Tech Tuesday: How To Use Adobe Illustrator

The creativity mantra in the digital age is to brand you as uniquely you. For most companies, this is shown through the visual identity of their logo. There are several tools you can pick from to create a logo. However, one of the most popular software in use is the Adobe Illustrator which creates scalable vector artwork, as opposed to the Adobe Photoshop which is typically used for raster or bitmap artwork.


What’s more is that you can create tons of different projects ranging from illustrations, charts, graphs to diagrams and essentially whatever you can imagine. One of the most popular uses of the Illustrator is to create a logo. This is because vector art does not lose its quality as you change the size. For example, if you make a vector logo for a business card and then decide to put the logo on a billboard, it will not lose its quality. However, if this was made with a raster tool, the blown-up version would look blurry as raster imagery are pixel-based.


So, how do you start? Make a new document and set up your workspace. It helps to have an idea of where you want to go from the start. This could be a sketch or a photo for inspiration; you just need to have an idea of what you are working towards. Try using the shape tool. You can combine a variety of rectangles, triangles, circles and other shapes to help create your vision.


After you make the shapes, it’s time to add color. The Illustrator lets you change the color of both the fill and the stroke. The fill is what is inside the shape and the stroke is the border along the outside of the shape. Once you are ready to do some refining, you can rotate and change the color of the shape. The components will not lose their visual quality since they are vector-based. Once you have your imagery together, add some text. Adobe offers a lot of different font options, especially if you have the Creative Cloud. You can utilize the Adobe Typekit which offers a large variety of typefaces.


Finally, you can save and export your logo. You can save the file as an Adobe Illustrator document (.ai) and you can also choose to export the project as a different file type. One of the most common formats used is PNG or Portable Network Graphics. It’s suggested that you save both file types so that you can go back to the original project file if you ever need to make any edits. And from there you can do as you wish with your logo. You can make a t-shirt, upload it your website, put it on a billboard, and brand yourself as one-of-a-kind.


Author: Adam Hesselbrock, Undergraduate Consultant 

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