Are you looking to learn Illustrator? First, you’ll need to decide on the right Adobe Creative Cloud subscription so that you have access to the program. This may only cost about twenty dollars a month, but it is a cost to be aware of. Beyond this, you’ll want to consider the cost of Illustrator training.

The cost of learning Illustrator will largely depend on how in-depth an education a student wants. Users who only want to learn the basics of the program may find that they can learn it on their own. Students looking to build a resume item by learning Illustrator may need to enroll in a course that costs a few hundred dollars. Aspiring professionals who want to enter a new career may need to pay upwards of a few thousand dollars. Read on to find out more about how much you can expect to spend on learning Illustrator.

What is Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics design tool used in several industries, including graphic design and web design. The program allows users to build graphics and illustrations out of vectors, meaning they are composed of lines, shapes, and points. These illustrations are easily resizable with minimal decay in graphics quality (unlike pixel-based graphics, which do not resize without becoming blurry or blocky). Images designed in Illustrator are perfect for packaging, advertising, or branding endeavors that allow the same image to be placed on both a business card and a billboard.

Illustrator is also a key part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a collection of creative tools that give graphic designers a wide range of tools for creating stunning visual imagery. These programs are seamlessly integrated and built to allow optimized crossover. Illustrator is frequently used alongside Adobe Photoshop (a program with a similar but distinct function) and Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, video editing programs that utilize Illustrator to create animated effects.

Read more about what Illustrator is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Illustrator?

Illustrator is a vector graphics design tool that lets users create their own illustrations. Using points, lines, shapes, and text, the program lets users build vector graphics illustrations designed to be infinitely scalable, letting users resize them at will. Therefore, Illustrator is ideal for drawing images that will be mass-produced and placed in multiple contexts, such as art prints, company logos, branded merchandise, official letterhead seals, and many other uses. Illustrator lets users build an image once and repurpose it on everything from water bottles to billboards.

Using Illustrator, creatives can build recognizable logos and iconography to help define a client’s brand identity. The most common uses of Illustrator are within the graphic design and advertising industries, though other industries, such as the fashion industry, have their uses for Illustrator. In these professional settings, users can construct illustrations that quickly and effectively convey meaning and help consumers recognize the products being sold. Almost all product packaging is made using vector graphics, meaning that almost every company selling a product to consumers will use Illustrator.

For non-professionals or aspiring entrepreneurs, learning InDesign can help users build their online identities. Small business owners, crafters looking to break into Etsy, local musicians looking to sell decals, or even activists wanting to build memorable logos and signage for their organization all benefit from learning Illustrator. Quick, efficient graphic communication is vital across many fields, and Illustrator can make building these graphic designs faster and more efficient.

In-Depth Review of the Training Cost

The cost of Illustrator training depends mainly on the level of professionalization a student hopes to receive. For students looking to only learn the basics of the program, Illustrator is a cheap and user-friendly program to learn. Students who want to become Illustrator professionals will need more experience and training resources.

The most expensive option is a four-year university degree. However, this isn’t always an option for most students, so they may wish to look elsewhere.

Asynchronous learning options tend to be the cheapest option available to students, but they don’t have the same benefits students would get from a live training course. Students won't be able to interact with their instructors, but they will have more flexibility in their learning pace.

Live instruction is a bit more expensive, but it offers the advantages of being able to mirror the kinds of courses a student would take in a four-year university program. Students can interface with their instructors and receive tailored, hands-on instruction in Illustrator. Live courses will require students to pay some hidden costs associated with travel, but they will have access to the hardware and software required to train. By contrast, online students won’t have to travel but will need to procure the technology for themselves.

Free resources are available, but these tend to be introductory material that is well-suited for new users hoping to learn the basics of the program but is less than ideal for users who hope to learn how to use Illustrator professionally. Aspiring Graphic Designers will still need more expensive career training.

Free Introductory Illustrator Course Online

For students looking to gain familiarity with Illustrator but aren’t yet sure that they want to enroll in a paid training course, there are a handful of free options available to help in learning the basics of the program. These tutorials won’t replace guided hands-on instruction, but they are opportunities to develop a familiarity with the program before enrolling in a training program.

Noble Desktop’s resources blog provides students with brief articles and introductory material to learn the basics of Illustrator. Two introductory courses, Intro to Adobe Illustrator and Creative Effects with Adobe Illustrator, provide students with basic lessons in the illustrations for which Illustrator is most suited. Noble’s Graphic Design YouTube Playlist also provides students free introductory lessons in specific graphic design tools and design philosophies.

Students can also find more detailed information about Adobe Illustrator at the Learn Adobe Illustrator on Noble’s Learn Hub. Additionally, as part of their free trial, the first time a user opens Adobe Illustrator, they are provided with a brief tutorial of some of the program's basic features. This tutorial concludes with directions to Adobe’s free Illustrator tutorials.

Read about more free Illustrator videos and online tutorials.

Learn Illustrator with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers an array of Illustrator classes and bootcamps for students hoping to receive Illustrator training through a live online course. Noble’s Illustrator in a Day course offers introductory instruction in the basic functionalities of the program, such as the pen and pencil tool, the function of different layers and brushes, and the process of preparing a file for publication. This course is ideal for students who expect to work with Illustrator in the future but don’t imagine that they will do so every day or that they will need to engage with the complicated features of the program.

For students who do feel that they will need to work with the more advanced features of Illustrator, Noble’s Adobe Illustrator Bootcamp offers in-depth training in the tools that allow Illustrator to create complex and vibrant vector illustrations. Students will learn to work with masks, alter colors and gradients, and build custom patterns. They will also create practical sample designs such as T-shirts and signage to include in a design portfolio. These exercises mirror the projects that professional Graphic Designers undertake, and this course is an ideal place to learn how to use Illustrator professionally.

Aspiring career Graphic Designers can build their skills in many different design programs by enrolling in Noble’s Graphic Design Certificate program. This program confers upon students a state-approved certificate in the mastery of Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Beyond learning the functionalities of these programs, students will receive lessons in theories of design and composition. They will work towards building various sample designs to be included as part of their sample portfolio as a prerequisite for completion. Students looking to expand their design skills further can enroll in Noble’s Digital Design Certificate program, which covers all of this information, plus lessons in user interface and web page design for digital publications.

These Design Certificate programs are career-focused courses that provide students with one-on-one career mentorship. As a student’s final project, they will build a sample design portfolio to showcase their skills to prospective employers. By the end of these programs, students will be prepared to enter the workforce in a new, high-paying career.