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Art, typography, and Illustrator

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text

Video: Art, typography, and Illustrator

We often think of Adobe as being defined by applications like Illustrator and Photoshop. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, Adobe started out as a digital type foundry, and they still are. John Warnock, one of the founders of Adobe, created the PostScript language to allow for scalable high-quality fonts. And one of the main reasons why Adobe created Illustrator was to get more designers to use PostScript, so that they would buy PostScript printers. As it turned out though, it was Adobe Illustrator, along with Aldus Pagemaker and Apple's Macintosh and LaserWriter, that transformed the entire print in design industry, ushering in the era of desktop publishing.

Art, typography, and Illustrator

We often think of Adobe as being defined by applications like Illustrator and Photoshop. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, Adobe started out as a digital type foundry, and they still are. John Warnock, one of the founders of Adobe, created the PostScript language to allow for scalable high-quality fonts. And one of the main reasons why Adobe created Illustrator was to get more designers to use PostScript, so that they would buy PostScript printers. As it turned out though, it was Adobe Illustrator, along with Aldus Pagemaker and Apple's Macintosh and LaserWriter, that transformed the entire print in design industry, ushering in the era of desktop publishing.

So type is definitely important at Adobe. But even as desktop publishing was thriving, type was going through a tough time. Where in the past professional fonts for typesetting machines were very expensive, one could now buy these font explosion CDs filled with thousands of fonts for less than a hundred bucks. Even worse, type was being set by designers who weren't necessarily schooled in the subtleties of typography, and typesetters--that's the people, not the machines-- were finding themselves out of work.

In the late '90s, Adobe was already building what would become the premiere application for working with text, Adobe InDesign. Adobe's goal was to bring back the lost art of typography and enable desktop applications to set perfect, professional-level type. After seeing InDesign, designers wanted those professional type features in Illustrator too. But Illustrator was never built with professional typography in mind. In fact, Illustrator didn't even have a type tool until version 3.2 appeared, and even then, the text was quite basic at that.

But the relationship problems between Illustrator and type went deeper than just features. Illustrator's underlying technology also needed a change. Illustrator is used heavily in Asia where fonts and typography are far more complex than their western counterparts. Illustrator needed a modern Architecture to support not just advanced type control but also advanced type technology, including support for things like Unicode, OpenType Fonts, global language support, especially around Asian type workflows.

And so for Illustrator 10, Adobe created a brand-new text engine to support modern features and serve as a powerful platform for global language support and future versions. Adobe also added many type features in Illustrator to match those found in InDesign, including paragraph styles, Optical kerning and Optical margin alignment. Initially, this new text engine caused designers tremendous heartache. The new text engine wasn't compatible with the old one, so there was no easy way to save files containing text back to be opened in previous versions of Illustrator.

In fact, I cover this in the Working with Legacy Text chapter in this course. Illustrator's Text Engine is called the Adobe Text Engine, or ATE for short, and it's what Adobe refers to as a core technology. ATE is built into it many Adobe products, including Illustrator, Photoshop, Fireworks, and After Effects. And that means that you can easily move text between these applications without losing styling or formatting. But what about InDesign? Well, it's text engine is a bit more specialized.

It supports highly structured content, like XML, across long documents, and it's also optimized to function seamlessly across three powerful products: Adobe InDesign, Adobe InDesign Server, and Adobe InCopy. For this reason, moving formatted text between InDesign and Illustrator is still problematic. Now, I care a lot about type. My first job was as a typesetter at a publishing house, and I've also had the privilege of working very closely with art directors and creative directors who were meticulous about every aspect of type, both as an art form and also as a form of communication.

And as a production artist, I care very much about managing type in the most efficient manner possible. And really, that's what this course is all about, combining the beauty of type, the mode of communication, and speed and efficiency, all so that you can focus on your task at hand.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator Insider Training: Type and Text

52 video lessons · 15455 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Art, typography, and Illustrator
      4m 23s
    3. Using the exercise files
      26s
  2. 38m 30s
    1. Knowing Illustrator's limitations
      5m 47s
    2. The three type objects in Illustrator
      11m 18s
    3. Area type, point type, and the bounding box
      4m 35s
    4. The difference between type and text
      3m 42s
    5. Unicode: consistent type for all
      4m 23s
    6. Bringing text from Microsoft Word into Illustrator
      8m 45s
  3. 39m 51s
    1. Understanding font types
      6m 28s
    2. Using the Glyphs panel
      8m 30s
    3. OpenType support and automatic glyph replacement
      9m 43s
    4. Previewing fonts as you use them
      5m 0s
    5. Converting text into editable vector paths
      6m 19s
    6. Using the Find Font feature
      3m 51s
  4. 49m 4s
    1. Setting up the document
      12m 26s
    2. Basic character settings and keyboard shortcuts
      7m 28s
    3. Kerning, tracking, and optical kerning
      13m 6s
    4. Using horizontal and vertical scaling
      4m 38s
    5. Using the Baseline Shift and Character Rotation options
      7m 28s
    6. Using underlines and strikethroughs
      2m 5s
    7. Working with small caps, superscript, and subscript
      1m 53s
  5. 46m 36s
    1. Basic paragraph settings and keyboard shortcuts
      6m 47s
    2. Setting tabs and leaders
      11m 51s
    3. Setting indents and spacing
      9m 6s
    4. Understanding hyphenation and justification settings
      10m 28s
    5. Understanding the composers in Illustrator
      8m 24s
  6. 16m 7s
    1. Threading text across multiple objects
      8m 17s
    2. Adding multiple text columns in a single object
      3m 29s
    3. Specifying an inset for area type objects
      4m 21s
  7. 32m 53s
    1. Text styles in Illustrator
      7m 6s
    2. Defining and modifying character styles
      10m 40s
    3. Defining and modifying paragraph styles
      5m 0s
    4. Understanding the style override
      5m 3s
    5. Sharing styles across documents
      2m 10s
    6. Changing default type settings
      2m 54s
  8. 37m 9s
    1. Aligning text margins and indents optically
      3m 53s
    2. Creating non-breaking text
      2m 36s
    3. Changing case
      1m 39s
    4. Using smart punctuation
      5m 12s
    5. Selecting type objects easily
      3m 20s
    6. Understanding hidden text codes
      2m 20s
    7. Checking spelling
      3m 3s
    8. Using language support to your advantage
      3m 41s
    9. Changing text with Find and Replace
      3m 54s
    10. Finding substituted fonts and glyphs
      3m 55s
    11. Wrapping text around objects
      3m 36s
  9. 16m 47s
    1. Setting type along a path
      10m 22s
    2. The difference between open and closed paths
      6m 25s
  10. 10m 57s
    1. Understanding legacy text
      4m 23s
    2. Updating legacy text
      6m 34s
  11. 1m 16s
    1. Next steps
      1m 16s

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