More and more designers are switching to digital creations these days, making them curious about Adobe Illustrator, the ultimate software to create unique digital content.
It’s an easy-to-learn software that comes with all the needed tools for your creations, offering you the possibility to upscale your designs and make them professional.
You probably heard of it from a friend or by doing your own research online. Either way, if you are here, it means for sure that you want to learn more about it. So, make sure to keep reading until the end!
What is Adobe Illustrator?
Adobe Illustrator is a software used to design illustrations (as its name indicates), drawings, artworks, logos, etc. It is compatible with both Windows and macOS and is very popular among graphic designers and visual artists, amateurs as well as professionals, as it is basically part of their daily job.
To know more about it, let’s go back a little bit in time. Adobe Illustrator was first released in 1987 and became a famous, if not an essential tool, for anyone looking to make digital illustrations and artworks. It is a very useful software since it contains all the needed tools to create quality content in a short amount of time. You get to easily manipulate colors, lines, text, and more, and create excellent results out of them.
The main difference between Illustrator and Photoshop is that this one works on creating and editing vector graphics, which allows you to play with its dimensions and keep its high resolution without ever worrying it will be pixelated.
What is Illustrator CC?
Illustrator CC means that the version is part of the Creative Cloud. It is usually mentioned before the year the version was released. For instance, “Illustrator CC 2020,” which is the current version.
Illustrator CC comes with many benefits, such as the possibility of synchronizing your work with the Cloud. It can also be integrated with Behance and create an online visual portfolio of your works.
Not only that, but Illustrator CC also had many updates since their very first version (Illustrator v17), and it helped improve the fonts, colors, brushes, etc.
And, last but not least, it is now compatible with touchscreens, which makes it really easy to switch from designing by hand to creating digital artworks.
Adobe Illustrator: a vector-based graphics software
As we said above, the main advantage of using Illustrator is it being vector-based. No matter the resolution, you can enlarge or reduce your illustration, and the quality will remain the same.
On the other hand, Adobe Photoshop is resolution dependent, which means the picture’s quality is impacted once you change its size.
The difference between the two is that Illustrator creates a vector graphic, which is basically an image made out of polygons, which, in their turn, are a combination of vectors. So, each vector has its own specificities such as its own control point and path (its location on the x and y axes), color, thickness, and so on.
All of these vectors are established through mathematical formulas, which makes them keep their quality when resized.
When it comes to Photoshop, it uses a pixel grid for its images, which makes the pixels more visible once the dimensions are changed, and this eventually affects the image’s quality.
This makes Illustrator a better option for designing logos, for example, as you can include them in different projects, from flyers and brochures to billboards.
The most common uses of Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is mainly used to create high-quality digital content, such as illustrations, logos, artworks, but also designing mock-ups for websites or simply creating infographics with charts and diagrams.
Most of Illustrator’s users import an initial picture on the software and trace on it, whether it is a sketch made by hand, an inspirational photograph, etc.
This way, they can easily create a lookalike illustration, then complete it by personalizing the lines’ thickness, color settings, adding text, etc.
We narrowed the most common uses of Illustrator to fives ones; let’s check them in detail:
Illustrator makes it really easy to draw icons as you can simply use its grid system to draw shapes and arrange them the way you want. Each shape can be customized on its own (colors, thickness, etc.) to match the design you have in mind.
Maps can easily be created using the line and pen tools (which, by the way, should be the first tools to learn as a beginner). They will allow you to draw and manipulate literally any shape!
Whether it is for a presentation, a newspaper, or something else, infographics are important to communicate an easy-to-understand idea in an appealing and attractive way. Illustrator will enable you to draw all kinds of graphs, charts, and diagrams, only by entering your data. (It is pretty much the same operation on Microsoft Office but on a more professional level.)
Illustrator is the perfect software to draw the best cartoon illustrations. You can use the pen tool to draw different shapes, color your drawing, add shading, etc.
Nowadays, logos can be made for free on different websites, but only a professional one is made on Illustrator. Having a catchy vector logo is an important part of the brand’s success so that it can be included in different formats for advertising (online publications, flyers, banners, etc.) and scale it without having to worry about its quality.
How much does Adobe Illustrator cost?
To use Illustrator CC, you need to subscribe either monthly or annually. For an individual application, you get to pay $19.99 per month or $17.99 if you make an annual subscription.
The other payment plan includes all Creative Cloud’s applications and costs $49. (You can get a 20% discount if you use the prepaid plan)
You can also benefit from a 7-days free trial before subscribing and try out the different tools that the software offers to make sure it suits your needs.
We hope you enjoyed reading our article, and that the information provided was useful. What are you using Illustrator for, and do you have any particular tips to share with fellow designers? Let us know in the comments.