- Now that we have a good idea of where everything is inside of Adobe Illustrator, let's go ahead and start creating new documents. Let's go up to the File menu and choose New. Once I choose New, it's going to take me to the New Document dialog box. Let me give you a breakdown of what's happening inside of this box. First off, here at the top, you can name your document. You do not have to name your document right off the bat. You can wait until after you've saved it. But let's say that you're working on a very specific project like maybe a poster design. You could just type something in here like Poster_rev1 for revision one, or whatever your file naming structure happens to be.
Directly underneath that, you have the Profile drop-down. This is going to be corresponding to whatever type of work that you're doing. So, if you're doing print, web, working on mobile devices, doing video and film, or you simply want to work just in basic RGB, you can select any one of these different profiles. How do you know which one of these profiles to choose? That's gonna depend on the project that you're working on. For instance, if you're building a website mock-up, you would wanna choose the Web Profile or the Devices Profile.
Why do I say that you can use web or devices? Because web design nowadays covers multiple devices including mobile phones and tablets. Using the Devices tab could be a great way to start. You can also choose the Print profile if you are working on things like business cards, letterhead, etc. Once you've determined the type of profile that you need, you can then determine the number of art boards that you require. Art boards are mainly separate pages that you're going to create inside of your single Illustrator document.
Each art board is it's own unique place where you can store artwork, you can create multiple versions of a design, or you can actually just have multi-page layouts all done inside of Illustrator. If you don't know how many art boards you need right off the bat, that's ok. You can always change the number of art boards later, which I'll show you in the movie where we talk about art boards. Underneath there, you have a Size drop-down. In the size drop-down, you'll be able to choose the type of document that you're creating. In this case, I have a Print profile.
So, all the sizes correspond to different print sizes like Letter, Legal, Tabloid, the A and B sizes. If I choose one of these, then the width and height are automatically going to be updated with those dimensions. By default, this is set to points. But if you would rather work in picas, inches, millimeters, centimeters or pixels, you can change those units right over here on the right. For instance, if I'm more used to working with inches, I'll select that and then I can actually see this, 8.5 inches by 14 inches has changed.
Directly underneath that, you have the Bleed options. In most cases, the Bleed is only going to be applicable to Print Design. So, you can change the Bleed simply by clicking up or down on these little arrows. By default, these are all linked together, and you can tell that because this little chain link over here has all of the links together. If you want to have a Bleed that extends farther on one side or not as much on the other, you can un-link these. You see the chain has been broken. Now, I can independently control all of the bleed settings.
If I want to make sure they're all in sync again, I snap that back and then I change one and they all change together. Down here at the bottom, we have the Advanced section. This is where you can change things like the color mode, the raster effect settings, and the preview mode. The color mode is going to be either CMYK or RGB. The good rule of thumb here, if something is going to be printed, choose CMYK. If something is going to go on a screen only, choose RGB. The raster effect settings; In some cases, there are certain things that Illustrator cannot reproduce in vector form when it goes to print.
Therefore, it will have to rasterize those which meas it changes them from a vector object, which can scale infinitely without penalty, to a raster object which is resolution dependent. That means it's going to look different at 72 pixels per inch versus 300 pixels per inch. When you're working with print, it's a good idea to keep this on the high side. When you're working with the web, it really doesn't matter. You can keep it at 72 pixels per inch and that should be just fine. You'll notice, as I change anything in this document, my profile actually switches to something called Custom.
That's because I'm no longer following the document profile that Illustrator thinks goes along with a print workflow or a web workflow. You haven't done anything wrong here, however. So don't worry if you see this Custom thing and it kinda scares you at first. It just means that you wanted a little bit more control over your document and you're now customizing it. The preview mode; chances are, you're just gonna leave this on default. When you get into working with documents, you can change that preview mode at any time to get a better idea of what it looks like, in pixels and as an overprint.
Finally, this last option here, Align New Objects to Pixel Grid. Basically, what this is going to do is make sure that none of the objects that you create on screen fall halfway in between a pixel or two. When you're creating inside of Illustrator, there's an invisible grid that you can't see. It's called the pixel grid. What you want is things to snap to this pixel grid in order to avoid any unnecessary anti-aliasing. In most cases, people only turn this on for a web-based workflow. Even then, it might not make sense.
If you want more information about this check-box, check out my Illustrator for Web Design series here at Lynda.com. Finally, at the bottom, you have the button to cancel and to click OK. If I click OK, Illustrator's going to accept everything I've input into this document dialog box and create a brand new document for me. You can make changes to the document at any time by clicking on Document Setup here at the top where you can change things like the units of the ruler, the bleed, you can edit the art boards, and you can also change things like the grid size and that kind of stuff from the bottom down here.
If you make any changes in here, be sure to hit OK. If not, click cancel. We just created a CMYK document for print. Let's go through and create something for the web. I'll go up to the File menu and choose New. Let's just call this iPhone App. From the drop-down list here, I'll choose Devices. Then, underneath the size, I'm going to choose the iPhone 5s. In this case, it automatically changes everything to pixels which is good.
That's what we work with when we're on the web. I can change the orientation to be either portrait or landscape. Depending on which way I want the iPhone actually rotated. Then, at the bottom, I don't need to worry about bleed. I don't need to change the color mode from RGB. I don't need to mess with any of these settings. Then, I'll hit OK. That's then gonna create a brand new document for me which looks really similar to this one, but you'll notice on very specific difference. At the top here, CMYK; over here, RGB.
You'll also notice that on this one if I bring up my rulers which I can do by going to View, Rulers, Show Rulers, you'll notice that when I right-click here, it's inches. When I come over here, View, Rulers, Show Rulers, and right-click here, it shows pixels. These are very different documents even though they look similar. One is for print, one is for web. One uses inches, one uses pixels. One is in RGB, one is in CMYK.
But, now you have a better idea of how to create documents for both print and web. So, you're ready to get started with your first Illustrator project.
- Changing the size and shape of artboards
- Creating and editing layers
- Drawing basic shapes
- Scaling and rotating objects
- Adding color fills and strokes
- Working with spot colors and color swatches
- Applying multiple fills and strokes from the Appearance panel
- Creating compound paths and shapes
- Using the brush tools
- Drawing with the Pen tool
- Creating type
- Placing and embedding images
- Printing and exporting artwork
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 06/21/2016. What changed?
A: We updated three tutorials to cover the June 2016 updates to Illustrator CC, including the workflow for exporting artboards and web assets.