Day 1: What is Illustrator?

About Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator is a vector drawing program. It is often used to draw illustrations, cartoons, diagrams, charts and logos. Unlike bitmap images that stores information in a grid of dots, Illustrator uses mathematical equations to draw out the shapes. This makes vector graphics scalable without the loss of resolution.

Advantages of Vector Graphics

  • Scalable without resolution loss
  • Lines are crisp and sharp at any sizes
  • Print at high resolution
  • Smaller file size
  • Good for drawing illustrations

Disadvantages of vector graphics

  • Drawings tend to look flat and cartoon
  • Hard to produce photo realistic drawings

Common Uses for Illustrator

1) Designing Logos

Designing logos
By: Draplin Design

2) Drawing Maps

drawing maps

3) Drawing Illustrations

drawing illustrations

By: Chih Hang

4) Infographics


5) Photorealistic Drawings

By: Kevin Hulsey

6) Packaging Design
packaging design

By: sanna annukka

These are just a few examples of what Illustrator can do. If you have experience with Photoshop, you can bring your illustrations into Photoshop and enhance it. That’s how professionals do it. During the next few days, I will be covering the basics of Illustrator so that you can produce your first vector art!

Next Lesson: Getting Started in Illustrator »
Back to Illustrator Training Course

91 thoughts on “Day 1: What is Illustrator?”

  1. Can help but say “Drawings tend to look flat and cartoon” “Hard to produce photo realistic drawings” are seriously challenged by that realistic camera –
    is there a link for Kevin Hulsey?

  2. I must agree with Alex. With the right use of Gradients and maybe some shaddows and masks, you can make nice 3D looking graphics. There are even 3D options available in illustrator.

  3. Experts can produce super realistic drawings of products using gradients and gradient mesh in illustrator. However, if you were to produce a realistic drawing of mountains and rivers that I would say it would be a challenge. Illustrator is really not good at rendering textures other than smooth surfaces which can be achieved by gradients. And Kevin Hulsey is really one pro in technical illustration. Check out his portfolio. I have included the link.

  4. Looking for a quick course, preferably during the evening time that will teach me to draw using illustrator quickly.Pleases give info., price if any and other details.

  5. I´m a brazilian designer that uses Corel Draw and want to migrate do Adobe Suite. I think the best tool to work is the tool that you reaaly know how to use, so I´m trying to learn as much I can about Illustrator.

  6. Can I use illustrator to create webpages? I am a long time user of Corel Draw and have created looks for websites using Photoshop…I am hoping to migrate completely to Illustrator and not have to boot into vista on my mac.

  7. Thanks! The first day of an Introduction is nice & helpfull to beginner how,where and when use this software.I admire which you had done for us.This software new for me so Hope I’ll learn Illustrator well through your 30 days.

  8. I have purchased Adobe Flash CS3 Professional- do i need to have illustrator as well to have this function? Can i not create a project in its entirety in the Flash product i have purchased? Do all pictures need to be imported through illustrator , can I make .ai files in adobe flash?
    Thanks for your timely response…. J


  10. Thanks a lot for this tutorials , bro 😀 !
    Keep up the good work , i will subscribe to your RSS 😉 !

    Greetings from Belgium !


  11. Can’t wait to crashed on Illustrator for m graphic design course. But, I really interested to make product package, and map. I will stay long hours for that.

  12. I have just started to learn Illustrator, I love the program, but there are a couple of bugs still in the software, it isn’t quit polished as Photoshop, things like, Anchor points appearing in the design, that I did not creat, Anchor points shooting of screen, leaving colour trails behind, and the amount of memory needed for large files is staggering, I have 4gig, and it isn’t enough for Illustrator.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love this software, but because of the flaws, I usualy end up spending more time in an Illustrator design, than I do in Photoshop, there are other bugs, but the ones I have mentioned above, are the most annoying ones.

    All the best to you all here.


  13. mohammad mohsin vahora

    I learn this tutorial & this lesson of the illustrator
    tutorial & it is a very nice ! Thank You Very Much….

  14. meenakshi manglik

    i want to know more about luustrator… n i want to see more sample designs.. pl show me as soon as possible.

  15. meenakshi manglik

    I learn this tutorial & this lesson of the illustrator
    tutorial & it is a very nice ! Thank You Very Much….

  16. meenakshi manglik

    Hi ….

    I Can’t wait to crashed on Illustrator for m graphic design course. But, I really interested to make product package, and map. I will stay long hours for that.

  17. i am Arif.i m professional embroidery digitizer i like so much ann i want talk 2 ann please send me contact detail of ann.my contact detail below
    [email protected]

  18. I want to learn Illustrator , so please send me all idea’s technique to my mail id.

    I wiil be happy if i get better response from yours

    Karim Imran

  19. DAY 1: So far so good….I am totally new to this product but have always been fascinated by some of the things that can be created. Case in point – the camera in Photorealistic Drawings! This simply blows me away. I always felt this sort of thing was way beyond me but I guess I am about to find out once and for all. See you all after Day 2.

  20. thanks for the helpful information, I’m going to get all courses
    with all respect GentleMan

  21. That let me know Illustrator don’t only draw cartoon 🙂 It’s very useful software
    Thank 🙂

  22. Excellent Post.. I enjoy some of content in the post.. please keep it up..
    i want same like this from you… thanks

  23. Lesson 1 looks good. Especially like that you give list of common project types. I noticed web design isn’t on there, though I found at least 1 person w/ a blog that uses Illustrator for that. One observation: lesson 1 is so short (only took me 5 min) that you could combine it w/ lesson 2.

  24. I used to buy stock photos to make email stationery for my site which very expensive. I love to draw, I know basic Photoshop but never touch AI. Your tutorial helps me a lot. Thanks for making this for free

  25. Hi there! I just would like to offer you a huge thumbs up for your
    excellent info you have here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.

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