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Best way to learn Illustrator

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› Best way to learn Illustrator
  • Published on July 23, 2016

Designers working across a range of fields need to know the best way to learn Illustrator for creating artwork and product designs using Adobe Illustrator. The best way to learn Illustrator depends upon your specific requirements, and includes in-person classes, online courses, books, video training, and private lessons.

To understand who needs Illustrator training and the best ways to learn Adobe Illustrator, it’s useful to understand what this software app does and who uses it. Adobe Illustrator is used by designers who create products in virtually every medium. Web design, fashion design, graphic design, and product design all use Adobe Illustrator for creating 2D and 3D artwork. Financial professionals use Adobe Illustrator for creating charts and graphs, while marketing professionals work with Illustrator files for logos and artwork, adding them into brochures, flyers, and catalogs. Simply put, artwork created from Adobe Illustrator is everywhere in the world of design, making it important to find the best way to learn Illustrator quickly and easily if you work in any of these fields. The best ways to learn Illustrator are outlined below:

Learn Illustrator in a classroom with a live instructor

A live, in-person course is the best way to learn Illustrator for those who prefers a traditional classroom with a live instructor.  When selecting Illustrator courses look for a school that provides a live instructor in the classroom rather one that is remotely connected. Some schools don’t make it clear that they are connecting you to an instructor in a different location while you sit in a room by yourself. Also, if you want to take a course using either a Mac or Windows computer, make certain the school provides you with your choice of computer type to learn Illustrator. American Graphics Institute offers live Illustrator courses in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Take an online course to learn Illustrator

If you aren’t near a city or town where you can take an in-person course, then the best way to learn Illustrator for you may be to take an Illustrator class online. This can be a good option even if you live in an area where classroom training is available but you prefer to not commute or are comfortable with online learning. A live online class involves a teacher leading the Illustrator course in which you are able to get questions answered, ask for things to be repeated or explained – all things which are not available in an online recorded training.

Online tutorials for Learning Illustrator

If you want to learn Illustrator and don’t need to learn it right away, and have a great deal of patience, online Illustrator tutorials present another way to learn Illustrator. These can be either recorded Illustrator training session that you can watch and play-back, but generally do not include support, or written guides available online. Most Illustrator tutorials tend to lack a formal structure, which requires you to lean in the sequence in which they are presented, and lack the ability to get questions answered. Online Illustrator tutorials are useful for introductory concepts and can help supplement other types of training.

Learn Illustrator with training books

Books are a great way to learn Illustrator as they provide a self-directed option that lets you move at your own pace. Many Illustrator books are available to help you learn the skills you need. Some include step-by-step instructions while others explain more of the concepts and principles. Illustrator books are available for all versions of Illustrator.

Learning Illustrator with private training

Groups, teams, and organizations with a number of people that need to learn Illustrator can benefit from private Illustrator training. This is the best way to learn Illustrator if you have specific requirements for training or want to work on projects and concepts that relate exactly to your work. This is because private Illustrator training can be customized to the needs of your group.

The best way to learn Illustrator depends upon whether you are part of a group or on your own, and whether you need to become productive right away, or if you wish to learn at your own pace. American Graphics Institute provides options regardless of the reasons why you want to learn Illustrator

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.