Learning Adobe Illustrator

For more than 25 years, Adobe Illustrator has maintained its position as the world's leading vector illustration program, for both the PC and Macintosh platforms. A simple survey among creative professionals will find the program on the computers of a vast majority of those people responsible for the logos, package design, web site drawings, maps, and a vast array of assignments that require more than a painting program. With a set of project based Adobe Illustrator textbooks, The Against The Clock Professional Portfolio series meets the needs of the community when it comes to learning Adobe Illustrator.

There are two kinds of programs used by our creative community and professional communicators to create original artwork, or to improve and/or modify existing art. The. First is called "bitmap" and the second "Vector". Learning Adobe Illustrator will expose you to how those professionals use this powerful vector drawing program. Starting with its powerful Pen tool, you will learn the basics of strokes, fills, and shapes. But that isn't all you will learn; it is only the beginning.

Vector vs. bitmap artwork

The difference between vector illustrations and bitmap painting programs (Like Adobe Photoshop) has to do with resolution. Vector artwork is defined by Adobe Illustrator as mathematical formulas. That means that artwork you create with the program can be output at the tiniest size you scan need - like tiny logos on a pen, or golf ball, for example - and still be used as a full-sized billboard. The mathematical descriptions generated by this powerful drawing application generates the artwork as perfectly on the huge sign as it did on the golf ball. This "Resolution Independent" artwork you can generate is key to the power and popularity of the software program. Traditional computer graphics generate pixel-based, or bit mapped artwork. These elements can be resized, but they are prone to becoming jagged or blurry when they are enlarged beyond a certain point.

A Unique Approach to Learning Adobe Illustrator

Learning Adobe Illustrator's powerful tool set can be overwhelming. Sure, you can find hundreds of "free" tips, videos, and instructions on the Internet. But learning Illustrator requires more than simply learning how to use the Pen tool, or how to create and fill a shape using what are called "Be┼║ier" curves. These curves, which control how paths behave in between the "Anchor Points" you create as you click your mouse, are only one of a thousand different complex functionality the application offers. More importantly than learning how to bend a curve is knowing when the incredibly accurate technique should be utilized, and where. In the real world of digital artwork, knowing the most effective method to use, and what client needs are best met by its use is something that simple tool skills will never provide to you. There are always twelve ways to skin that proverbial (stuffed please!!!!) cat, and knowing when to use what tool to best solve client problems is key to the strategy you will find in the Against The Clock method of helping you in your efforts when learning Adobe Illustrator.

This difference between learning tools one-at-time, and learning to use them alone and largely out-of-context and learning when they're the best tool for the job at hand is critical. And that approach to project-based learning as opposed to creating creating simple reference book is what separates the Against the Clock approach to your learning Illustrator from everything out there. What has become known as Experiential education (compared to "referential") puts you in the real world of the professional in a room with a real client; not at a computer screen clicking a mouse button. The clicking is important, all right; but what to click and when to create that reflect package the client envisions requires a fundamental difference in how you learn.

Unique personal portfolios for use in the job market

Spend a hundred - more - hours learning to use a set of tools and what you end up with is a great understanding of tools. Knowledge of Adobe Illustrator's extensive tool set is, of course, critical in your career development. It is out there in the marketplace that illustration, drawing, annotating exists bitmap images, using them in complex vector-based artwork, designing and developing page layouts for print and web projects, mapping, kiosk development, and packaging and interactivity will come into play. And it is there that knowing what tool to use when makes your creative lights shine.

When you have completed The Against The Clock Professional Portfolio Series Adobe Illustrator textbook, the end result will be sixteen incredibly well-designed, professionally tested, and successfully employed by thousands of professionals just like you. Half of them have been put together to simulate your meeting real-world demands by a real client. You will learn what tools are best applied to meet those demands, and you're supplied with every component (including detailed step-by-step instructions and student files) you need to get that project ready for its ultimate distribution media. Some are print, some are web, and some are both. And each project is followed by a "Student Assignment" that requires your imagery, your content components, your camera, your drawings, and most importantly, your creative talent. It will be ready - and so will you - for the most demanding job interview in our demanding marketplace.

Our approach to project-based education will hold up to the test when learning Adobe Illustrator becomes key to developing your career as a professional creative talent.