Today is the day … I’m so excited about this new class and finally get to share it with you!
After years of designing invitations, Christmas cards and artwork in sub-par design programs, I finally decided to learn Adobe Illustrator. I had heard it was the best program to use for graphic design and the only thing ‘real’ designers used, so I figured if I was going to take myself seriously as a graphic designer, I might as well use the correct tools. A little unsure and intimidated, I purchased a copy, installed it on my computer and opened it up.
It was even more complicated than I imagined.
I tried clicking on a few familiar looking tools, but ended up with criss-crossing lines and an oddly sized workspace.
After just a few minutes, I decided I was, in fact, not ready for the real deal.
For the next year or so, I stuck with my less-professional, but much less-intimidating programs to continue designing projects. Eventually, these programs were not giving me the results I wanted or the tools I needed and so out of necessity, I gave Illustrator another try. This time, a friend gave me a few pointers that helped immensely. Simple things like: here’s how to open a new document, and here’s what the pencil tool does. Little by little, I clicked around trying out different tools, read forum conversations when I was stuck, and most of all, practiced. What was once super intimidating became very comfortable to navigate and soon all my designing was done in this once foreign program with better results and an easier workflow than with those previous programs.
The real test came five years later when my best friend and I decided to take an Illustrator class at our local community college. I was a bit nervous that I was using everything incorrectly, missing major functions and tools and just hacking my way through a very powerful design software and thus totally insulting everyone who actually called themselves graphic designers.
As it turned out, I had actually taught myself quite well. There is still much about Illustrator that I do not know or use or even need, but what I’ve learned is that to be a ‘real’ graphic designer, you don’t need to be an expert in the ins & outs, every tool and shortcut and function of the program. You just need to practice, get comfortable with the different tools and develop your own style. It may mean you only use a fraction of what’s available within the program, but as long as you are enjoying the process and getting the results you are after, I say leave well enough alone.
Now it’s your turn to give graphic design a try. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own artwork, design your family’s holiday cards, create a personalized invitation, customize your blog with one-of-a-kind graphics or brand your small business, learning to use Illustrator will open up all of those doors for you. The best part is, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.
Is this class an exhaustive look at Illustrator?
Not at all.
Partially because I am not equipped to offer that, but also because if you are anything like me, we don’t need an exhaustive look at Illustrator. We just need the basics. The essential tools. The best functions. The common shortcuts.
Simplified Graphic Design.
I hope you are excited and ready to begin.
Simplified Graphic Design is a course created for the beginner graphic designer who is new to Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator enables you to create professional vector artwork (images that can be scaled to any size without losing quality) for both print and web graphics. While the program can be intimidating upon first glance, this course will walk you through the most essential and helpful tools showing you how to create your own designs and leaving you with a comfortable understanding and confidence in working in Illustrator.
This is a great class for those who love graphic design and want to learn how to create their own graphics. Whether you have no experience in Illustrator or a basic knowledge of the program, you will finish the course a more proficient designer with a handful of shortcuts that will make the process simple and enjoyable. If you are well-acquainted with Illustrator, a professional graphic designer or looking for tips for creating a graphic design business, this course will not be a good fit for you.
Because most of us learn best by watching a task being done, this course is a series of eleven in-depth videos that cover all of the basic functions, most helpful tools and many tips and tricks in Adobe Illustrator useful for everyday designing. You can watch and re-watch to learn new techniques and then pause the video to practice on your own.
The course covers:
- familiarizing ourselves with Adobe Illustrator
- using the most common functions for every day designing
- how to create, transform and design with text
- using clipping masks and digital paper to create art
- turning hand drawn doodles into vector graphics
- altering images using the live trace & paint functions
- how to create shapes, templates and tags
- printing and saving your work
- the work flow of a start-to-finish invitation
- the work flow of a start-to-finish web graphic
- resources for tools, design elements and inspiration
The course and all its content takes place online in a password protected classroom. Go at your own pace, moving from section to section as quickly or slowly as needed. You will have unlimited access to the class so you can always refer back to it as needed.
All questions can be asked in the comment section of each topic. This will act as our forum and helpful troubleshooting for all students.
Adobe Illustrator (free 30-day trial – sign-up here)
Due to the digital nature of the course, registration is non-refundable.