9 Tips For Using Adobe Illustrator More Effectively
Like most applications, Adobe Illustrator is full of hidden gems. There are multiple ways to accomplish just about everything that Illustrator can do. Today, we will be looking at some ways that you can speed up your Illustrator workflows. These tips are aimed at newcomers to Illustrator, but any level of Illustrator user should find these tips helpful.
1. Use Brushes To Create Awesome Effects
Brushes are often overlooked in Illustrator. You can use brushes to add depth to your artwork. There are numerous brushes available online for any effect you can imagine. You’ll be able to add watercolor, oil paints, charcoal and even custom sensitivity to your artwork.
2. Select All The Similar Objects In A Document
Many people who are new to Illustrator don’t realize that they can select similar objects with just a few clicks. Use the selection tool to select a portion of your artwork. In the top menu, go to Select > Same and then pick the option that fits best with what you’re trying to select. This is a quick way to select multiple paths that may not be easily selected by using your mouse. It’s also a great way to select hidden artwork or blocked paths.
3. Learn To Use The Pen Tool Correctly
Mastering the Pen Tool should be your first order of business in Illustrator. There are some great tools that make it easy to design some impressive artwork, but there’s no equivalent to the Pen Tool. It’s not difficult to learn, and using the Pen Tool gives you much more control over what you’re creating. Any path can be created using the Pen Tool; and once you’ve mastered the Pen Tool, you’ll be able to take those skills to other applications. In general, the Pen Tool works the same way across the Adobe applications.
4. Use The Pathfinder To Create Complex Shapes
Once you’ve mastered the Pen Tool, you’ll want to master the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder allows you to combine or separate paths to make them into different paths. For example, you can layer simple shapes, and then use the pathfinder to transform them into a more unified, complicated shape. There are several tutorials for using the Pathfinder to transform basic shapes into some amazing works of art.
5. Use The Shape Builder Tool As A Simpler, More Visual Option To The Pathfinder
The Shape Builder Tool is one of the newer tools. It’s a simplified version of the Pathfinder. The Shape Builder performs the same basic functions as the Pathfinder. It allows you to add multiple connecting paths, or subtract segments of multiple connected paths. The Shape Builder doesn’t contain every option you’ll find in the Pathfinder. The advantage to using the Shape Builder is that you can see the changes to your artwork as you make them. Hovering over a selected area will give you a preview of what the new shape will look like.
6. Use The Appearance Panel Instead Of Duplicating Shapes To Create Additional Fills And Strokes
If you’ve gotten into the habit of duplicating a path in order to create multiple fills and strokes; stop! Use the Appearance Panel to add multiple fills and strokes to any path. You can make some very intricate artwork just by adding multiple strokes in multiple weights.
7. Use The Layers Panel To Manage Your Artwork
Organizing your artwork is important. Use the Layers Panel to arrange all of the different elements of your artwork. If you get into the habit of using the Layers Panel it will save you a lot of time in the future. The Layers Panel allows you to rearrange and reorder all of your different paths in a way that makes sense to you.
8. Use Patterns To Simplify Your Workflow And Add Dimension To Your Artwork
If you find yourself using the same shape over and over again try creating a pattern for that shape. A good example of uses for a pattern would be those found in background images that repeat. Patterns are also a great option for creating some types of abstract artwork.
9. Use Fonts To Save Time Creating Complex Paths
Once you have become more comfortable with Illustrator, you will be able to use any font to create any type of path. There are several types of fonts available online for you to download. Search for a font that has the shape that you are looking for. Next, type out the character that represents the shape that you want to create. Once you have your desired shape, use the create outlines feature available in Illustrator. Converting your text to outlines will make that text an editable path.
These tips will make you an Illustrator export in no time! The key is combining these tips where appropriate to free up time in your design work to pursue other things.