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.