Category: Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator topics

The evil Adobe empire

Evil Adobe Empire

I came across this article the other day and paused for a few moments to think about the Adobe empire. The discussion in the article is all-too-familiar, and becoming a real trend. Even I have a difficult time defending Adobe.

I’ve spent years defending Adobe’s business model and applications. I still feel they’re the best tools on the market for content creators. And I don’t feel like $50 per month is the outrageous amount people make it out to be.

But I’m done defending Adobe. Because I can’t anymore.

Without going into a whole lot of detail, the logos and images for the last three freelance jobs I’ve worked on, and the graphics for this site’s last several posts were edited with an app not named Photoshop or Illustrator.

I guess what I’m saying is, the little things I mentioned a few days ago are piling up. And there are finally real options out there. By the end of this year, they’ll be a competitive alternative to Adobe’s print-related suite of apps. All of them. And I’m going to give them a serious consideration.

Adobe’s unwelcome Welcome screen

Adobe welcome screen

Hey Adobe, see that button down there in the lower right corner of your highly-annoying Welcome screen that pops up every time I launch InDesign CC 2015—the one that says “Don’t Show Welcome Screen Again?” How about you fix whatever bug that tells the app to ignore the fact that I clicked that button the last time I launched the app, EVERY TIME I LAUNCH THE APP!!!

When you do manage to fix the bug, please share your findings with the Illustrator team, because it happens every time I launch that app as well.

To be fair, this only happens on two out of the three Macs I use on a regular basis. But all three Macs have exactly the same software installed, and are running the same OS versions.

Are you using Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries?

Creative Cloud Libraries

Adobe Creative Cloud’s Libraries feature allows you to access, organize and share assets between your desktop and mobile apps, as well as other Creative Cloud users.

Libraries allows you to collect Character Styles, Color Swatches, Brushes, Graphics, Text, and other objects in one or multiple libraries (see the Illustrator Libraries panel in the image above). The Panel is accessed under the Window menu in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. The assets you collect are synced via the cloud, and made available not only to your other apps, but you can share them with other members of your creative team, or make them publicly available via a link.

That alone would be really handy, but Adobe went a step further by offering the option of placing graphics in your Library as a linked file. That means when you update the original graphic, it gets updated in your Library, as well as any document you’ve placed the graphic in via the Libraries panel.

For the most part, you simply drag items into and out of the Libraries panel. Some icons across the bottom of the panel also allow you to add items.

Using the Libraries feature can save you a lot of time, especially if you use the same graphics, text styles and colors in most of your design work. In particular, publication designers will find Libraries to be a real game changer, especially if you share the design duties with other graphic artists on the staff.

Create color themes for use in all your Adobe CC apps

Adobe Color Themes

The Adobe Creative Cloud apps have a (fairly) new panel called Adobe Color Themes, which allows you to browse, create, save and use color themes in all your Adobe apps. Formerly known as Kuler, Color Themes allows you to browse a wide selection of pre-made color themes, or create your own using the Panel’s color mixer. Once you’re happy with your color theme, you can save it to your Creative Cloud account so the theme is available in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop.

You can find the Adobe Color Themes Panel under the Window menu. It’s fairly easy to figure out how to use just by playing around with it, so I won’t bother going into details here. It’s much more fun to just play around with it, but if you feel the need you can view a video tutorial here.

I don’t know how I missed this feature when it was introduced, but I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s a real time saver, and a great color inspiration tool.

How to deal with disappearing white text & objects when printing

White overprint

Your design is done and you’re printing your file. Then you see it. Some white object or text simply refuses to print. You’ve tried printing directly from Adobe Illustrator, you’ve placed the object into InDesign and printing from there, and you’ve even tried saving it as a PDF. But no luck, that object still won’t print. I’ve seen this happen a ton of times. In almost every case, it’s an object created in Adobe Illustrator—usually a logo.

More often than not, the problem is simply that the object is set to overprint in Illustrator. To fix the problem, select the object in Illustrator, open the Attributes Panel, and make sure the Overprint Fill (and/or Overprint Stroke) checkbox is NOT ticked.

Overprint fill checkbox

It happens for a variety of reasons, and it’s easily missed. If you’re working in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, you can check to see if you’ll have the problem by turning on the Preview Overprint feature found under the View menu in both apps.

How to recover a missing image link from an Adobe Illustrator file

Recover missing images from Illustrator
Have you ever received an Adobe Illustrator file that when opened offers the dreaded “Could not find the linked file” message seen above? The designer who provided the file to you forgot to either embed the image in the file, or send the linked image along with the Illustrator file. Worse yet, you need that image file now, and the clueless dolt who sent you the file is nowhere to be found, presumably hiding from you under a rock somewhere!

Fear not. There is a way to recover that missing image for use not only in the Illustrator file, but any other application as well. Now before I tell you how, just be warned that A) The image quality may not be quite as good as the original. And B) The method described below assumes that the image originally linked to in the Illustrator file was high-resolution enough to begin with. (more…)

Reality Reborn: Turning inspiration into art with Adobe Illustrator CC

Reality RebornIn 2006, Don and Ryan Clark formed Invisible Creature, a highly successful creative firm. The firm’s client list includes Target, Nike, Hasbro, Google, Nordstrom, The New York Times, and dozens of others.

Adobe asked Don to create an illustration, giving him the words fearless, modern, and reborn as the only direction. In Turning Inspiration Into Art with Adobe Illustrator CC, Don explains first-hand his process and the Adobe Illustrator CC features he used to create “Reality Reborn”, including patterns, the Touch Type tool, multiple-file place, and file packaging.

I particularly enjoyed him touching on his use of textures and shading. This is a great read!

Two of my favorite Adobe apps from the past

Adobe Streamline & Dimensions
Both apps were rolled in to Adobe Illustrator years ago—but the features still don’t work nearly as well as they did back in the Mac OS 9 days when they were stand-alone apps.

Of course, if we’re talking about great apps that Adobe killed off:
Adobe Type Manager
GoLive
LiveMotion
PressReady
ImageReady

There is more, but those are some of the ones I used almost daily back in the day.