Illustrator is the most commonly used vector graphics design tool in the field of graphic design. It allows users to create resizable illustrations that can be replicated and placed on anything from promotional pencils to billboards. Suppose you already know how to use Illustrator. In that case, you might consider learning more advanced graphic design skills, or for aspiring web designers or motion animators, you may wish to receive advanced training in other Adobe design tools, such as After Effects or XD. We’ll cover all of these programs below so you have a clear understanding of what skill you want to tackle next.

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.

Graphic Design Training

Graphic Designers, particularly those working in traditional print mediums or the advertising industry, will frequently pair Adobe Illustrator alongside Photoshop and InDesign to create memorable and evocative layouts for magazines, brochures, billboards, and posters. These professionals will use Illustrator and Photoshop to create digital assets that will be compiled in InDesign to be published as professionally designed page layouts.

For students hoping to make a career in graphic design, Noble Desktop offers a Graphic Design Certificate program that provides students with training in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. Students will learn the differences between Illustrator and Photoshop so they know when to use either program, and receive career-focused training on integrating the three programs. By the end of the program, students will receive an industry-recognized certificate of completion and have built a portfolio of sample designs to take with them onto the job market. This program includes training in Adobe Illustrator, so students who already feel comfortable with that program may instead opt to enroll in the Adobe Photoshop Bootcamp and Adobe InDesign Bootcamp separately.

Animation and Motion Graphics Training

The television and film industries have increasingly come to rely upon Digital Effects Animators and Motion Designers to bring their visions to life. The technical skills required to do this behind-the-scenes work have become an in-demand skill set, and Adobe Illustrator is often used to build assets that will be animated or added in post-production. These roles require training in programs such as Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Students wanting to learn how to take their 2-D Illustrator design into the world of 3-D animation may wish to consider Noble’s Motion Graphics Certificate program or their Video Editing and Motion Graphics Certificate program. These programs will teach students how to create animations with After Effects and build animations by layering Illustrator and Photoshop files. Students will also learn the basics of using Premiere Pro to edit and manipulate video files using After Effects and Illustrator assets. The Video Editing and Motion Graphics Certificate program also includes units on constructing a demo reel of edited video samples. Unlike the Graphic Design Certificate, this program does not provide an overview of the functions of Adobe Illustrator, so proficiency in that software is a prerequisite.

Digital Design and UX/UI Design Training

Students who want to apply their Illustrator skills to the world of web design will find their skills in demand in the fields of digital design and User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design. These professionals will use Illustrator and a handful of other programs to build the assets that populate webpages. UX/UI designers use them to build intuitive user interfaces that are memorable and accessible. These designers work closely with teams of other designers, programmers, and managers to turn concepts and ideas into functional, user-facing web and digital applications.

Noble’s Digital Design Certificate program provides students with training in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. Then, students are taught how to use Figma to turn their Illustrator designs into functional, interactive UI elements. Students will build working prototypes and receive training in the current philosophies of user experience design.

Noble’s UX/UI Design Certificate program, designed for students who already have a background in graphic design, emphasizes how to build UI elements through Figma and Adobe XD alongside training in UX optimization research. Students will not only learn how to build prototype interfaces but also how to test and iterate those prototypes in response to user data and feedback. This program aims to provide students with professional credentials in UX/UI Design. Students will end the program by creating a practical portfolio of interface designs to take onto the job market.

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.

Key Takeaways