About this course

This course covers the fundamental tools and techniques of the vector drawing software, Adobe lllustrator.

Demonstrations, in-class exercises and take-home projects introduce students to basic software tools and the current version of the software.

This is a program requirement for GDT majors, program support in other areas, industry and professional development and enrichment.

Course Objectives

Basic Concepts & Software Features

Working with tools and menus, selections

Working with documents

Drawing in Illustrator

Color: Fills/Strokes/more

Editing Text & Graphics

Filters and other special effects, advanced

Masks Compound Paths and Blends

Interfacing with other software

Preparing images for print and web

Class Format

This course will consist of Lectures, Assignments, demonstrations and critiques.

There will be no quizzes, tests or exams.

It is expected that additional time outside of class will be spent on projects and homework assignments.

It is important that the entire class work together in a collaborative environment, learning from each other as well as the instructor. Therefore, everyone should be working on the same assignments at the same time.

Understanding that there might be technical expertise differences, it is expected that more experienced users will be willing to help beginning users with the software. Conversely, more experienced users should elicit creative evaluations from beginning users during their working process.

All students are invited and encouraged to suggest tutorials, demos, links and anything else they deem relevant to the class by using the Contact page.

Demos will be front-loaded during the semester and gradually tapering off with technique-driven demos and larger, more comprehensive projects taking their places as the semester progresses.

An emphasis will be placed on creating assets for the web but will include print pieces from time to time.

3D and Video work will not be emphasized in this class.


No textbook is required for this course.

Students are responsible for finding a file storage system of their choosing.

A sketchbook is recommended but not required for this course.

Semester Points

This class operates on a subtraction method in terms of grading.

As such, each student starts off with 100pts, full credit, for all exercises, assignments and classroom performance.

The Overall Semester Gradeconsists of the following components:

  1. 5 Projects: 8pts each / 40pts total

  2. 10 Exercises: 3pt each / 30pts total

  3. Participation: 1pt per class / 30pts total

Total 100pts


Each student starts with 30 points (roughly one point per class session) at the beginning of the semester but it's possible to loose points from the Participation category for other reasons as well:

  • Inappropriate food and/or beverages

  • Sloppy file management

  • Improper file submission

  • Not logging off computers when leaving

  • Constantly have headphones on

  • Facebook at inappropriate times

  • General classroom disruptions

  • Other things as they come up

Extra Credit

Opportunities for extra points may be offered based on the needs of the class as we go along, but please don't base your efforts around this possibility.