What Is Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is a program within the Adobe Creative Cloud that allows designers to manipulate graphics without losing high-quality resolution.

Written by Matthew Urwin
Published on Dec. 16, 2021
What Is Adobe Illustrator?
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The graphic design tool relies on vectors, which are graphics made up of points, curves and lines rather than square pixels. Because of this makeup, vectors can be enlarged or shrunk while maintaining a clear appearance. Adobe Illustrator is a convenient and popular program for designers of all skill levels.

Why do graphic designers use Adobe Illustrator?

  • The flexibility of vector-based design makes Adobe Illustrator a top choice for manipulating photos at a quick pace.

Because Adobe Illustrator relies on vectors, the program is a much more appealing option for altering images. Designers can change colors and make minute changes without having to start over, which isn’t always the case in Photoshop. As a result, artists may lean toward Adobe Illustrator for improving product requirements documents, creating graphics for t-shirts and more.  

The digital art landscape has also begun to blossom, making programs like Adobe Illustrator more relevant than ever. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) combine cryptocurrency and digital art, and Illustrator often plays a part in the production of this art. If artists want to enter this field, they can streamline their creative process with the capabilities of Adobe Illustrator.

What is the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator?

  • While Photoshop and Illustrator are both popular visual tools, the two feature key differences that lead them to serve unique purposes.

Photoshop has grown to become a popular product with many artists, but it originally catered to photographers. With this audience in mind, the program depends on raster-based technology. This feature means Photoshop images are made up of pixels, which do not scale as well as the vectors in Illustrator. That’s why Adobe Illustrator is the preferred method for altering company logos, creating infographics and templates, and performing many other similar tasks. 

However, designers don’t have to choose between Photoshop and Illustrator. In fact, artists can take a more comprehensive approach by adopting both programs. By adjusting the vectors and making smaller image edits, designers can craft pristine images for educational environments and other settings that require easy-to-understand visuals.


Can I teach myself Adobe Illustrator? 

A variety of online resources exists for beginners and professionals alike, making Adobe Illustrator an accessible program.

It’s true that Adobe Illustrator involves a hefty learning curve, but online videos help demystify the tool. The Adobe site offers plenty of Illustrator tutorials that help beginners get a grasp of basic features. To develop a solid foundation, learners can start with easier programs like Photoshop before diving into Illustrator.  

For those who desire an even more in-depth look into visual design, there are many data visualization books that deliver extensive analysis. These readings aren’t necessary for mastering Adobe Illustrator, but they provide some extra backbone to a designer’s knowledge. With a combination of visual design expertise and Adobe experience, aspiring designers can cultivate a strong understanding of Illustrator.

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