Welcome to Map Practical, where the cartography gets done. These are the cartographic trenches, the domain of greasy hands, busted knuckles, and sore mouse fingers. This is the home of techniques, tutorials, and tricks of all things map. Here’s how we do it;
your job is to make it look good!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Adobe Illustrator Basics

Getting started in Illustrator can be daunting to the first time user, or even someone experienced in the raster world. As a vector program, we have to remember that it’s all about points and lines. Each line has a stroke color and weight, and if we connect them, they become polygons that can be filled with any color of our choosing. If it’s day one for you in this program, I would strongly advise watching a few tutorials on the Adobe TV site. “Must See TV” should include Starting a New Document, how to work with Layers, and the operation on the Pen Tool (click on Illustrator, then Pen Tool or Layers video). With those basics, one can get started on an empty page.

Following are my intro tips to the workspace with some of the lingo for various elements. This will help decipher all the “insider” explanations on the Adobe site.

Besides all the helpful stuff at Adobe, the web is full of great resources for learning a new program. This Blog has a super list of the top 20 basic Illustrator tutorials including a highly recommended one on the Pen Tool, and a Map specific one or Two as well. Please take a couple of hours to look these over, open the program, and just play. After that, we’ll get right to making a make.


  1. Digging the blog so far. Keep them coming. What you might end up with is a solid collection of carto information for beginners...something that is really lacking out there!

  2. Thanks, that's the plan. And in time, the expert tips will come out as well!

  3. Great post i really appreciate this post because a student i really want to become aWeb Designer
    and i think illustrator can help for web desinging and i'm looking also Wordpress Courses i was planning
    to learn more about wordpress also. but anyways i will keep update your site for more free informative post. thanks for this post it helps me a lot.

  4. This is my first time i visit here and I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially it's discussion, thank you.
    adobe illustrator training courses