Illustrator CC for Creative Professionals

Authors: Laura Coyle, Matthew Pizzi, Justin Seeley, Laurie Ruhlin, William Everhart, Pariah Burke

In this learning path, you’ll start to master Illustrator by working on some practical examples. You’ll then move onto more specific projects teaching some of the most core skills... Read more


The goal of this section is to teach you the fundamental skills for using the software. You'll learn enough of the basics to know how to use Illustrator competently.


Illustrator CC Fundamentals

by Matthew Pizzi

Mar 9, 2016 / 4h 30m

Beginner • 4h 30m

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Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard vector drawing tool. It's used by print professionals as well as illustrators and web designers. Illustrator CC Fundamentals explains the key concepts and techniques for producing vector-based artwork. We review the elements that make up vector graphics such as paths, strokes, and fills. Additionally, we show you how to use the key drawing tools, including the Pen Tool. This course is designed to be the first in series by Train Simple that teaches all that you need to know about Adobe Illustrator. Software required: Adobe Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. What Is Adobe Illustrator?
    1m 56s
  2. Understanding Illustrator CC
    44m 38s
  3. Working in Illustrator
    44m 3s
  4. Core Drawing Principles
    54m 50s
  5. Combining Paths and Shapes
    46m 50s
  6. Creating Artwork
    27m 40s
  7. Working with Type
    50m 31s

Illustrator CC Building on the Fundamentals

by Matthew Pizzi

Mar 16, 2016 / 4h 8m

Beginner • 4h 8m

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Illustrator CC Building on the Fundamentals is a course that dives deeper into Illustrator CC. Learn various ways to become more efficient when making selections and how to get the most out of formatting and transforming objects. We also review various ways to manage color and work with gradients. Effectively work with fills and strokes and reuse content by taking advantage of symbols. We also cover how to work with bitmaps inside of Illustrator and how to properly use clipping and opacity masks.

Table of contents
  1. Welcome
    1m 46s
  2. Making Selections
    18m 6s
  3. Appearance, Groups, and Layer
    47m 10s
  4. Working With Fills
    51m 7s
  5. Working with Strokes
    21m 22s
  6. Transforming Objects
    25m 8s
  7. Brushes and Symbols
    31m 3s
  8. Working with Bitmaps
    34m 35s
  9. Printing and Saving
    18m 19s

Illustrator CC Pen Tool

by Laura Coyle

Mar 22, 2016 / 1h 46m

Beginner • 1h 46m

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Knowing your way around the Pen tool is a vital skill for vector drawing in Illustrator CC. In Illustrator CC Pen Tool, you will learn how to use the Pen tool with ease. You'll learn how to sketch with the tool as well as about libraries and outputs. Next, you'll move onto more intermediary lessons: drawing great curves and decorative drawing. Finally, you'll discover how you can add last details to finalize your sketch. By the end of this course, you'll be able to use the Pen Tool in Illustrator CC like a pro. Software required: Adobe Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Welcome to Adobe Illustrator CC Pen Tool
    2m 30s
  2. Getting Started with the Pen Tool
    20m 51s
  3. Well Constructed Curves
    31m 21s
  4. Decorative Drawing
    25m 27s
  5. From Sketch to Final
    25m 56s


In this section, you’ll build on your foundation by learning how to put your technical skills to use with design and illustration theories and tools. This combination of theory and tools is the next step once a graphic designer or illustrator has a solid foundation of the software.


Illustrator CC Designing Type With Graphic Styles

by Laura Coyle

Apr 27, 2016 / 59m

Intermediate • 59m

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Creating your own personalized fonts and type can really take your project or brand to the next level. This course, Illustrator CC Designing Type With Graphic Styles, will walk you through the benefits of working with graphic styles in order to easily make your own type. In this short project, you'll master the Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator CC and create custom graphic styles for type and objects. You'll also learn about styling strokes and gradients along the way. Finally, you'll cover border styles, glyphs, alignment, and more to complete your project. By the end of this course, you'll have all the skills you need to create your own graphic styles for future projects. Software required: Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction
    1m 16s
  2. Graphic Styles
    58m 4s

Illustrator CC Typography

by Pariah Burke

Dec 14, 2016 / 6h 23m

Intermediate • 6h 23m

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From logo design to illustration, from posters to signage, from brochures to menus, your text is meant to be read, to convey a message. It can't do that if it isn't legible, readable, and well styled. Achieving these results is the art of typography. In this course, Illustrator CC Typography, you will learn not only the hows, but also the whys and whens of typography. First, you'll learn all about Illustrator's precision type controls and the ways to use them to create intricately-styled short type objects and highly readable, perfectly adjusted paragraphs of text. Next, you'll learn about the methods and rules for setting and perfecting typography in Illustrator, from single words and glyphs used in logo designs and posters, to complete threaded stories that span multiple artboards in brochures, menus, and more. Finally, you'll learn about formatting text and working with styles; meticulous adjustment of kerning, tracking, scaling, shifting baselines, and more. By the end of this course, you'll not only have the skills to set perfect type, but also the confidence and understanding to make the right typesetting decisions again and again, in every one of your designs. Software required: Adobe Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Course Overview
    2m 41s
  2. Working with Type in Illustrator
    57m 52s
  3. Working with Short Text
    43m 18s
  4. Working with Paragraphs of Text
    1h 18m 34s
  5. Adjusting Type
    48m 5s
  6. Perfecting Typography
    1h 3m 11s
  7. Working with Styles
    39m 32s
  8. Working with Asian and Indic Type
    50m 18s

Illustrator CC Drawing and Coloring with Live Paint

by Laura Coyle

Oct 19, 2016 / 49m

Intermediate • 49m

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In this course, Illustrator CC Drawing and Coloring with Live Paint, you will learn how to use some of Illustrator's intuitive and natural artistic tools. You'll explore these features by working on a dog detective illustration which will feature creating calligraphic brushes and using Live Paint for color. Software required: Adobe Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Creating the Dog Detective Illustration
    49m 15s

Illustrator CC Recolor Artwork

by Laura Coyle

Oct 28, 2016 / 56m

Intermediate • 56m

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The Recolor feature of Adobe Illustrator CC allows you to apply multiple color palettes to your artwork, extending it's versatility. In this short course, you'll learn how to unlock the power of this tool by repurposing a piece of artwork. Software required: Adobe Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Recolor Artwork
    56m 42s

Illustrator CC Curvature Tool

by Laura Coyle

Apr 11, 2016 / 53m

Intermediate • 53m

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The Pen tool in Illustrator can create curves--but they often don't look smooth or polished. This course, Illustrator CC Curvature Tool, will show you how to use Illustrator CC 2014's Curvature tool (and others) to create beautiful curves in your artwork easier than ever before. First, you'll learn the basics of the Curvature tool: how to set your preferences for this tool and how to draw curves. You'll then move onto using the Anchor Point tool in order to refine your curves to make them look smoother. Finally, you'll learn some tricks and shortcuts with other tools such as the Reflect tool to end up with your final design: a curved frame with decorative flourishes. By the end of this course, you'll have a more in-depth knowledge of several Illustrator CC tools and you'll be able to create polished and flowing curved paths in your artwork.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction
    3m 14s
  2. Illustrator CC Curvature
    50m 19s

Adobe Brush CC & Illustrator Art Brushes

by Laura Coyle

Oct 14, 2016 / 59m

Beginner • 59m

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In this course, you'll learn to use the Adobe Brush CC app to capture textures with your mobile device and bring them into Illustrator to make custom Art Brushes. Learn about Pressure Sensitivity and the many options for editing brushes and using Art Brushes creatively in Illustrator. Software required: Adobe Brush and Adobe Illustrator.

Table of contents
  1. Illustrator CC Art Brushes
    59m 34s

Illustrator CC for Web Designers

by William Everhart

Jul 21, 2017 / 4h 52m

Intermediate • 4h 52m

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Adobe Illustrator, traditionally used by graphic designers, is typically not considered to be a web design tool and has been ignored by most web designers. However, with the addition of many new web centric features and the shift to SVG support in modern browsers, Adobe Illustrator is rapidly becoming the go-to application for web and mobile app design. In this course, Illustrator CC for Web Designers, you'll learn how to utilize Illustrator CC for your web design projects. First, you'll explore how effective Adobe Illustrator can be as a web design tool. Next, you'll delve into creating graphics, such as buttons and icons for use in all of your web and mobile projects. Finally, you'll cover how easy it is to wireframe websites and mobile apps using Illustrator's vector tools. When you're finished with this course, you'll be able to create a website mockup complete with images, text, and graphics that is ready to hand off to a developer. Software required: Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Course Overview
    1m 47s
  2. Foundational Concepts
    38m 49s
  3. Optimizing Adobe Illustrator for Web Design
    55m 38s
  4. Creating Graphics for Web and Mobile Apps
    39m 45s
  5. Using Illustrator for Wireframing
    1h 32m 43s
  6. Taking the Next Step: Mocking up Your Website
    1h 3m 20s


These advanced level courses will spend more time covering techniques and skills, like advanced illustrations and font creation. Font creation specifically is a skill that many graphic designers today aspire to learn.


Illustrator CC Blends and Gradient Mesh

by Matthew Pizzi

Dec 7, 2016 / 1h 53m

Advanced • 1h 53m

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In this course, Illustrator CC Blends and Gradient Mesh, you'll learn how to use the blend options in Illustrator CC to blend objects and color in various ways. Additionally, this course covers how to use Gradient Mesh, how to apply one, and manipulate it so you get the results you're looking for. These two features allow you to create artwork with rich transitions, three-dimensional shading, and highlights. Software required: Illustrator CC.

Table of contents
  1. Using Blends
    27m 44s
  2. Gradient Mesh
    33m 30s
  3. Creating a Rocket Illustration
    52m 28s

Illustrator CC Perspective Tool

by Laurie Ruhlin

Jan 3, 2017 / 1h 17m

Intermediate • 1h 17m

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Sometimes drawing with Illustrator's Perspective Tool can leave you perplexed - even when doing something so simple as turning off the grid after you choose the tool. In this course, Illustrator CC Perspective Tool, you will learn to customize and draw on the Perspective Grid in Illustrator. First, you'll learn about the perspective grid - switch from 1, 2, and 3-point perspective and draw on the correct grid plane. Next, you'll draw 2 realistic projects using 2-point and 3-point perspective. You'll draw an iPhone in 2-point perspective, and a gift box, complete with a bow, in 3-point perspective. You'll work with swatches, gradients, blending modes, effects, the pen tool, and shape builder tool. Finally, you'll learn to create cast shadows and reflections, using effects and opacity masks. When you're finished with this Illustrator course, you'll not only knowledgeable about the perspective tool, but you will also learn many advanced tips and tricks as you draw complex illustrations in Illustrator. Software required: Adobe Illustrator.

Table of contents
  1. Course Overview
    1m 44s
  2. Drawing a Gift Box in 3-point Perspective in Illustrator
    43m 11s
  3. Draw an iPhone Using 2-point Perspective in Illustrator
    32m 45s

Illustrator CC Working with 3D

by Laura Coyle

Nov 15, 2016 / 58m

Advanced • 58m

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Creating art that has both depth and dimension can really help bring your work to the next level. In this course, Illustrator CC Working with 3D, learn you'll learn how to leverage Illustrator's powerful tools to create 3D effects. The course begins with an organized breakdown of Illustrator's 3D Effects panel and it's many settings. Next, you will learn how to map artwork to a 3D object, with believable lighting and shading. Finally, you'll learn a method for expanding 3D vector objects to make them fully editable and customizable. When you're finished with this course, you'll not only have a thorough working knowledge of 3D Effects, but also an understanding of how to apply them as a time-saving part of your Adobe Illustrator workflow. Software required: Illustrator CC (or Illustrator CS5 and higher).

Table of contents
  1. Course Overview
    1m 34s
  2. The Basics of Using 3D Effects in Adobe Illustrator
    17m 19s
  3. Enhancing 3D Surfaces
    21m 47s
  4. Creatively Customizing 3D
    18m 3s

Illustrator CC Print Production

by Justin Seeley

Oct 23, 2017 / 2h 29m

Advanced • 2h 29m

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Whether you're a graphic designer or not, creating the design for your printed work is the fun part. However, getting it printed can be challenging. If you're not aware of the key processes involved, it can cost a lot of time and money to fix. In this course, Illustrator CC Print Production, you'll learn how to efficiently use Adobe Illustrator as a tool for creating printed products. First, you'll begin by diving into dealing with linked vs. embedded images. Next, you'll discover how to know that you have the right licenses for the fonts you're using. Finally, you'll explore the different types of printing that would cause you to need special care at the end of your process. By the end of this course, you'll approach the printing process confidently knowing that what you see on screen is what you'll expect when the printer hands you the final product. Software Required: Adobe Illustrator CC 2017+.

Table of contents
  1. Course Overview
    1m 34s
  2. Introduction
    8m 19s
  3. Preflighting Your Document
    55m 55s
  4. Printing Your Document
    13m 44s
  5. Printing Project: Poster Design
    39m 42s
  6. How to Fix Common Problems
    30m 5s

What you will learn

  • User Interface, Tools, and Panels
  • Document Setup
  • Using Illustrator to Design
  • Type Tool and Text Formatting
  • Creating and Editing Shapes
  • Logo Design
  • Branding and Identity Design
  • Recoloring Artwork
  • Illustration
  • Font Creation


A basic understanding of graphic design principles is helpful, but not required.

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