Adobe Illustrator: Initial Setup, Layering & Background Clipping (Topic)

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Adobe Illustrator: Initial Setup, Layering & Background Clipping


Let's try to figure out when you need Adobe Illustrator and how to work with it.

It's no secret that there are programs that have become the standard in their industry. This is the kind of software that you just need to master perfectly to be a good specialist.

Adobe Illustrator is the standard for working with any vector graphics (logos, icons, illustrations) and partly with complex and small printed products (book covers, outdoor advertising, business cards). You can also create interfaces for your applications and sites in it.

Let's try to understand its capabilities step by step using simple examples.

Create a new document

At the beginning of work, we are greeted by a screen with a selection of preset options for documents, broken down by type of work. You can choose from a ready-made version of the document for print, web, mobile app, video and illustration.

You can also call this screen yourself by selecting File - New or by pressing Cntrl+N

Photo New Document Creation Screen

When creating a file, you can choose the units of measurement in the document, the color space, and many other parameters. Let's take a closer look at them.

Selecting the units of measurement in the document

Pixels - if you are making a project for the web or a screen for an application, then you must use pixels (Pixels) as a unit of measurement

Millimeters, Santimeters, inches should be used if you are doing something that needs to be printed later.

Points, picas are the most convenient for font work. Create font style, work with fonts, etc.

Photo Select document units

Important Remember to set the Bleed setting to at least 3mm for printing, as your design will be cropped when printing, so leave some margin for your layout.

Choose a color space

This point is pretty simple.

If your work will be made of any material - then use CMYK.

Website, application, presentation, or if the material is not intended for printing or the color rendering is not very important, then RGB.

Photo Color Space Selection

When printing RGB is not used at all from the word, and if you are printing non-useless junk for a meeting, it is very important to remember this. Just like a website layout in CMYK will give you monstrous colors on preview.

Working with sheets (Artboard)

Immediately after creating your document, you will see your Artboard as a white box or sheet.

Important! Your workspace may differ from the examples

Resize sheet

To resize your sheet, you need:

1. Select your artboard on the artboards panel or click Shift+O

Photo Artboard Selection

If the artboards panel is not displayed, select Windows - Artboards

in the top panel

2.1. Enter the required dimensions on the top panel

Photo Resize Artboard

The icon between two values is to maintain proportions, if selected the second value will always be proportional

2.2. Selecting the Artboard tool ( Shift + O ) drag the border of the box to the desired size.

Photo To resize, simply drag outside the area.

Create a new sheet

To create a new Artboard click on the icon in the Artboards

Photo Create a new workspace

Alternatively, you can use the Artboard tool ( Shift + O ) and just click anywhere in the empty space.

Workspace background

Sometimes we need a transparent background to work.

By default, all sheets in Illustrator are displayed with a white fill, to make a transparent background select View - Show transparency grid or press Cntrl+Shift+D

Photo Show Transparency

Pressing Cntrl + Shift + D again will return the white fill. This works with other commands in Illustrator as well

Making the grid and guides

Sometimes, when working, we may need to display the grid and guides. They are not displayed by default.

Photo Turn on Grid & Guides

To enable their display, go to the View - Show Grid (Cntrl + ") tab for the grid and View - Ruller - Show Ruller (Cntrl + R) for the guides .

It is highly recommended to also enable Smart guides (Cntrl + U) - they are irreplaceable when aligning elements and in general are extremely useful in work.

Insert picture

Pasting a picture into Illustrator is easy. To do this, just drag it from the explorer directly to your workspace.

Or you can press File - Place (Shift + Cntrl + P)

Photo Insert Image

Not all pictures can be inserted correctly. For example, if the color profiles are different. In this case, you should use an image profile by selecting it in the profile selection window that appears.

Image resizing and cropping


We have inserted the image, now we need to resize it. Select your image with the Selection tool (V) and simply drag on the desired edge. The image will shrink or enlarge.

By holding down Shift you can enlarge or reduce the image while maintaining the proportions

Cropping Image

To crop your image just select it and press Cntrl+7

Photo Crop Image

Illustrator doesn't want to crop illustrations and other vectors this way, but it can be cheated. Just create a block of the size you want, place it over your illustration and press Cntrl + 7 . And Illustrator will crop your vector to fit the block.

Saving the result

You've done a great job, now it's time to save it. There are several ways to save in Illustrator.

  • Save ( Cntrl + S )
Photo Save Result

Needed if you want to save the result in vector format or make a presentation in PDF. Available formats for saving: EPS, PDF, SVG, Ai

  • Save for WEB ( Cntrl + Shift + Alt + S )
Photo Save for WEB

Ideal for saving pictures and later uploading to sites. Available formats for saving: Jpg, Png, Gif

Art by Korn Zheng

The Topic of Article: Adobe Illustrator: Initial Setup, Layering & Background Clipping.
Author: Jake Pinkman