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