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Illustrator CC 2020 MasterClass

Master Adobe Illustrator CC with this in-depth training for all levels.
Martin Perhiniak
116,693 students enrolled
English More
Designing logos
Creating vector illustrations
Turning photographs into vector artwork
Vectorizing and colorizing traced hand drawings
Preparing graphics for web and print
Designing infographics
Working with type in creative ways
Mastering advanced Illustrator tools and techniques
Learn useful keyboard shortcuts and best practices
Practice everything you learn with provided Exercise Files
Test your knowledge with quizzes at the end of each chapter
Learn Illustrator from the start the way a professional would use it

Udemy’s best-selling Illustrator course – by one of the Top 10 Adobe Instructors in the world – teaches you to use this industry-leading vector graphic application as a creative professional. The whole course content, including examples, techniques, exercises and quizzes have been carefully selected and refined to offer the most efficient and enjoyable way to master Adobe Illustrator.

This course has been purposely designed for users of all experiences, from complete beginners to existing Illustrator users, who want to take their skills to the next level. Being able to confidently work in Illustrator is an essential skill for any Graphic Designer or Illustrator, but it is an equally useful tool for Product Designers, Fashion Designers, UI/UX designers and various other areas within and outside of the creative industry.

“The course has great content, well explained and having you feeling confident with the software at the end.”
James Pope

More about Adobe Illustrator:

  • Illustrator is the industry-standard vector graphics application that lets you create logos, icons, sketches, typography and complex illustrations for print, web, interactive, video and mobile devices.

  • Its time saving features allow users to create work quickly and efficiently at the highest professional standard.  

A closer look at what you will learn:

  • We will start with the basics, so you feel totally at ease with the interface, preferences, setting up new documents. We will also cover fundamental principles like the difference between vector and pixel graphics.

  • The next two chapters will teach you everything you need to know about working with objects in Illustrator. These are the buildings blocks of all vector graphics so these initial lessons will help you to understand and work with more complex tools later on.

  • Next up, in the drawing section of the course, master drawing modes, the Pen tool, Curvature tool and all the different ways you can draw and manipulate paths.

  • Next learn about the different types of Brushes and how to make the most of their unique features. You will also learn how to create your own custom brushes.

  • In the next chapters you will learn about tracing photographs with a powerful feature called Image Trace and everything you need to know about adding type to your illustrations.

  • Once you are comfortable with all of that you can move onto the Advanced Techniques section, which will introduce more complex features like Symbols, Graphs, Gradient Meshes, Perspective Drawing, Recolor Artwork and workflows like Masking.

  • Finally, discover how to correctly export your work for print and screen, and ways to share and archive your projects.

“An outstanding course! I’ve taken many Udemy courses where the instructor just rambles on, or circles around the same point several times. But here, every word uttered is part of the lesson. No fluff, no uhms, no nonsense. With that level of focus, it’s very easy to follow, learn and remember.”  Laurie Knapp

This course includes:

  • 94 Videos (12 hours of total playtime)

  • Interactive quizzes testing what you learnt in each chapter

  • Downloadable working files

  • Course content updated with the latest CC 2020 new features

  • All future updates to Illustrator will be included in this course for no extra payment

  • Estimated finish time: 25 hours (including finishing all exercises and quizzes)

  • Preparation guide for the official Adobe Certified Associate exam: Graphic Design & Illustration using Adobe Illustrator

  • Completion certificate upon finishing the entire course

Martin is an Adobe Certified Instructor voted as one of the Top 10 Adobe instructors in the world – with years of experience teaching in classrooms, seminars and webinars. He also worked professionally in the creative industry for over 10 years on a wide range of projects for clients such as Disney, Accenture, Mattel, etc.

“This course includes really great and useful practical exercises for each chapter. I also enjoyed the quiz at the end of each chapter as you learn the things explained in more depth. Seriously, there’s nothing I would’ve wanted to change about this course. A great masterclass for beginners to learn fast and start being a graphic designer.”

Jessica Mueller

Who will find it useful:

  • Perfect for anyone looking to start or develop their career in the creative industry.

  • Complete beginners will be able to master the software from the very beginning to the most advanced features.

  • Self-taught users and existing professionals can use the course to take their skills and knowledge to the next level, refine their workflows and learn to do everything the right way!

  • Existing and more experienced users of Illustrator may also discover hidden gems and workflows or catch up with all the new features released in CC 2020.

Skills you will gain:

  • Producing vector graphics for print and screen

  • Using all the time-saving features of Illustrator and work efficiently

  • Designing logos and brand identities for clients

  • Creating vector illustrations, infographics and icons

  • Tracing scanned drawings and sketches and turning them into scalable vector graphics

  • Producing repeatable patterns for product packaging, apparels and stationaries.

Ready to master and create brand new work with confidence in Adobe Illustrator? Enroll on this course and let’s get started.


Why learn Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard vector graphics application that lets you create logos, icons, sketches, typography and complex illustrations for print, web, interactive, video and mobile devices. The advantage of working in Illustrator is that your work will be resolution-independent, which means that you can print it out in whatever size you want without losing image quality. For instance when you design a logo in Illustrator it will look just as crisp and detailed printed on a business card as on the side of an airplane. While working in Photoshop usually requires a photograph to start with, in Illustrator you can create amazing designs very quickly by starting with a blank canvas thanks to its outstanding variety of tools and techniques.

In this course we are going to start from the very basics like how to draw circles and rectangles all the way to creating complex illustrations, logos, business cards and so much more. My aim is to teach you the best ways of doing everything in Illustrator, to make you confident that you will always know which tool or feature to use in every situation.

Although we have a lot to cover I managed to boil down everything you need to know into a few hours of video tutorials that will not only get you good at using Illustrator but also help you to understand core concepts of graphic design, brand design and illustration. Learning Illustrator from this course will also provide you with plenty of best practices that I picked up and developed while working as a designer on projects such as Pixar Cars and Toy Story style guides, Hot Wheels posters and illustrations for companies like Accenture.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started and master Adobe Illustrator!

How to Study?

Each video lesson in this course explains a certain topic combining multiple elements and features and even best practices that professional creatives would use in their work. It is up to you how quickly you want to go through these videos but the aim is to be able to practice everything you learnt at your own pace. That is why I carefully designed exercise files for each lesson that you can download and practice or follow along the videos. I also created PDF notes with illustrations for each lesson that you can print out or keep on your mobile devices for future reference.

It is recommended to have the latest Creative Cloud version of Illustrator installed on your computer to make the most of this training as there will quite a lot of features mentioned only available in this version. If you don’t have an active CC subscription I would suggest you download the free 30-day trial of the product from Adobe’s website. This should give you enough time to study and practice while going through this course. Also you might find it useful to have a pen tablet such as the Wacom Intuos Draw, which can help you to draw more naturally in Illustrator. I will be mentioning the advantages of these devices a few times during the course, but of course you can finish this training easily without owning one.

Studying from this course also prepares you to get Certified by Adobe as an Associate in Graphic Design & Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator. This is an internationally accepted certification allowing you to demonstrate proficiency in using this application. Becoming a Certified Associate you can stand apart from your peers, boost your confidence, and expand your career opportunities. At the end of the course I will explain how to get certified in great detail, as my aim is to get you ready to pass this exam after finishing this course. I also included an ACA exam preparation guide that you can download and rehearse with.

Apart from getting a proof of your technical skills it is important to be able to show your work created in Illustrator to your potential clients or employers. I also explain all the best ways to create a killer creative portfolio with which you will be able to impress anyone.

Watching the videos on your own without anyone checking your progress might make you doubt yourself whether you really understood all the techniques and concepts mentioned. To help you really acquire all the skills from this course I included quizzes for each chapter. These quizzes will help you to check whether you fully understood the key features and techniques of each topic.

For the theme of this course I chose the theme of adventure, exploration and discovery as that is how learning this application will feel like. I'm hoping to get you excited about the creative possibilities Illustrator provides and inspire you along the way to make studying fun and enjoyable. Working with this product is my passion and I poured all my love for it into this course.

But now it is time to embark on this adventure and be prepared to be blown-away by the things you will be able to do with Adobe Illustrator.

Getting an Adobe Certification

Studying from this course will not only teach you everything you need to know about Adobe Illustrator, but it will also help you to get an official qualification proving your proficiency with this software. Adobe has a 2-level certification system: the entry level is called Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) and the advanced examination is the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE).

In this video we will be focusing on the requirements and the preparation process of the ACA exam, but if you are interested in the expert exam check out my ACE preparation courses on courses.yesimadesigner.com.

Before we go into the details about the exam I wanted to talk a bit about whether it is worth getting certified and how recognised these qualifications are in the creative industry. The way I see it is that even if employers are not asking for the certification, having the ACA in your CV will definitely reinforce your technical understanding and that your skills are up-to-date. I cannot promise that passing this exam will grant you a job straight away, but doing it will definitely be a major step towards it.

So the full name of this exam is Graphic Design & Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator.  This certification is available for Creative Cloud (CC) and they stay current for three years after the date of issue. The ACA exam at the moment of recording this video consists of 39 questions, most of which are technical and a around 25% theoretical, and you will have 50 minutes to answer everything. The current pass-rate is 70%, which means you will need to be able to answer minimum 28 out of 39 questions correctly.

The 5 main areas tested in the exam are:

  • Setting project requirements

  • Identifying design elements used when preparing graphics

  • Understanding Adobe Illustrator

  • Create graphics using Adobe Illustrator

  • Archive, export, and publish graphics using Adobe Illustrator

The technical side of the exam are area number 3, 4 and 5. This part is tested by performance-based questions simulating Illustrator in a browser, requiring you to complete a task or perform a function. Once you watch all the videos in the MasterClass course, practice with the provided exercise files and successfully go through the quizzes about each chapter, then your technical understanding of this application should be way above the necessary level to answer the questions of these 3 areas.

The theory-based questions will mainly come up in the first 2 topics and they will consist of linear-based questions that use traditional true/false, multiple-choice or matching formats. In the exam preparation PDF included with this course you will be able to find much more information and helpful reminders of all of the topics, plus you will be able to learn about all the necessary terms and theories they might ask in the exam.

When you feel ready to schedule your exam you will first need to find an Adobe Certified Authorised Testing Centre near you. These testing centres are run by the company called Certiport. Visit their site to find out more about their testing centres and the available dates. The good thing is that you immediately get your results at the end of the exam and you will get an email with your certification. You will also receive badges when passing an exam, which you will be able to share online through a portal called Acclaim.

Getting certified by Adobe is a big step in your creative career, but it is not enough on its own as either you are planning to get an internship or a full-time design job you will need to be able to present your portfolio with a selection of your best work. Now if you are just starting out then this might be difficult, but don’t worry as I have a few useful tips and advice that I’m going to share with you in the next video.

Changes to User Interface in CC 2018
Exercise Files

How to use the exercise files

  1. Download this ZIP file and extract its contents
  2. Locate the chapter by finding the relevant folder
  3. Find the file that is used in the video lesson you are watching and open it to follow along

There are only files included for those video lessons where it is relevant. Don't look for exercise files where you are supposed to create something from scratch.

Some of these files and elements were designed by Freepik.com. You will be able to find the links in all of them to access the original files in case you wish to use them in your own projects. The files included with this course are not for distribution or to use them for commercial reasons. They are only included for practicing the explained methods and techniques in this course.


Illustrator Documents
  • Create a new document

  • Import graphic from CC Assets Library

  • Add text

  • Save AI file

  • Open saved file back and make changes
  • Create new document with multiple artboards

  • Purpose of multiple Artboards in one file

  • Artboard Tool

  • Artboards Panel

  • Export artboards
Updated Artboards (New in CC 2018)
  • Zoom (CC dynamic zoom option)

  • Outline mode

  • GPU/CPU mode

  • Arrange documents

  • New View
Working with Vectors
  • Show example of resolution

    • -  detail and print size is restricted by resolution

    • + pixels allow subtle and complex variety of details that is needed in photography

  • Open an illustration in Illustrator and zoom into it

    • - hard to make things look photo-realistic

    • + no restriction on print size, small file size

  • Pixel preview

  • Raster effects and placed images are only resolution independant
User Interface
  • Customisation

  • Panels (Window menu) - floating/docked, iconic/extended

  • Toolbar (floating tool palettes) and Options bar

  • UI brightness

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Workspaces
Properties panel (New in CC 2018)
  • General

    • Keyboard increment, Constrain Angle, Corner Radius

  • Selection and Anchor Display

  • GPU Performance

  • File Handling
Basics Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.

Working with Objects

Basic Shapes
  • Shape tools

  • Basic appearance (fill and stroke) and shortcuts

  • Path selection Tool

  • Direct Selection Tool

  • Shaper Tool (CC)
  • Bounding box

  • Rotate Tool

  • Transform Panel

  • Corner widget
Combining Shapes
  • Pathfinder

  • Shape Builder

  • Compound Path

  • Expand (Stroke becomes Fill)
Selection Techniques
  • Magic Wand

  • Lasso Tool

  • Inverse selection

  • Lock selection

  • Select > Same options

  • Select > Object options

  • Save selection
Organising Objects
  • Grouping objects

  • Isolation mode

  • Layers

  • Locking objects

  • Arranging objects (shortcuts)
Aligning and Distributing Objects
  • Align panel

  • Align to option

  • Distribute spacing

Download exercise file from this lesson if you are having trouble opening the file included at the beginning with the rest of the files.

Working Precisely
  • Guides

  • Smart Guides

  • Convert object to guides

  • Grid

  • Change units on Rulers

  • Global/Artboard Rulers
  • Shape Builder and Expand

  • Organising objects into Layers
Working with Objects Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.

Appearance of Objects

Stroke settings
  • Alignment

  • Caps and corners

  • Dashed Line

  • Arrowheads

  • Profile+Width Tool
  • Process Color swatches

  • Spot Color swatches

  • Color groups

  • Color Themes and Adobe Color CC

  • Export swatches

  • Save swatches in CC libraries

  • Spot colours (Pantone)
  • Gradient panel

  • Gradient Tool

  • Gradient swatches
Appearance panel
  • Multiple strokes and fills

  • Blend modes and Opacity options

  • Access additional panels trough Appearance panel

  • Live effects

  • Graphic styles
  • Vector and raster effects

  • Scribble

  • 3D effects

  • Stylise

  • Expand Appearance
  • Create an engaging Graphic Style for text

  • Create a gradient for the background

Appearance of Objects Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.


Basic Drawing Tools
  • Pencil tool

  • Paintbrush tool

  • Smooth tool

  • Simplify Path
Drawing Exercise
  • Draw over sunglasses

  • Speed up some parts
  • Blob Brush tool

  • Eraser Tool

  • Shortcut to switch modes

  • Draw behind
Drawing assistance tools
  • Join tool

  • Path Eraser tool

  • Knife Tool

  • Scissors Tool

  • New Tools Panel (Window menu)
Draw Inside
  • Keep drawing within selected object

  • Pathfinder > Divide to convert Clipping Group to normal objects
Pen Tool
  • Anchor points and handles

  • Preferences

    • Anchor display

    • Show handles when multiple anchor points are selected

    • Rubber band

  • Remove and add points on path

  • Convert points
Pen Tool exercise
  • Tracing with the Pen tool (precise or draft drawing style)

  • Mention course about Pen Tool
Pen Tool alternatives
  • Different approach to achieve the same result as with the Pen Tool

  • Curvature Tool

  • Reshape Tool

  • Arc and Spiral Tools

  • Corner Widgets
Curvature Tool (New in CC 2018)
Distort and Transform tools
  • Free Transform Tool

  • Distort Tools
Symmetrical drawing
  • Guide for symmetry line

  • Reflect Tool

  • Transform Path effect
Concentric drawing techniques
  • Transform again

  • Transform effect with angle and multiple copies
Manual tracing exercise
  • Manual tracing of character

  • Combination of drawing techniques
Drawing Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.


Calligraphic Brushes
  • Brush settings

  • Digital hand-lettering examples

  • Modifying lines

  • Using guides
Scatter Brushes
  • Show Decorative Scatter set

  • Create tree brush

  • Brush settings

  • Color override
Art Brushes
  • Show Paintbrush and Watercolor sets

  • Chinese dragon brush

  • Stretch between guides
Bristle Brushes
  • Show library

  • Create new Bristle brush from Brushes panel

  • Draw hair or fur (monster example)
Pattern Brushes
  • Draw a segment

  • Make it seamless

  • Brush settings

  • Test brush and change Stroke width for refining size

  • Apply brush on circle
Image Brushes
  • Hair brush created as Art Brush

  • Chain brush created as Pattern Brush

  • End segments added (holding down Alt/Opt while dragging onto Brush panel)
Brushes Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.


Working with Images
  • Place, Link option

  • Links panel

  • Embed images

  • Package

  • Resolution (PPI)
Preparing simple images for tracing
  • Increase contrast in Photoshop with Adjustments

  • Cropping images

  • Desaturating and inverting colours
Preparing complex images for tracing
  • Remove objects from their background with selections

  • Save images with transparency as PSD files
Image Trace
  • Image Trace Panel settings

  • Ignore White

  • Expand
Improving and Colouring traced images
  • Change fill color on simple objects

  • Improve tracing results and use Live Paint Bucket

  • Recolor Artwork for complex tracing results
Images Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.


Character formatting
  • Line type

  • Character panel

  • Shortcuts

  • Terms: Leading, Kerning, Tracking, Baseline Shift
Paragraph formatting
  • Area type

  • Paragraph panel

  • Threading text
Using Text styles
  • Character Styles

  • Paragraph Styles
  • Font selector

  • Favorite fonts

  • Filtering options

  • Similar filter

  • Typekit
Variable and SVG Fonts (New in CC 2018)
Touch Type
  • Show examples

  • Shortcut

  • Stays editable
Type on a Path
  • Pen Tool to draw path

  • Edit text position on path

  • Edit path
Type and Shapes
  • Type inside a shape

  • Type around a shape
Warp Text
  • Make with Warp

  • Make with Mesh

  • Make with Top Object

  • Switch between Editing modes (Envelope/Contents)

3D Type
  • 3D Extrude

  • Combine with Touch Type

  • Appearance panel to make changes
Create Outlines from Text
  • Set stroke outside of text in Appearance panel

  • Outline text

  • Customising type
Image within Text
  • Place image

  • Clipping Mask

  • Use Layers panel to select what to edit
Text Wrap
  • Area type and shape above it

  • Object > Text Wrap > Make

  • Text Wrap options for changing offset
Type Exercise

Circular logo design

Type Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.

Advanced Techniques

Introduction to Masking
  • Opacity Mask

  • Clipping Mask

  • Draw inside mode
Clipping Mask
  • Business card example

  • Pattern on dress example
Opacity Mask

Reflection for backpack example

Masking exercise
  • Clipping mask for ninja mask

  • Opacity mask for background rays
Recolor Artwork
  • Enable and disable colour conversions

  • Reset colours

  • Save colours

  • Merge colours into one swatch or tints

  • Use different colour models

  • Colour wheel

  • Link harmony

  • Harmony rules
Live Paint Bucket
  • Live Paint Bucket tool

  • Live Paint Selection tool

  • Merging Live Paint objects

  • Using Gradient swatches in Live Paint

  • Expand Live Paint Group
Envelope Distort
  • Top object

  • Mesh

  • Warp
Puppet Warp (New in CC 2018)
  • Show default symbols - clipart

  • Creating a custom symbol

  • Editing symbols

  • Expand symbol

  • Dynamic Symbols (CC new feature)

  • Save Symbol sets
Symbol Tools
  • Cat example

  • Expand
  • Graph Tools

  • Data

  • Options

  • Applying Graphic Styles to graphs
Blending Objects
  • Blend Tool

  • Blend options
Creating Patterns
  • Pattern Options

  • Pattern Tile Tool

  • Tile types

  • Overlapping
Refining Pattern Design
  • Save pattern as swatch

  • Update swatch

  • Appearance panel for background color
Gradient Mesh
  • Rows and Columns

  • Add colors to mesh points

  • Select multiple mesh points with Lasso or Direct selection tool

  • Move mesh points around

  • Use Recolor Artwork on mesh
Perspective Drawing
  • Perspective Grid Tool

  • Perspective Selection Tool

  • Shortcuts
Advanced Techniques Quiz

Test your knowledge about the things you learnt in this chapter.

Export and Integration

Saving work for Print
  • Color settings and profiles

  • Artboard size

  • Bleed settings

  • Print

  • Save as PDF
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