Adobe Illustrator Tutorials: Learning the Interface | Skillshare Projects

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Adobe Illustrator Tutorials: Learning the Interface

Used by graphics designers and anyone who wants to create their own images, Illustrator is a powerful tool no matter what form of art you practice. But, exactly what is Adobe Illustrator? It’s a software program designed by Adobe that enables you to create your own images and alter them to meet all of your needs. It has everything to help you create the image you prefer, from basic shapes to amazing effects. 

When you want to start designing your own images, no matter what you’ll use them for, you’ll want to make sure you learn how to use Illustrator effectively. It’s important to learn everything you can do with the software as well as make sure you understand how to use everything efficiently. The more efficiently you can work, the faster you can create images. 

If you’re ready to start learning how to use Illustrator, you’ll want to learn more about the interface you’re working with. The beginner Adobe Illustrator tutorials should review the interface before you start working on your first project, but you may also just want to play around with it a little bit before you start the tutorial.  

Start Learning About the Illustrator Software and Interface 

Are you wondering, what is Adobe Illustrator and what can it do? Beginner Adobe Illustrator tutorials are going to give you the information you need to not only understand what you can do with the software but to learn how to do it. These tutorials teach you how to use the program effectively and make it easier for you to learn what to do when there’s something specific you want to try. They’ll provide a basic overview of the entire program so you can get started on your first project right away.  

Before you start using the software or doing a tutorial to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator, go ahead and play around with the program a bit first. This will help you get a little more familiar with the interface before you start working on the tutorial and will give you the chance to experiment with what you can do a little bit.  

Main Menu 

Across the top of the screen is the main menu, which is what you’d expect to see as it’s similar to the main menu in most programs. File enables you to open, save, or create new files as well as export or print your files. Edit gives you a selection of editing options you can use and the Help menu provides quick access to help topics. There are also Illustrator-specific menus here you’ll want to look at. These provide an easy way to access many of the tools or effects you may want to use for your image.  

Check Out the Preferences 

Under the Edit menu at the top of the screen, you can select preferences to see what you can change to make it look how you want. For instance, you can click on Selection and Anchor Display, then change how the anchors look whenever you use them.  

Under Guides and Grid, you can change the color or the style of the guides and grids to make sure you can easily see them when you’re working with Illustrator. You can also select User Interface to make the entire workspace lighter or darker, depending on what you prefer.  You can play with the preferences as much as you want to make sure the workspace looks the way you want.  

Open a New Project 

If you’re working on an Illustrator tutorial, you may need to open a file created by your instructor or create a new file on your own. Opening a file works the same way it does in most other programs, but if you decide to create a new project, there are a few options you’ll want to be aware of.  

When you’re ready to start a project, you can use premade profiles to select the right settings automatically or customize the project the way you want. If you’re working on a project you want to be able to print on regular printer paper, for instance, adjust the height and width to fit the size of a sheet of paper. You can also adjust the advanced features to change the color mode, preview mode, and more.  

Color and Color Guide 

On the right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see a few different panels, beginning with the Color panel. Color enables you to easily choose any color you may want to work with. The colors panel has ever color for the color type your working with and you can click on an area of this panel to select the color you prefer. 

The color guide shows you different shades of the colors you’re currently working with so you can adjust your colors as needed. This is a convenient option if you’re looking for the same color, but a little bit darker or lighter or if you’d like to look at all of your colors to see what works well together. 

Swatches Panel 

When you select a color in the Color panel, it will appear in your swatches panel. This panel shows all of the colors you’ve selected in one spot so you can easily switch between colors without having to look for the exact one you used earlier in your design.  

This can be incredibly helpful as it enables you to make sure you have exact matches for the colors you’re using. You can also easily add new swatches if you’d like to expand your swatches panel while you’re working.  

Appearance Panel 

When you’ve selected an object or a collection of objects, you can then adjust the stroke values and fill patterns easily in the Appearance panel. You can also choose Graphics Styles to easily adjust them while you’re working. The Graphics Style section enables you to easily access different effects you may want to use in your image, such as 3D effects, artistic effects, neon effects, scribble effects, and textures. 

Layers Panel 

Anything you create is going to be on a different layer. You can add or delete layers, change how they’re arranged to make something show up in the foreground or move it to the background, or turn layers on and off to see how your image changes with or without a layer being used. 

You can also click on Artboards to save different artboards while you’re working on your image or to switch between the artboards you’ve already save.  

Learn Some of the Tools You Can Use 

Tools are used to create your own design in the workspace. There are quite a few different tools you can use and the most common ones are located on the left-hand side of your screen. Some of the most common tools you’ll use include the following.  

  • Selection Tools – Enable you to select a part of your project. There are two different selection tools, depending on what you want to select from your image.  
  • Magic Wand – Use this to select all of a certain color. If you’re working with a few different colors, you can use this to select all of the yellow objects or all of the red objects, depending on what you need to select.  
  • Lasso – Select a custom shape on the screen instead of a pre-defined shape.  
  • Pen Tool – You’ll use this to create anchor points and connect them together with straight lines. The anchor points can be moved and adjusted to change the shape of what you’re drawing. 

These are just the first few tools you’ll come across on the left-hand side of the screen. When you start an Illustrator tutorial, you’ll learn what all of the tools are and what they can do. You can also mouse-over the tools to see what they are before you click on them. 

When you need to use a tool, you can left click or right click on the one you need. Left clicking selects the tool while right-clicking enables you to see a few different options for the tool. If you’re working with the pen tool, for instance, you can see the various types of pen tools you can use.  

At the top of your screen, under the main menu, you’ll see another panel going across the screen. This is where you can change how the tool you’re using works. This will change every time you open a new tool and provides you with the basic settings for that tool so you can customize it to work how you want. As you’re learning how to use Adobe Illustrator, you’ll learn more about this panel and what you can customize for each of the tools. 

If you’re interested in creating your own images, you’ll want to learn how to use Illustrator. Just understanding the interface is going to help you when you start your first Illustrator tutorial as you’ll already have a little bit of an idea of where to find anything you might need. If you’re ready to start working on your first project and learning how to use the program effectively, check out the beginner Adobe Illustrator tutorials available online today.  

 

Hint: learning other forms of art such as acrylic painting techniques or calligraphy tutorials can help you improve your digital media skills.

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