The Non-designer's Illustrator Book

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-10-23
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Many designers and photographers own the entire suite of Adobe creative products, but they manage to learn only one or two of the applications really well. This new addition to the popular Non-Designer's series from best-selling authors Robin Williams and John Tollett includes many individual exercises designed specifically to teach the tools and features in Illustrator that designers (as opposed to illustrators) need to use. Along the way, the book offers many design tips for non-designers. Individual exercises ensure that a reader can jump in at any point and learn a specific tool or technique. In this non-designer's guide to Illustrator techniques, you'll learn: How vector images, as in Illustrator, are different from raster images, as in Photoshop, and when to choose which one How to use Illustrator's tools to create and work with lines, shapes, anchor points and control handles, color, etc. How to draw your own shapes and trace others How to enter text and control the design of it How to take advantage of the symbol libraries, clipping masks, variable-width strokes, and much more When and why to rasterize elements of your vector image

Author Biography

Robin Williams is the author of dozens of best-selling and award-winning books, including The Non-Designer’s Presentation Book, The Non-Designer’s Design Book, The Little Mac Book, and so many more. Through her writing, teaching, and seminars, Robin has educated and influenced an entire generation of computer users in the areas of design, typography, presentations, and the Mac.


John Tollett has co-authored numerous books with Robin, including Robin Williams Cool Mac Apps, Robin Williams Design Workshop, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and many others. In John’s career as a designer, illustrator, and art director, Adobe Illustrator has been a valuable and favorite creative tool since the very first editon of the program released in 1990. 

Table of Contents

1 What is Adobe Illustrator?
A. What are vector images? (as opposed to raster images)
B. Advantages of vector-based illustration and design; things you can and can’t do
Includes a chart with a list of projects indicating when you might use a word processor,
InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, or other app for that particular project.

2 Quick Sample Projects
The sample projects allow readers to quickly and easily develop small design ideas; these provide
an immediate interaction with the application and a feeling of empowerment. The projects also
provide examples of typical sorts of projects for which you might use this particular application.
A. How to use, create, and work with paths, strokes, control points; create straight and/
or curved lines
Selection tools; how and when to use the different ones
B. Simple illustration
C. Logo design with type and shape
D. Document Setup
a. The artboard/canvas
b. Guides (Hide, Show, Lock, Unlock)
c. Save As options

3 The Key to your Toolbars
Become familiar with your Toolbars

4 Basic Drawing
A. Draw using the Pencil tool
B. Draw using the shape tools
Most users of the Adobe suite of products end up with at least InDesign, Photoshop,
and Illustrator on their computers. This book is for those who might be power users of
Photoshop, InDesign, or even Dreamweaver, but are a bit lost in a vector illustration
application such as Illustrator. It is also a book for those who want to create projects
for which they don’t need all the advanced text capabilities and long-document
processing of InDesign—posters, logos, brochures, maps, diagrams, charts, and of course
illustrations of a certain sort.
This book includes many individual exercises designed specifically to teach the tools
and ideas that Illustrator offers, with a particular focus on the types of features that
designers need (as opposed to illustrators). Along the way the book offers many design
tips for non-designers. Individual exercises ensure that a reader can jump in at any point
to learn a specific tool or technique. Text and graphic files will be provided on a Peachpit
web page or an included cd so readers and instructors will have the assets available to
work with.
C. Use the Pen tool
a. Anchor points and control handles
c. Strokes and fills
d. Join paths
e. Simplify paths (with a keystroke)
f. Add or remove anchor points
g. Convert smooth points and corner points
D. Eyedropper tool to pick up and apply graphic styles
E. Arrange elements (move to front or back)
F. Alignment tools
G. Option-drag to copy an element
H. Group and ungroup objects
I. Using Outline view
J. The Blob Brush
K. Beautiful Strokes: control variable-width strokes, arrowheads, dashes,
art brush scaling along a path
L. Draw behind and draw inside
M. Compound paths
N. Select and edit similar objects

5 Working with Color
A. Create colors; using the Swatches panel, Color panel, and color libraries
B. Apply color to paths and objects; Eyedropper tool
C. Global changes for color, stroke, and fill
D. Convert color illustrations to grayscale
E. Live Paint Bucket
F. Gradient Tool; Blend Objects; Blend Colors
G. Document color mode

6 Other Cool Tools in the Toolbar
A. Warp, Twirl, Pucker, etc.
B. Blend Tool
C. Mesh Tool
D. Envelope Distort

7 Working with Text
A. Text and Paragraph panels
B. Glyphs
C. Color text
D. Outline text
E. Drop Shadows
F. Text Wrap
G. Convert text to outlines; why and when to do it
H. Rasterize text; why and when to do it
The Non-Designer’s Illustrator Book • John Tollett 2

8 Flexibility of Layers
A. Layers for organization
B. Layer visibility and how to use it

9 Power Features
A. Pathfinder tools
B. Transparency panel
C. Perspective drawing: Perspective Grid tool, Perspective Grid Selection tool
D. Live Trace
a. Bristle Brush
a. Natural media brush strokes (control bristle characteristics and opacity)
E. Multiple artboards
F. Shape Builder tool
G. Graphic styles
H. Clipping masks
I. Symbol libraries
J. Illustrator and Photoshop effects
a. Resolution-independent raster effects (drop shadows, blurs, textures)
b. Illustration and calligraphy are easier with a tablet

10 Export and Save
A. File formats; when to save in which format
B. Save for Web & Devices
C. Export; when and why to export in different formats

11 Extras
A. Helpful web site instruction and tutorials (tv.Adobe.com, LayersMagazine.com,
Lynda.com, etc.)
B. Free Pantone installer
C. tba

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