Turn your ideas into amazing digital illustrations with these key essentials.

Colorful graphic of a stylized neighborhood on a green background

Start with simple shapes

Ready to turn your ideas into digital illustrations? Start by mastering simple vector shapes and editing them with easy-to-use controls using the Shape tool. Most shapes you create in Illustrator are live, so they’re always editable. Simple shapes can then become complex shapes through tools like the Shape Builder. By selecting overlapping shapes, you can visually combine or remove parts of shapes as well.

Draw curves and lines

There are dozens of ways to sketch, trace, and draw in Illustrator to bring your creative vision to life. Here are a few methods:

  • Draw smooth lines and freehand curves with the Pencil tool, much as you would with a pencil on paper.
  • Create elegant curves and precise angles with the Curvature tool and adjust your drawing without switching tools.

Add polished typography

Make your text stand out. Combine the powerful typographic features in Illustrator with the vast Adobe Fonts library of high-quality fonts—all included with your Adobe Creative Cloud membership. 

Make your artwork pop

Apply colors to your art effortlessly in Illustrator to match your brand style or simply to add pop. There are several ways to create color, including:

  • Use built-in color libraries to get started.
  • Create colors in a variety of ways, saving them as swatches that you can reuse.
  • Easily create color variations of logos, posters, and more, using Recolor Artwork in Illustrator.
  • Find color inspiration in the Color Guide panel.

Get creative with effects

Effects in Illustrator elevate your artwork to a new level. From applying simple drop shadows to transforming artwork, effects add uniquely creative touches to artwork. Effects in Illustrator are always editable, which means you can easily change, hide, or remove an effect later. 

Organize your artwork

Make a habit of saving your content in layers to keep it organized. Think of layers like transparent folders stacked on a desk. Each folder can contain a variety of artwork. In the Layers panel, you can organize, lock, hide, or change the order of content, and select objects. 

Armed with these key considerations, you’ll be well on your way to creating your first amazing digital illustration in Illustrator!

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