Jump-start your project with essential tips for creating a layout design in Illustrator.

Multiple print projects on a green background

Illustrator is a powerful tool for designing icons, logos, posters, flyers, web and app designs, product packaging—and so much more. Here’s the general process for creating a layout design in Illustrator to jump-start your project.

Define your project

Before diving into your design, consider what you're creating. A layout for print? Online ad? Both? When creating a layout in Illustrator, you first select a new document category: Print, Web, and more. Each category comes with important options, including the specific color mode required for each output type.

A sale poster seen on a phone and in a shop window

Tip: Take advantage of the multitude of free templates available through Adobe Stock as a great way to kick-start your project!

Set up your artboards (pages)

After creating your new document, you’ll need to set up artboards, which are like pages in a document, except with a lot more flexibility. Using the Artboard tool and Artboard Editing mode, you can organize them, overlap them, duplicate them (to create different versions, for instance), delete them, edit them, and more.

Multiple 70% off sale designs on artboards

Adding images and other graphics

In Illustrator, you can add vector shapes and paths and bring images and other types of graphics into your layout. Images can be resized, rotated, traced, converted into shapes and paths, and transformed in other ways. 

Add graphic elements

Create simple and complex shapes with shape tools, draw smooth lines and freehand curves with the Pencil tool, create elegant curves and precise angles with the Curvature tool. The options are almost endless.

Depictions of multiple design and photo elements for a fashion promo

Add and format text

Illustrator’s powerful typographic features turn text into a unique design element. Combine text you create with the vast library of high-quality fonts in Adobe Fonts, included with your Adobe Creative Cloud membership. 

Image showing font choices and a promo poster for a fashion collection

Align content for visual appeal

By aligning content with a visible grid, individual guides or lines, or visual alignment tools like the Align panel options, you can create more appealing, streamlined designs.

Image of a flyer for a fashion sale showing alignment on a grid

Create versions

Quickly create multiple versions of one project or multiple pieces, like a flyer, ad, and brochure, within the same Illustrator file using artboards.

Multiple variations of a business card on a yellow background

Share your layout

With your layout ready to go, you can share your Illustrator layout file with a co-worker or client. With the Package command, Illustrator copies the content for your layout, including fonts, into a single folder that you can then send off. Or, quickly export your file as a PDF or various other formats depending on your needs. 

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