Alisen Hazzard

the Blog

Illustrator Foundations

Posted on June 10th, 2014

I've been doing some research into the Adobe programs - Treehouse has a wonderful collection of videos for learning the foundations of Illustrator and Photoshop from the bottom-up. Mat Helme, who teaches Illustrator Foundations, does a thorough job of explaining every one of the tools available and how to use them. As a total newbie, this was exactly what I needed.

If you're familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator, you already know the whole deal about vector vs. rastor graphics. This difference is totally fascinating to me and important to understand as a design student. I started with Photoshop tutorials to get my feet wet, since I had some (read: very limited) experience using it to edit photos. It's popular among my photographer friends, who seem to use it mainly as editing software rather than a platform for building art from scratch. While this is a perfectly good application of the program, I wanted to know more about using it in other ways.

To be honest, I was totally intimidated by Illustrator. Like Photoshop, it was not intuitive for me at all. I really needed someone to say directly, "This is how you do such-and-such, and this is what this tool does."

Now that I've been following along with the Treehouse lessons, there are so many ways to use this program to actually make things. The course has you design a logo using shapes, color, and type (and also explains best practices of typography in graphic design), and now we're moving into drawing to make custom vector artwork. It's been great so far, and I would definitely recommend it if you want to learn Illustrator in depth.

Alisen's Top Tips for Illustrator Beginners:

What are your favorite tips for Illustrator beginners? @alisenhazzard

Tagged in: Illustrator