Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Best Of


Over years Adobe Illustrator has become the standard application when it comes to illustration design. Artists, illustrators and graphic designers use Illustrator to create vector-based graphics which — contrary to raster-based editors such as Adobe Photoshop — can be easily rescaled without the loss of quality. E.g., Illustrator is often used to quickly transform hand-drawn sketches on a sheet of paper into lively and colorful digital images.

However, to master Adobe Illustrator isn’t easy; and the creating process of professional illustrations requires both time and patience. Therefore tutorials can turn out to be real life- and time-savers as they show exactly what needs to be done in order to create professional illustrations and how masters of illustration actually manage to do their magic. One year ago we’ve presented a hand-picked collection of Illustrator tutorials1. Now it’s time for a fresh portion of healthy and creative Illustrator material.

In this post we present a collection of excellent Adobe Illustrator tutorials for beginners and advanced designers. The new selection isn’t enormous, but big enough to provide you with some good starting points.

Please notice that

  • we’ve selected only those tutorials which haven’t been featured last year or were released after the article was published.
  • you might also be interested in Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – Best Of2 we’ve presented few weeks ago.

Illustrator Tutorials

Creating a Crazy Cool Logo3
In this post I will show you how we created the logo. I will skip the drawing parts, yes there were tons of drawings before going to the computer, because when they stole my computer and backups in 2006 they took all my photos of the drawings.

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Spice up Pie Charts5
For some charts you might only want to spice up the most important slice or the biggest one. Although most topics aren’t as fun as mutations, any sort of added graphics make boring charts look a lot better.

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Wolf Drawing Tutorial7
Learn how to create an illustrated wolf from the hand-drawn paper sketch to final product with Illustrator and Photoshop.

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Skull Tutorial9
An alien skull tutorial. Editorial illustration.

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How I Do Stuff Tutorial11 (Video-tutorial)
It’s just a speed-up video of how one can go from a sketch to a mediocre illustration using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

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Test Your Creativity13
“Using a provided set of basic shapes I have to compile them to create my illustration. The theme is up to me but there are some ground rules such as you cannot edit the shapes or distort them, you however can subtract from them using any of the shapes in the provided set.”

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Vintage T-Shirts15
It’s easy to create authentic collegiate T-shirt designs using Illustrator, Photoshop and a good old-fashioned iron. In this tutorial, illustrator Derek Lea reveals how combining both applications can create stunning results.

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Gigposter Design: The New Sex17
Learn how to create an impressive gig poster design with Illustrator.

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Pirate cartoon tutorial19
Learn how to create a vector pirate cartoon character from a hand-drawn sketch.

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Pixels and Vectors Tutorial21
The gap between working with pixels and vectors in Photoshop and Illustrator is closing rapidly, thanks to Smart Objects. Derek Lea explains all while creating a highly textured yet vector-sharp masterpiece.

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Comic Book Style Tutorial23
Learn how to create illustrations and turn them into flyers or posters. The end product will be a flyer which was created for an art show.

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Creating Road Maps in Adobe Illustrator25
Sooner or later every designer comes across the exciting job of producing a map, whether it’s on a leaflet or website the overall aim is to visually document a particular area of land to allow for people to find their way to a place of business or event.

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Cutaway Car Illustration Tutorial27
In this lesson you’ll learn how to create a 3-Point Perspective-view drawing of a generic car, working from plan and elevation view reference only.

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White Tiger Tutorial29
A cartoony white tiger tutorial. A poster illustration.

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From Sketch To Vector Illustration31
A technique of vector illustrating that takes a little bit more skill is starting with hand-drawn sketches. This tutorial captures the whole design process — from scratch.

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Retro Car Tutorial33
All you need is Illustrator, some inks and some brushes to turn a photograph of a car into a vector illustration.

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Intricate Patterns In Illustrator Tutorial35
This tutorial will show you how to create intricate patterns in Illustrator super quickly. Stuff that would take you hours to draw manually with the Pen Tool takes just seconds when you use this technique. Video-version is also available.

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Not as easy as it looks: A beveled star37
A simple and effective tutorial on how to create a beveled star — in 7 steps.

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Tutorial: Transform, Style, Blend39
Do you like things to have a bit of randomness, an element of surprise? Me too. Learn how to create random swirls in Illustrator with few steps.

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Tutorial: Transform, Style, Blend41
In this video tutorial you’ll learn how to illustrate an iPod Nano from scratch using the 3D Effect in Adobe Illustrator.

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Ellipse Drawing Tutorial43
Creating a Circle in Perspective with Adobe Illustrator. More excellent tutorials for beginners44.

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How To Make 3D Vector Vintage Stars46
I’m going to walk you through a technique to create vintage looking 3d stars in Illustrator. You guessed it, 100% vector.

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Poster Illustration: Go Forth and Create48
Suffice it to say this tutorial is my personal switcher story from FreeHand to Illustrator and contains the good, the bad and the ugly details of both apps. Tutorial Includes Notes in both ‘English’ and ‘Español’.

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Create a Vector RSS Icon with Illustrator50
Probably one of the most popular and recognisable icons in the web universe; the RSS icon is displayed on many website to indicate the availability of a subscription feed. There are pre-made icons you can download and place on your website, however this tutorial cover the process of creating your own custom vector RSS icon in Illustrator.

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Vehicle Vector Tutorial52
Learn how to design a vector vehicle with Illustrator.

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Fertile Mind Tutorial54

This tutorial will walk you through an illustrative banner for the Portland Oregon AIGA chapters ‘Urban Forest Project.’

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Face, Hair, Clothing Illustrator Tutorial56
Learn how to create real-looking human face, hair and cloth.

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Illustrator: Golden Selection58
Have you ever wondered why a profound piece of art is so compositionally pleasing? The artist probably employed the use of the Divine Proportion, which is a phenomenon that suggests that there’s a mathematical equation that’s consistent with the aesthetics of good composition.

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Complex Circular Design Techniques60
Creating intricate circular designs and patterns may look difficult because the shapes can be very complicated, but you will be surprised at just how easy making these shapes can be. I will go over some neat tricks, tools, techniques, and settings that will have you pumping out perfect circular designs in no time using Illustrator.

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Illustrating the Flower Pattern62
This article will outline the main steps on how I made the flower pattern in Illustrator. Hopefully, this can answer your question.

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Drawing a Character’s Face in Illustrator64
Creating a cartoon or human-like caricature is a fun and rewarding project to do in Illustrator. Not only that, but if you’re pretty good with the pen tool, it doesn’t take very long. In this tutorial I will be creating an elf. Be sure to look at refrences of other cartoons or caricatures to make sure your shapes are correct.

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Ornate Lettering Process66
I’m going to show you the process as to how I do my ornate lettering. This is a new design I did for Stone Sour that utilized this technique. Now right off the bat, this is not a step by step tutorial. It’s more of a look behind the scenes into how I work.

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Transform Again68
You can achieve surprisingly cool results using the Transform Again feature in Illustrator starting from a simple shape. As you all know simplicity is my motto. Today I try turn this into practice again. So sit tight for another step-by-step tutorial using this simple but oh so powerful feature.

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Create A Blob Monster in Illustrator – The Scream70
Over that last couple of days i’ve been playing around in Illustrator a lot make some basic shapes and images. One of my best creations is the Blob Monster called the scream. It is really simple to do and doesn’t take long to complete. This technique can be used for nearly any type of simple shape / monster.

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Drawing Homer Simpson72
Illustrator is a great program. It offers so much versatility in creating vector images. Hence why it is the top vector program out there. As a beginner to this program I want to share with you a tutorial that is simple to follow that you can use to draw Homer Simpson of The Simpsons.

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7 Things You Didn’t Know Adobe Illustrator Could Do74
These are: The Blend Tool / Adding Lines Between Lines… The Mesh Tool / Adding Shading To A Shape… 3D / Entering The Next Dimension… Patterns / Making Fills Interesting… Symbol Sprayer / Splatter some vector… Blur / Smooth Out The Vector…. Transparency / Bringing Depth To Overlaying Shapes…

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Creating Seamless Patterns76
One of the frequest questions I get from readers is how you create seamless patterns in Illustrator. Today I’ll explain how I create such patterns and how you can scale and rotate them using different settings in the Scale tool options.

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Creating Pins78
Pins are popular these days, so I thought why not write a tutorial on how to create these in Adobe Illustrator. If you’ve ever wondered how to simulate this realistic looking pin or button effect, here’s your chance to learn.

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Complicate Orb Icon80
This tutorial will teach you doing more complicate button icon or Orb effect Icon using Illustrator. This is quite a long tutorial.

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Retain Spot Colors without Losing Your Marbles 82
Are you using Photoshop to create something with both transparency effects and spot colors? You may be better off with Illustrator instead.

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Stylish Vector Flower84
Learn how to create stylish vector/line flower with Illustrator Blend Tool. This Adobe Illustrator tutorial is great for creating background and large print illustration. More Illustrator tutorials from nDesign85.

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Illustrator Tutorial: Creating Vector Snowflakes
Just in time for the holidays… a tutorial for creating those fun, festive holiday snowflakes. These vector flakes are a must-have for turning your holiday designs into a winter wonderland. So sit back, grab a cup of eggnog, and feast your eyes on how amazingly simple it is to create a vector snowflake.

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The Complete Digital Comic, Part 2: Inking in Illustrator87
This is part two in my series of tutorials about how to make comic book art on the computer.

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Instant Op Art89
Use Illustrator’s transform functions to create a stunning op art piece with a real sense of movement. Mark Mayers shows you how… This is a PDF-Document.

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Creating Reflecting Web Icons in Illustrator91
One of the looks of "Web 2.0" is the aqua icons that Matt Kloskowski shows us how to make in the first issue of Adobe Illustrator Techniques print issue. Another look is the reflecting icon. The clean, crisp look of these attractive images makes clicking through a website’s navigation fun. Here’s how to make one of those neat icons.

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Draw Ballon in Illustrator Tutorial93
Simple, yet effective. In few steps to a nice illustrated baloon.

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Illustrator 3D Effect Tutorial95
3D Effect slide show tutorial on Flickr.

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Sources and Resources


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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He's now writing at his Conterest Blog, where he focuses on blogs, content strategy and publishing — all in German.

  1. 1

    great vector designs.. I like the VW car one..

  2. 102

    can you help with finding the actuall font for People megazine for this program “Macromedia FreeHand MX” ???
    pls pls ….

  3. 203

    wow, can i say that again? yes, WOW!
    thanks for putting that together.

  4. 304

    best of the best WOW

  5. 405

    Thank you for a great collection!

  6. 506

    Its a nice feeling to learn something interesting, really! I am a learner of adobe illustrator but i found lots of brilliant techniques here. Now illustrator seems easy for me…. thnx a lot …

  7. 607

    Thanks a lot. all expert work great job

  8. 708

    where can i get tutorials or communities where I can learn to design toilet tissue packaging. or at least find a blank template

  9. 809

    Very good tutorial! You are mad.Thanks.

  10. 910

    hello plath and… i speak portuguese im fron angola Launda ,this is…africa…thanks and sorry for my bad english … i like the smash magazine so im here becouse im design and i havent dificult to creat a my tutorial in the web page…and i need your help…thanks.

    • 1011

      sorry wild like say i have a big problem to creat a my tutorial in to web pag…and i need your help…thanks

  11. 1112

    Nice job!
    I like it so much.
    Do it always! That is my inspirations forever and ever.
    I hope I can use all of the tools of Illustrator like you.
    Thank you!

  12. 1213


  13. 1314

    its very nice creating thanks

  14. 1415

    i want to learn it.its so easy.butt if some of the information about the basic tools of illustrator are available.then its so great.plz

  15. 1516

    Great ideas and suggestions. Take a look at the awesome design of this website, It also has great articles about finance, world issues, and everything cool.

  16. 1617

    Great Info!, my website is very grateful!!!

  17. 1819

    Is adobe illustrator cs3 free?

  18. 1920

    Jacques Santoriella

    September 18, 2010 3:58 am

    hey adminstrator , i like w/ ur blog. LOL Please come to my blog

  19. 2021

    @above me .lol Do you have another idea about my comment

  20. 2122

    Syed Hasimul Kabir Rana

    October 11, 2010 9:17 pm

    Thanking you for nice & exclusive collection.

  21. 2223

    shiv pratap singh

    March 23, 2011 6:09 am

    Thanks for this

  22. 2324

    really awesome collection here :)

  23. 2526

    Thanking you for nice & exclusive collection.
    Graphic Design

  24. 2627

    i want vidio tutorial instantly adope illustrator 11.0.

  25. 2728

    Awesome tutorials, I like all of them thanks for sharing!!

  26. 2829

    Hey guys. Found these super realistic pencil brushes for CS5. Great for illustrators. They are the best I’ve seen out there. The price is pretty reasonable too.

  27. 2930

    I’d sure like to use these tutorials, but when I click to get one, all I see is the written introduction — can’t make the video run. Maybe I need some sort of player? I’m running OS 10.6.6, and accessing your page thru FireFox.

  28. 3031

    I loved it posts ……………………….Really i am very exited to join this tutorials

  29. 3132

    Sorry for the beginners question! Looking for easy way to take an existing .jpg containing an illustration pull into Illustrator and make changes to the drawing. Something like trace the design where I can add more or move existing lines. Can anyone recommend a tutorial that will help in this direction

  30. 3233

    Greatest collection of easy to follow resources! Thank you so very much for your time.

  31. 3334

    Olajuwon Marcus

    March 13, 2012 6:05 am

    These tutorial are awesome… i will surely see something to learn and use. Thanks

  32. 3435

    That’s fantastic! Please


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