Learning Illustrator CS2

What books or multi-media tutorials on Illustrator do you recommend?

I'm always inspired by Veerle's Adobe Illustrator tutorials. But Illustrator is a tool that I've never really used beyond its rudementary features and I'm inspired to learn more.

Way back in the mists of time when I designed for print and advertising, Photoshop became my thing as I was always more interested in image retouching than I was in traditional graphic design, so Illustrator faded into the background.

When I began working on the web, it wasn't long before Macromedia Fireworks became my most used app. (I'm so glad to learn from Adobe that they will be continuing development on Fireworks). Now I feel that it's time to give myself a new challenge in learning Illustrator.

So I guess my question is, What books or multi-media tutorials on Illustrator do you recommend?


  1. #1 On November 25, 2006 10:27 AM Nick Roper said:

    Andy, I thought you did it all by hand and then just scanned it ;-)

    I've always been a GIMP man myself (does that need re-phrasing?), but have decided that I need to get my head around some of the Adobe offerings, so am also interested not only in any recommendations for tutorials, but also in understanding what the main differences are between Photoshop, ImageReady and Illustrator.

  2. #2 On November 25, 2006 11:05 AM Jon Hicks said:

    I think with Illustrator, the best learning tool is finding a tool you don't understand and seeing what it does!

    I use the Pathfinder tools a lot to get the shapes I want, and I recommend having a go with those.

  3. #3 On November 25, 2006 11:14 AM Jos´┐Ż Carlos said:

    Although my graphics skills are at ground level, I've been reading this one: and think it's a nice book to learn from.

    A friend of mine, more "graphic" tells me it's a great book.

  4. #4 On November 25, 2006 12:10 PM Erwin Heiser said:

    Have a look at some del.icio.us bookmarks or Ma.gnolia bookmarks to get you started.

    I also like Lynda.com's tutorials. especially if you're a visual learner rather than someone who reads books.

  5. #5 On November 25, 2006 12:44 PM Martyn Clark said:

    I have to agree with Erwin the tutorials on Lynda.com for illurstrator cs 2 shows you all the possibilities the various tools hold. Having one of your own Css tutorials on there you will know that they are of good quality. I used these and it really did open illustrator up for me.

  6. #6 On November 25, 2006 01:47 PM ganges said:

    Just my 2cents

    "The Adobe Illustrator CS WOW Book"

    "Adobe Illustrator CS Revealed" by Chris Botello

  7. #7 On November 25, 2006 02:25 PM Dale Cruse said:

    There's a brand-new print newsletter and companion website at: http://www.illustratortechniques.com. It's put out by KW Media Group, which is Scott Kelby's publishing arm. They're also the folks behind the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. Anyway, the newsletter is in its infancy and features terrific tutorials, workshops, tips and tricks, and more. It's definitely the source I'm using to satisfy my Illustrator Jones.

  8. #8 On November 25, 2006 03:57 PM els said:

    I agree with Jon. To learn a new program it is best to try every tool and see what it does. Or try to do your next project in Illustrator and pretend it's the only program you have.

    You'll find some cool illustration tutorials here: http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials.

  9. #9 On November 25, 2006 04:50 PM Jack Cole said:

    For a great end-to-end production-level book, I recommend Mordy Golding's "Real World Adobe Illustrator CS2" [ISBN 0321337026]. He takes an in-depth look at the tools, how they're used, and real-world situations where they can be applied most effectively.

    Mordy's workshops are usually well worth it, too - he covers a lot of ground in North America and Europe, and his blog features a lot of tutorials and in-depth looks, too: [http://rwillustrator.blogspot.com/]

  10. #10 On November 25, 2006 09:06 PM Jesse C. said:

    Like you, I've never really developed my Illustrator chops. But I'm always reminded when a client needs design that will be destined for print as well as new media that I should be more adept. I did discover these and found them to be very instructive.

    I'm eagerly following this thread to discover some more :)

  11. #11 On November 25, 2006 09:44 PM Matt Robin said:

    Ah Andy - I'm in a similar boat (err, so to speak)...Photoshop and Fireworks have been my tools of choice for ages now and I've also put Illustrator on the shelf. I find the User Interface in Illustrator a bit annoying and I believe it's better suited to someone with a digital pen+pad rather than a mouse...(if you know what I mean).

    The good news is there are lots of good tutorials out there..and I suppose it's one of those things where it just takes a bit of time to get used to it. I still don't need it particularly at the moment - and I've got enough to get on with trying to brush up my skills in PHP and MySQL before I dabble with Illustrator. Photoshop and Fireworks are fine for me at the moment.

    Best of luck with it though - let us know how you get on with it. :)

  12. #12 On November 26, 2006 04:48 AM Nick Cowie said:

    Andy, much the same as you, I am just starting to learn the finer points of Illustrator. So I am watching the comments with interest.

    Since I become a fan of using Flash for scaleable vector images on the web, I need to be able to use a tool to create vector images and I have found Illustrator more to my liking than Flash. But I have always used Photoshop (since v2) and never worried about learning to use Fireworks.

  13. #13 On November 27, 2006 08:31 AM Kev Mears said:

    Sad though I am , I find the manual for Illustrator a pretty good toilet book. I often then have a think about what has been explained in the book and then try it out.

    A deep breath and a little think about how you are going to achieve something in Illustrator is always useful.

    A case in point are the pathfinder tools, which encourage you to build complex shapes from simple ones.

    www.illustrationclass.com has some good things.

  14. #14 On November 27, 2006 09:37 AM Oli said:

    I decided a while back that I was neglecting Illustrator, so went on a binge to learn all about it. I ended up using the official Adobe training book... Illustrator - Classroom in a book.

    It seemed a really good starting point. It's a little intense to work through the entire book doing all of the practical work, but if you persevere then you have a pretty good grasp of all of the main features in the product.

  15. #15 On November 27, 2006 02:22 PM Michael said:

    No doubt: "The Adobe Illustrator CS WOW Book" is my no. 1 source for all things Illustrator.