What is Adobe Illustrator


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Adobe Illustrator is the leading vector graphics software developed by Adobe Systems that is used by most graphic designers and artists to create vector images. These vector images can then be used in many online or print documents, such as corporate portfolios, websites, business cards, advertisements, and many more.

What are Vector Images?

Vector images are images that are created using paths, based on mathematical equations. Don’t worry, when you are using Adobe Illustrator, you are not required to do any math – that is all calculated by the computer! Instead, what we mean by paths is that you can define the shape of the object you wish to draw, for example a circle or a square; or you can define the way a line flows, for example in a straight line or in a curve. The computer remembers what the information that was set for the path.

The biggest advantage of vector images is that because of the path that was set, resizing the images would not cause any loss of quality, as opposed to raster images that is typically created in other graphic software such as Windows Bitmap. Raster images are created based on the pixel position; meaning that every pixel is coloured to create the image, similar to how you would colour in grids to make a larger image. The problem with this is that enlarging a raster image would cause pixelation; meaning the image would lose its sharpness and clarity.

While this would not usually be a problem for personal documents and blogs, this would be a terrible impression made on professional documents. Imagine looking at a billboard ad that is made up of images that are blurry; you wouldn’t have a good impression of the company!

Vector vs Raster Images

Can you see the difference between the vector and raster images above?

Vector images can easily be converted into raster images (if needed), but raster images cannot be converted into vector images, so usually it is recommended that you create images in vector form first whenever possible.

Vector images are used to create many different graphics, including:

  • Charts and graphs
  • Infographics
  • Logos
  • Cartoons
  • Illustrations
Beautiful illustrations like these are typically known as vector images, because they are creating using vectors. Image thanks to freevector.com.

Beautiful illustrations like these are typically known as vector images, because they are creating using vectors. Image thanks to freevector.com.

What can Adobe Illustrator be used for?

While Adobe Illustrator is mainly known for its vector image creation capability, it can be also used to create print or online documents, usually incorporating vector images that were created. Documents could include:

  • Website mock-ups
  • Name cards
  • Business letterheads
  • Leaflets, flyers, and brochures
  • Banners and buntings
  • Print advertisements

Who should learn Adobe Illustrator?

This may seem like a biased answer, but… well, everybody! Especially if you are a budding artist or graphic designer – this software is used by most companies in the advertising or design industry. Companies that have their own graphic department normally invest in this software as well. If you are running your own small business, it would also be a good idea to use Adobe Illustrator when creating company documents, because the documents produced can be made to look extremely professional, which gives an excellent impression of your company.

Get started on your journey to mastering Adobe Illustrator within 5 classes with our Adobe Illustrator Course! Alternatively, join our Graphic Design Course which combines Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, which will allow you to fully master the two top graphic design software in the industry.

Download the trial copy of Adobe Illustrator from the Adobe website here.