Useful Tips and Tools for Adobe Illustrator

Just like all Adobe programmes, Adobe Illustrator can be quite a difficult programme to get your head around. Adobe Illustrator is a vector based graphics editor and its main purpose is to create vector graphics, illustrations, fonts, cartoons and logo designs. It uses mathematical equations to plot artwork as opposed to pixels which Photoshop uses. This helps artwork increase or decrease in size without affecting the quality or resolution of the image. This is why it is a great tool for making logo designs and intricate vector graphics.


Unlike Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator can make use of using multiple artboards on the same document. This can be helpful when being supplied a project which needs multiple designs. Multiple artboards can be great for creating brand logos as each logo can have its own artboard. This is a lot more organised as not all the work is crammed onto the same artboard.

Pen Tool

Probably the most useful and important tool in Adobe Illustrator. Nine times out of ten the pen tool will be used in some piece of artwork created. Many Beginners shy away from the pen tool as it looks to complex. However, with a bit of practice, it can be used to help create some amazing artwork. It is a very popular tool when it comes to tracing designs and can be very useful when creating logos.

Clipping Masks and Compound Paths

These two tools can be very effective when used in the correct and appropriate way. A clipping mask is a tool that restricts a pattern or design to a pre-determined area made by the designer. This can be used to create some quite abstract designs. Similar to the clipping Mask the compound path almost does the reverse and embeds shapes within other shapes. The best way to describe would be similar to hole punching a circle into a piece of paper. That circles then adds to the shape by taking away part of it.


For me, the pathfinder tool can be very useful. This tool can simply create shapes out of other shapes. For example, creating a square and a circle will be two separate shapes. With the Pathfinder tool, we can create them into one shape. Once the basics of the tool have been learnt, it is a relatively easy tool master and it comes in use more times than you would think.

Trial and Error

For me, trial and error was a great way for me to learn Adobe Illustrator. By trying out each tool and seeing how they worked helped me gather an idea of what the tools did and what they would be best suited for. When finding these tools, it is then important to keep practising. The more you use it the more you’ll get used to it and the better you will become at it. Soon enough you’ll be able to create stunning visual graphics and the time put in will show in the results.

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