe. Now if we zoom in here real close, take a look at all of these points here. There are a ton of points. Now grabbing that brush and simply hovering over it and we can zoom in. Let's just do this one little hair strand. We're just going to make my brush a little smaller using the bracket keys. Now if I drag over, look at all those points that it's removing, it's keeping the lines virtually in the exact same spot, and now just going over it a couple times, we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 points. Still slightly more than if a hand drew it using the pen tool myself. But that would take a lot more time and we want to keep in this case that kind of hand-drawn field. So if we do this again for that artwork check out, all of those points are now two points. Nice and clean artwork. It's kind of an amazing tool so you can take a look at how fast that is. Now of course, if I select that tool and using my bracket keys, I blow up that brush nice and big. Let's just do one side. I'm going to drag it back and forth here and basically just only going to do one side of this line roughly, kind of loosely. You can get in there and kind of fine tune some of that stuff. But take a look from one side to the other, look at how many little points they're here, all these useless points, and now look at how much cleaner it is on this side, that tool alone is worth the price of admission in my case, and the great thing about it is if I were to go over here, because this is a mirror image to see how it's only using two points to get these nice handles. If I went over here and I wanted to move this around a little bit now, check out what I got to do. I got to move all these little points. I'm going to try and edit them. I'm going to try and move the handles, and of course, doing a little bit sloppier, but it's a pain in the butt. It would take a long time to manipulate that curve, whereas if I come over here to the one that I just used that two alone. Now just dragging my handles, I can really quickly finesse this line and make it a little smoother. It's an amazing tool. I definitely hope you check out Astute graphics. They've got tons of plugins, and that was showing two tiny little tools in two very good plug-ins. 15. Global Colors: So here's a pretty cool tip. If you have some artwork that's pretty complicated and you have a lot of color, I tend to not use a ta. N in my artwork so it has kind of an example with the most color that I have when I'm illustrating. If we take a look at this in wire-frame, you see there's a lot of different things going on here. Lots of different layers. What happens is this is all in a layer mask right now, so it's nicely cropped to the art board, or just passed it. Using my direct selection tool. If I select this, you can see that it's a beige color. It's like this beige color of beige color. There's a few different ways to sort of select all the same beige. One is to click there and then simply go to select, same and then fill color, which if you've taken my action class, you can also use F10 on your keyboard. After you delete that, you can see that it actually worked. It did pick up all of the beige. That's a test to make sure it did. Now problems that you're going to run into because that was pretty easy and we can replace that color right now if we needed to. But if I select this navy blue color here and I go select same, fill color, then what will happen if I delete it is I'm still not getting the ones that I've used, that had strokes and so on. This can get really tedious if you have really complicated artwork. If you send it to a client and they say, you know what? I don't like the green, I want to make that yellow and I don't like the blue, I want to make that purple and so on and so forth, it's not going to be really easy and quick for you to change those colors instead of manually selecting and piecing everything together. That is unless you use something called global colors. I'll show you what that is right now. Now, again, with a lot of these tips, when you're actually setting up your artwork, there might be an extra step. It might take that second longer. The idea is that putting in that extra time at the beginning should save you time at the end of it. Of course I didn't do that when I made this document, so it's going to take me a second to select it all. Nonetheless, if I were to select all of the same fill color here, and then I drag this into my swatches, which I've already done, you can see here. Again, this has to be in your default swatches or the swatches for this artwork specific, not your custom swatches that we've set up. If we double-click that there and simply check global, we'll see something that's going to make our lives a lot easier soon. When you check level, you should see a little white triangle in the bottom right color of your swatch there. Basically, what I want to do now is selecting these pieces that have the stroke. I'm going to individually select them, and I'm going to make sure they're using that exact same global color. Then we're going to repeat this process for the light-blue by dragging it in, double-clicking on it, and making sure it is global. We just want to repeat this process for the other colors. Another way to select all of one color is to simply use the magic wand tool, which is Y on your keyboard and you can see it over here highlighted. If you select, say the orange, you can see that it'll select all the orange. Again, it won't work if you have some orange somewhere with a stroke. That is another way that can work to select to the same color. Thoughts last on that we're going to drop in as global. We could have done what I did and then manually changed each color, but if the client came back and they said I want to change it again, it can get very tedious, selecting your different artwork, especially if you have really complicated artwork. This is really useful for artwork, more complicated than what I have here. Nonetheless, now, if we want to make a change and our client says, you know what, like I said, we want to make that navy a purple. All we do is go over here to this swatch, double-click on it. We can now change it and click preview and it will automatically change every color that's using that. You can see we can make some kind of purple colors here, and of course you can play with them however you want. We'll go ahead and click okay. The same will be happening for any color that we choose. Make sure you have preview on. Now suddenly we can change all of our work at once. This is really useful for colorizing your artwork, for trying different color schemes and also being able to go back and change it really fast. Definitely a good tip if you've got complicated artwork using global colors, I suggest potentially even converting your entire swatches to global colors before you start your project, because that way they're linked. You can do that by simply selecting the top-left color and then holding down Shift, selecting the last color that isn't already converted, going to double-click and you can see it all opens up. If we check global, those are all now global colors. Now you can continue on creating your artwork, and every time you select one of these colors, it will be linked. Then later on when you need to change color, that's really fast and easy, so you don't have to do what I did if you set it up like that from the start. That is global colors. 16. Outro & Thanks!: Thank you so much for taking the class. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope there wasn't too much information for you and that all skill levels found something a little bit new and interesting that will help them moving forward. As always, you can follow me @ JonBrommet on all social media or you can go to my website,, and you can link to my shop. I've got lots of cool pins, patches, mugs, hats, you name it, and I've got more stuff coming this fall. You can even get this cool new era hat that I custom-designed. Please check that out. Of course, if you click the link to my profile, I've got tons of classes, I've done over 20 now and they've ranged from Photoshop and Illustrator, even Indesign, and even some handmade do it your yourself craft stuff. Check those out as well. I hope you enjoy them. Please give this class and nice thumbs up review, it really helps it trend. Definitely upload your project. Give me some feedback on the class and potentially win some cool stuff. Thank you so much and I'll see you again. 17. A Message From Future Jon: Wait, one more thing, I'm adding this. This is future Jon Brommet talking to you. I hope you enjoyed the cost that you just watched. Some of these classes have been recorded a few years ago. I just wanted to give a little up-to-date on what I'm doing now. You can see that I've put out a ton of classes potentially from the class that you just watched as you may have been watching one of my older classes. If you go over to my profile, you can click it somewhere on the Skillshare website or go to, it's spelled just like that with no H, just J-O-N, and you'll see here I've got things broken down in my newest classes. This may even look slightly different for you because I'm putting out classes once a month right now. I've got my most popular classes, illustration, efficiency in Illustrator, Photoshop stuff, and then all of my other classes. Make sure that if it's not already selected, you click See More to see the rest of it. So many different classes. I hope you guys will be inspired to learn lots more and hopefully you're enjoying my classes and want to see more; and if that's not enough, I'm @jonbrommet on Instagram so you can check out my Instagram as well to know what I'm doing, and I post all my new artwork there and of course let you know when I'm doing new Skillshare stuff and I've started a YouTube channel where I put short videos that are instructional and I'm obviously advertising with my Skillshare class, but short videos that I can't really put a whole class out, I put it here on YouTube and I even do things like have conversations with other teachers, like [inaudible] , planning to do that kind of stuff more often If you head over to, I've newly updated my website. I have a digital shop or you can grab my Procreate brushes or other things like that, and on top of seeing that my different portfolio elements and things like that, I've also got a Etsy shop, which I'll click here and it would open this. You can buy all of my pins and different art things that I've created and I will ship them to you from me. I've gotten them all produced here in my home and they look awesome and I know that they're cool, and I just recently started a Threadless shop, which you could click here. Of course, this is about in Skillshare and contact, everything's linked from my website. This new Threadless shop has all my merch that can be printed on demand on a really weirdly wild variety of things like, I don't know, let's just click one of these things here. It's going to open a T-shirt, but let's just say maybe instead of a T-shirt you wanted, I don't know what, I duvet cover or shower curtains; why wouldn't you want those things? I don't know. Anyway, I've got lots of different things going on. If you'd like what I'm doing, please check out more of that and I'll keep making more things. Thanks everyone. Bye bye.