Adobe Illustrator is a software application for creating drawings, illustrations, and artwork using a Windows or MacOS computer. Illustrator was initially released in 1987 and it continues to be updated at regular intervals, and is now included as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Illustrator is widely used by graphic designers, web designers, visual artists, and professional illustrators throughout the world to create high quality artwork. Illustrator includes many sophisticated drawing tools that can reduce the time need to create illustrations.
Adobe Illustrators is one of the most practical topic ever seen in the IT industry. It is a vector-based inventive program intended for those associated with visual communication. Rather than utilizing bitmap pictures to store information, this program utilized calculations to draw shapes. That is the reason the vector designs made inside Illustrator can be scaled to any measure without losing their quality or by and large goal.
Programming languages: C++, ActionScript
Illustrator CC is the version of Illustrator that’s available through Creative Cloud, which is Adobe’s cloud-based subscription service. The first version of Illustrator CC was Illustrator v17, which was released in 2013. Since then, each version of Illustrator CC has generally been designated as Illustrator CC xxxx, where “xxxx” is the year of release. The current version is Illustrator CC 2020.
Adobe Illustrator is used to create a variety of digital and printed images, including cartoons, charts, diagrams, graphs, logos, and illustrations. Illustrator allows a user to import a photograph and use it as a guide to trace an object in the photograph. This can be used to re-color or create a sketch-like appearance of a photograph. Illustrator also makes it possible to manipulate text in many ways, making Illustrator a useful tool for creating postcards, posters, and other visual designs which use text and images together. Illustrator’s ability to place text around a curve is especially useful for artists creating logos. Illustrator is also used in designing mock-ups which show what the website will look like when it’s completed, and creating icons used within apps or websites.
Illustrator’s ability to create and modify vector images means that must also save files in vector graphics formats. Some of these formats include Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Portable Document Format (PDF), Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), Windows Metafile (WMF) and Vector Markup Language (VML), which are detailed below:
Illustrator can also export files in these formats:
Illustrator can import files in these formats and place them into layouts or artwork:
Version 1 of Illustrator was initially released in 1987 for the Apple Macintosh. At the time, Adobe was focused on developing fonts and providing a language that computers could use to communicate with office printers, known as PostScript. Illustrator also supported Adobe’s font development efforts and also served as a companion product for Photoshop, which Adobe did not initially develop but they distributed and purchased. The original version of Illustrator didn’t have a preview mode, and users needed to open a second window to preview their work.
Illustrator Version 2 was released in 1989 and was the first version of Illustrator to support the Windows operating system. Adobe also released versions of Illustrator for various other operating systems during the early 1990s, including NeXT, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Solaris. However, all of these versions were discontinued due to poor sales as these operating systems failed to gain widespread acceptance. Version 4 was the next version of Illustrator to support Windows, which was also the first version to support editing while in preview mode. However, this capability was available for Macintosh until version 5, which was released in 1993.
Illustrator Version 6 was the last version to be Macintosh-focused because the interface in subsequent versions changed dramatically to provide greater compatibility with Windows. Adobe also added path editing in 1997 with version 7, primarily to make the interface more similar to the one used by Photoshop. This process would continue until the two interfaces for working with paths were virtually identical. Another significant change in version 7 of Illustrator was the addition of support for TrueType fonts, effectively ending the competition between TrueType, and PostScript Type I fonts. Version 7 was also the first version of Adobe Illustrator to support plug-ins, which greatly extended illustrator’s capabilities by allowing third-parties to add capabilities that were not part of the standard Illustrator functionality.
Illustrator included a range of features that supported Web publishing in the early 2000’s, including the ability to save to the PDF and SVG formats, as well as offering a rasterization preview for artwork exported in a bitmap (non-Vector) format. Adobe also introduced the Adobe SVG Viewer (ASV) in 2000, which allowed users to view SVG in many browsers. Adobe discontinued ASV in 2009, although Illustrator provided native SVG support for all major browsers by 2011, making the separate viewer unnecessary.
The release of version 11 was marketed as Illustrator CS, or Creative Suite which occurred in 2003. The Adobe Creative Suite (CS) also included other graphic design applications such as InDesign and Photoshop. This version was also the first to support the creation of 3-dimensional objects. Illustrator CS2 was released in 2005. New features for Illustrator CS2 included a custom workspace and control palette. Adobe acquired Aldus and with this acquisition came a competing drawing app, FreeHand. Adobe discontinued support for FreeHand in 2007 and began developing tools to support the transition of FreeHand users to Illustrator. Illustrator CS3 was released in 2007 and added features including live color, multiple crop areas, and a color guide panel.
Adobe Illustrator CS4 was released in 2008, which made improvements to existing tools and introduced some FreeHand features such as the ability to maintain multiple art boards. Each art board can maintain a separate version of an image, allowing users to store multiple versions of the image within a single document. Additional tools were introduced in Illustrator CS5 including an upgraded gradient tool that provides the user with greater control when manipulating colors across a path. A Blob Brush feature was also introduced with this version, which allows the user to merge overlapping brushstrokes more easily.
Illustrator CS5, released in 2010, introduced the Bristle Brush, which provides more natural looking strokes. Additional changes that are new with this version include Freehand’s Perspective Grid and various improvements to existing features. Version CS6, released in 2012, introduced many new features, including a new interface and layer panels. Changes to the color ramp and RGB codes as well as various bug fixes also improved Illustrator CS6’s performance.
After Illustrator CS6, Adobe introduced Illustrator CC as it became part of the Creative Cloud. The current version is Adobe Illustrator CC 2020.
Illustrator CC is available directly from Adobe. It requires a subscription for either the individual application or for the suite of applications included in the Creative Cloud. The individual Adobe Illustrator app can be licensed for $19.99 per month on a monthly basis, or $17.99 per month with an annual subscription. Fees for accessing the entire Creative Cloud app are $49 per month with customers using a pre-paid plan receiving a 20 percent discount.
A free trial of Adobe Illustrator is available from Adobe, which includes all the features and capabilities of the complete version. The free trial lasts for one week from the time the user installs the software and starts using the program.
The most common methods of obtaining Illustrator training include classes, online training and books. The primary advantages of Illustrator classes are immediate feedback from the instructor while working in a traditional classroom setting. Many students learn Illustrator online to eliminate the need for traveling to a remote location. People who want to learn Illustrator without leaving their office or home, or who work better independently, can take advantage of self-paced tutorials and Illustrator books.
Adobe’s products use a file format that is cross-platform compatible between Mac and Windows, allowing for the transfer of Illustrator files between Illustrator on Mac and Windows without any conversion process. The transfer process is improved if Mac users use the .ai file extension so that the Windows system knows the file belongs to Illustrator. This is included by default but can also be added manually.
The differences between using Illustrator on a Mac and a Windows computer occur outside of the application itself. There are minor differences in the keyboard layout, with keys such as the Control key on windows being called the Command key on the MacOS and the Alt key on Windows being called the Option key on the MacOS.
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, educator and author based in Boston. She has worked in the field of user experience design for more than 15 years.She has designed websites, ecommerce sites, apps, and embedded systems. Jennifer designs solutions for mobile, desktop, and iOT devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors.She has served as a Designer in Residence at Microsoft, assisting third-party app developers to improve their design solutions and create successful user experiences. 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 UX Design, and worked closely with major tech companies to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.
Jennifer is also 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 holds the CPUX-F certification from the User Experience Qualification Board and assists others in attaining this designation in leading a UX certification course at American Graphics Institute. She is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design.
With Adobe Illustrator, you have an extra level of flexibility when working to customize your overall workspace. Your interface allows for custom viewing. There is an option to enable space saving as well. These processes allow you to work on your project in whatever way is most comfortable, while maintaining complete control over all the available options.
You also save a bunch of time when working with Adobe Illustrator thanks to its option for in-panel editing. You also have the use of multiple artboards simultaneously. That allows you to work on multiple images in a similar fashion all at once, which makes you much more productive than the other programs which force you to work on one image at a time.
You have zero resolution issues when working with Adobe Illustrator. Because the graphics are based on mathematics equations instead of stored pixels, you’re always given sharp, crisp lines that are print-ready in any dimension. You never lose resolution when you’re working with graphics through this program, which means you have much more versatility when designing multimedia for various purposes.
You’re not stuck with enormous files that are difficult to transfer when creating something with Adobe Illustrator. Compared to similar platforms, Illustrator creates files that are relatively small. You can share them quite easily, mail them as an attachment, or use them without absorbing a majority of your computing resources. You don’t waste a bunch of time syncing your massive files to the cloud either to share them through a service like Dropbox either.
Although Adobe Illustrator doesn’t work well on mobile devices, it does an exceptional job on almost any computer system. You can use it on Windows PCs or on Apple products. It will even work adequately on older computers, even from the early 2000s, if you are using an older top-of-the-line option. That means most people are going to be able to access the benefits of this platform if they have their system’s operating system up-to-date.
You can create print-ready graphics with ease thanks to Adobe Illustrator. You are also able to create web graphics with this platform. It works in any screen resolution, offering a tool set that is constantly updated, which allows you to create professional vector graphics with relative ease.
For those familiar with vector-based graphics, Adobe Illustrator will feel like an intuitive program that is ready to meet your needs. For everyone else, there must be a time window granted to train on the various features the platform offers. There are several video tutorials available from Adobe that can help you begin the learning process. For beginners, however, it may take up to 6 months to begin being comfortable with this program.
If you’re planning to create something that is fun, inventive, and does not require an aspect of realism, then Adobe Illustrator can help you put something together in no time at all. If you want to create something that feels realistic to others, then you’ll need to give yourself plenty of time to work on the project. To create a drawing that feels realistic, you must have a keen eye for detail and be able to recognize elements of the image that Illustrator will not recognize as being out of place.
If you just want to use Illustrator at home, then you can access this platform for just $19.99 per month, plus tax in some locations. If you’re using the Creative Cloud from a business perspective, then the minimum cost for Illustrator is $69.99 per month, plus tax in some locations. The individual subscriptions can be separated to allow for an a la carte experience for users who only need to use one program. That is not possible from a Teams perspective. You’re going to pay 3 times more for the service.
Adobe Illustrator is an exception product for those who are working with vector graphics. If you’re using bitmap images with the dot-matrix data structures of pixels, then you’ll find that this platform offers very little in the way of support. You are able to vectorize your raster images to make use of the toolbox offered by Illustrator, though that loses some of the information of the graphics and may create undesired results.
If you’re using a lower resolution display, then you’ll find that the updated user interface for Adobe Illustrator will take up a lot of space. At the same time, the image tracing it uses is still heavily reliant on a confusing set of settings, which makes it difficult for some users to get up and running right away. The image tracing gives you better results once you learn how to maximize it, but not every user will figure out how to make it work.
With the updated version of Illustrator, the interface feels very similar to Photoshop. Adobe has integrated the darker interface to accommodate 64-bit work, which is a definite advantage. The design, however, makes one feel like you’re using other Adobe products and the workflows are completely different.
These Adobe Illustrator pros and cons offer vector artists an excellent opportunity to create something wonderful for a price that is relatively fair. Although there are some business limitations to the pricing structure, and beginners may find Illustrator to be too expensive for their taste, the results produced by Adobe with this software platform are undeniable. If you want professional print-ready images, you must consider Adobe Illustrator as a top option.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Shantanu Narayen is chairman and chief executive officer of Adobe, one of the largest and most diversified software companies in the world.
Adobe’s mission is to change the world through digital experiences, serving a large customer base from students to business communicators to the world’s largest enterprises. As CEO, Shantanu has transformed the company into an industry innovator by pioneering a cloud-based subscription model for its creative suite, establishing the global standard for digital documents, and creating and leading the explosive digital experience category. Today, he’s driving the company’s strategy to unleash creativity for all, accelerate document productivity, and power digital business.
Under Shantanu’s leadership, Adobe has achieved record revenue and industry recognition for its inclusive, innovative, and exceptional workplace, including being continuously named a Great Place to Work and a Most Admired Company by Fortune.
Shantanu joined Adobe in 1998 as vice president and general manager of its engineering technology group. He became president and COO in 2005, CEO in 2007, and chairman of the board in 2017.
Shantanu is vice chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and sits on the board of Pfizer. He previously served as a director of Dell and is a past member of the U.S. President’s Management Advisory Board.
Shantanu has been recognized by several publications as one of the world’s leading executives, including Barron’s World’s Best CEOs and Fortune Businessperson of the Year lists, and named a Top CEO by Glassdoor based on employee feedback. He is a recipient of India’s civilian honor Padma Shri and the Economic Times Global Indian of the Year award.
Before joining Adobe, Shantanu held product development roles at Apple and Silicon Graphics before cofounding an early photo-sharing startup, Pictra.
Shantanu holds five patents. He has a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering from Osmania University, a master’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Shantanu once represented India in sailing at an Asian regatta.
Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President, Creative Cloud
Scott Belsky’s primary focus is making Creative Cloud a creativity platform for all. As chief product officer and executive vice president, Creative Cloud, Scott leads product management and engineering for Creative Cloud products and services, Adobe Spark, and Behance, Adobe’s community of 10 million creatives. Scott also oversees Adobe’s design team responsible for experience design in Creative Cloud and Document Cloud.
Prior to joining Adobe in December 2017, Scott was a venture investor at Benchmark in San Francisco. This is Scott’s second tenure at Adobe. He originally joined the company after it acquired Behance in 2012. At that time, he led Adobe’s mobile strategy for Creative Cloud. Scott co-founded Behance in 2006 and served as its CEO for six years.
Over the years, Scott has pursued other projects to help organize and empower creative people. These projects include 99U, Behance’s creative think tank and conference, and his best-selling book Making Ideas Happen.
Scott has been an advisor on design and product management for leading companies and institutions, including Adidas, Pentagram, Pinterest, Proctor & Gamble, Facebook, and the United States Government. In 2010, Fast Company included Scott on its list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the board of Globality, a referrals platform that empowers the careers of independent professionals, the advisory board of Cornell University’s Entrepreneurship Program, and the board of trustees for the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.
President, Digital Experience Business
As President, Digital Experience Business, Anil Chakravarthy drives the vision and operations for Adobe’s Digital Experience business, one of the world’s largest SAAS businesses and the leader in the Customer Experience Management (CXM) category. In addition, he is responsible for the company’s worldwide field operations.
Joining Adobe in January 2020, Anil brings decades of product innovation and industry expertise to his role leading strategy, product management, engineering and marketing for Adobe Experience Cloud. With solutions for data and insights, content and commerce, customer journey management, and advertising, Adobe Experience Cloud is powering digital businesses across both B2B and B2C for companies of every size. The foundation of Adobe Experience Cloud, Adobe Experience Platform, is the industry’s first purpose-built CXM platform, enabling the delivery of personalized customer experiences in real-time at scale.
In his role overseeing worldwide field operations, Anil leads Adobe’s global enterprise sales organization and customer success functions, which are focused on supporting brands as they navigate digital transformation.
Anil joined Adobe from Informatica, a global leader in enterprise cloud data management, where he served as chief executive officer from 2015 to 2020. At Informatica, Anil led the successful transformation of the company to cloud and subscription services. Anil joined Informatica in September 2013 as the executive vice president and chief product officer responsible for product development, product management, and product marketing.
Prior to Informatica, for nearly a decade, Anil held leadership roles at Symantec Corporation. Anil was the executive vice president of Information Security at Symantec, responsible for overseeing engineering, product management and operations for an extensive product portfolio including Data Loss Prevention, E-Mail and Web Security (on-premise and cloud), Managed Services, Trust Services and Authentication. Additionally, Anil led multiple product groups, including Endpoint Protection, Mobile Security and Management, Encryption, Storage and High-Availability, and India Product Operations as well as Enterprise Global Consulting.
Prior to Symantec, Anil led product management for enterprise security services at VeriSign. Anil began his career at McKinsey & Company, where he rose to become the co-leader of the E-Business Practice in the Business Technology Office in Silicon Valley.
Anil received a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from the Institute of Technology, Varanasi, India. Additionally, Anil received his Master of Science and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Anil serves on the board of Ansys, Inc., and previously served on the board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President, Employee Experience
As Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President, Employee Experience, Gloria Chen leads all aspects of people strategy and operations for Adobe, including talent development, diversity and inclusion, and all human resources functions. She’s charged with creating an exceptional employee experience for more than 22,000 employees across 75 locations around the globe.
In her more than 20 years with Adobe, including most recently as Chief Strategy Officer, Gloria has helped usher the company through some of its boldest, most critical changes, from shaping its ecommerce strategy, building its enterprise business, and managing significant acquisitions and integrations. She’s held senior leadership positions in worldwide sales operations, customer service and support, and strategic planning.
Gloria started her career as a software engineer and was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company before joining Adobe. She holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Washington, an MS in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) from Carnegie Mellon, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Gloria serves on the board of The Tech Interactive in San Jose and the Carnegie Mellon Electrical & Computer Engineering advisory council.
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Finance, Technology Services and Operations
Dan was appointed to the role of CFO and executive vice president in October 2021 and leads the Finance, Technology Services and Operations organization. Dan is applying his years of technology and finance knowledge and experience to oversee Adobe’s company-wide operations with rigor and ongoing excellence, drive enablement at scale, and power innovation across the organization.
Dan brings extensive expertise in global strategy, financial planning and operations and mergers and acquisitions, and decades of experience in the technology industry. Durn most recently served as a senior vice president and CFO of Applied Materials from 2017 to 2021. He was previously executive vice president and CFO at NXP Semiconductors N.V. following its merger with Freescale Semiconductor. Before Freescale, Dan was CFO and executive vice president of Finance and Administration at GlobalFoundries and served as managing director, head of Mergers and Acquisitions and Strategy at Mubadala Technology Fund. Prior to that, Dan was vice president of Mergers and Acquisitions in the technology practice at Goldman Sachs & Company.
Dan received his M.B.A. in Finance from the Columbia Business School and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Control Systems Engineering. He served in the Navy for six years, reaching the rank of lieutenant.
Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Development
Ann Lewnes is Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Development of Adobe, one of the largest and most diversified software companies in the world.
Ann has held the position of Adobe CMO for more than a decade. Under her leadership, the Adobe brand has become synonymous with creativity, digital marketing and the design and development of transformative digital experiences. Believing everyone has a story to tell, Ann is a strong advocate for empowering diverse creators, including women, youth, and other under-represented groups. In addition to its consistent focus on creativity, Adobe’s marketing organization pioneered the company’s shift to digital—deploying advanced digital marketing technology, establishing an insight-driven culture, and setting a template for marketing’s impact on business. As EVP of Corporate Strategy & Development, Ann also leads Adobe’s corporate strategy and strategic M&A efforts globally.
Prior to Adobe, Ann spent 20 years building the iconic Intel Inside brand as VP of Marketing. Ann has been named one of the world’s most influential CMOs by Forbes and one of the most innovative CMOs by Business Insider. The American Advertising Foundation elected her to its Hall of Achievement. In 2019, Ann was inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame. In 2020, she received the New York Women in Communications Matrix Award.
Ann received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and journalism from Lehigh University and is Vice Chair of the Lehigh board of trustees. She currently serves on the boards of Mattel and Sundance Institute.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Trust Officer
Dana Rao leads Adobe’s Legal, Security and Policy organization. As Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Trust Officer, he oversees our Legal and Policy team as well as Adobe’s Security team and is charged with driving a unified strategy that leverages technology, law, and policy to strengthen Adobe’s products, services, and reputation as a company that employees and customers around the world can trust.
Dana was appointed Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in June 2018. Over the course of his tenure, he has helped drive operational efficiency within the Legal and Policy teams, influenced and advocated for important social and public policies, and championed important initiatives to advance Adobe’s commitment to Technology to Transform, such as Ethical Innovation and Content Authenticity Initiative.
Dana previously served as the VP of Intellectual Property and Litigation at Adobe for six years where he spearheaded strategic initiatives including the company’s litigation efforts, and its patent, trademark, and copyright portfolio strategies.
Prior to joining Adobe, Dana was with Microsoft for 11 years, serving in a variety of roles including Associate General Counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing, where he oversaw all patent matters for Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division.
Dana started his career as a patent attorney at Fenwick & West. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University and a J.D. from George Washington University.
President, Digital Media Business
David Wadhwani is responsible for the success of Adobe’s global Digital Media business across Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud, including all product marketing, strategic partnerships, customer support and to go-to-market across geographies. This includes iconic software brands such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat.
David was most recently a Venture Partner at Greylock Partners. Prior to joining Greylock, he was president and CEO of AppDynamics, leading the company as it transformed to a SaaS-first business and became one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies at the time.
This is David’s second tour of duty at Adobe. He joined Adobe in 2005 through the company’s acquisition of Macromedia, Inc., where he had been vice president of developer products. As senior vice president and general manager of Adobe’s Digital Media business, David played an instrumental role in advancing the company’s category leadership, expanding into new markets and contributing to its successful transformation to a cloud-based subscription business.
David holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brown University and serves on the Brown computer science department advisory board. He is also on the digital advisory board of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and on the board of trustees for StoryCorps and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Adobe Illustrator is a great tool for designing beautiful, pixel-precise icons. The flexible vector drawing tools give you the freedom to add as much detail as you need and then generate additional sizes quickly and efficiently. Illustrator’s multiple-window feature allows you to see your edits in real time. With saved views, you can access any icon on your artboard without having to scroll, and using multiple artboards makes for ease in exporting them for use on your site or in your applications. I hope that this article has given you enough guidance and inspiration to start using Illustrator in your own icon-design workflow.
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