This follow up, to our “Graphic Design Software: The Big Three” blog, will dive into more detail in each of the three major Adobe Suite. This week we wanted to give you a brief insight of five of the most widely but indispensable tools used when starting off with Illustrator.
Illustrator, for those who are not familiar with it, is a vector drawing tool, used by illustrators to create scaled artwork. Which means, the drawing can be stretched 100 times and the quality will not change. Here are the top five tools for Illustrator:
When you use the pen tool, a path is created. Each path will contain two or more anchor points, that form when straight or curved lines are connected. You can drag the anchor points and this will change the shape of your line. These little changes can help when you have to make minor changes to your visual. This can be a little difficult to understand but by playing around with the pen tool you can really grasp how diverse this tool is.
Brushes and path work together as for as brushes let you format your path in any style you want. This can be done before or after you have created the path, or alternatively you can use the brush tool to draw a path directly. There are a number of brushes in Illustrator, ranging from pattern to calligraphic brushes. You can create strokes that look like they have been drawn by a regular paintbrush or draw with what resembles a calligraphic pen.
The type tool is quite self explanatory, it is used for creating type. As mentioned before, Illustrator can be scaled which means there is no worry of your type coming out pixelated. You can start off by selecting the area where you wish to use, then type out a font and create an outline to be able to adjust that font in the way you like. You can then either wrap the font around an object, make the font into the right perspective and much more.
The perspective tool can be a bit daunting at first, with all those confusing line that appear when you click on it in the sidebar menu. This tool allows you to make your artwork look 3D as you would perceive it in the real world. By controlling the vanishing points, your object can then follow the grid lines and look photo-realistic. This is very handy when you want to place writing on a wall or to visualize how a room would look if you were standing in it.
This tool is not very well known and not commonly used. The blend tool lets you create a series of transitional objects and colours across two or more selected objects. This is very useful when you need an object repeated multiple time evenly. When using the blend tool, you can also merge two or more colours together to create a “rainbow” effect. This very versatile tool that should be in every designer’s collection.
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