There are a number of great tutorials, freebies, and articles related to vectors coming out on the web daily. Starting each month, I’m is going to roundup some of the best posts that I have found useful. I can’t include everything I’ve seen throughout the month, but you can follow my Twitter feed to get all the daily links. Post comments with links that I have missed so everyone can see them!
Lately, I’ve been using my Sketch-Style Brushes in illustrations and tutorials. In, some of these illustrations, the brush strokes needed to be expanded to editable paths. When expanding, you also get a bunch of unfilled paths. To clean up, simply go Object > Path > Clean Up and check the Unpainted Objects check box. You can also use this feature to get rid of Empty Text Boxes and Stray Points!
When creating the previous Create Sketchy-Style Vectors tutorial, I created a number of brushes. I started playing around with the brushes and was happy with the results. I ended up create more of the brushes so I can distribute them. These brushes are great for creating sketchy or grungy vectors. Just apply the brushes to any path or object!
Illustrator is great for creating clean and precise illustrations, but some of the time you don’t want clean and precise. There are many illustrations that call for a sketchy or hand-drawn feel. Creating these effects are relatively easy with Illustrator’s Live Trace, Live Paint, Brushes and the ability to create you own brushes. Check out some of my sketchy illustrations on iStock for more inspiration.
It is easy to add metadata such as authors, descriptions, keywords, copyright info, and more to your Illustrator files. To add metadata, go File > File Info, to bring up the File Info dialog. You can save your metadata as a Metadata Template from the top right arrow button in the dialog. Moreover, Illustrator automatically adds certain information like fonts, swatches and color groups each time you save.
I have seen this tip around on a couple of blogs, but it is so helpful I had to repeat it. You can quickly change you document’s measurement units by Control-Cliking (mac) or Right-Clicking (pc) on the Ruler. I use this constantly when designing websites or working with a file from overseas (the United States is a little behind on the whole Metric system thing).
Selecting multiple objects in Illustrator is essential to productivity. Illustrator has some great selection features: Select Same, Select Object, Magic Wand, and so on. One selection feature that I always use is Save Selection. I usually save selections early on in a illustration to easily come back to them even though the stroke, fill, and other attributes have be modified.