In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about what are vectors in Illustrator. Let’s get started!
What Are Vectors In Illustrator?
When we talk about what vectors are in Adobe Illustrator, we refer to the mathematical equations that define paths, which are then rendered visually through Adobe Illustrator.
Vectors are the bread and butter of this graphic design software, serving as the foundation of almost everything you can create within the application.
Unlike raster or pixel-based graphics, vectors don’t rely on resolution, ensuring high quality no matter how much you zoom in or out. This also applies to a vector file in Canva.
Vector Art Versus Vector Graphic
Vector art and vector graphic are terms often used interchangeably. In Illustrator, both refer to the artwork that you create using vector lines and shapes, underpinned by mathematical algorithms.
These can range from simple vector shapes like squares and circles to complex vector illustrations.
Using The Pen Tool For Vector Creation
The pen tool is crucial in Adobe Illustrator, serving as the primary means for creating anchor points and paths, which ultimately form your vector shapes and vector artwork.
Raster Versus Vector: The Showdown
Raster images, also known as bitmap images, consist of pixels and are resolution-dependent.
Unlike raster graphics, vector graphics are not built on a pixel grid, making them infinitely scalable without loss of quality.
This gives vector files, especially those created in Illustrator, an advantage in various applications like logo design and using typography in design.
As for images, you will have to use the Cropping Image function.
Image Trace: Raster to Vector
Adobe Illustrator offers a nifty feature called image trace that can convert a raster image or a low-fidelity photo into a scalable vector graphic.
This functionality is essential when you need to transform a raster file into a vector format or vectorize an image in Illustrator.
Smart Objects and Adobe Photoshop
While Adobe Photoshop primarily handles raster graphics, it has a feature called “smart objects” that can embed Illustrator files, preserving their vector qualities.
This way, you can switch between Photoshop and Illustrator while maintaining the integrity of your vector image files.
Vector File Formats: SVG, PDF, and More
After creating your artwork in Illustrator, you’ll need to save it. File formats like SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) and PDF are common, with SVG files being particularly useful for web applications. Adobe Acrobat can be used to view or edit PDF vector files.
How To Create Vector in Adobe Illustrator?
Now that you know what are vectors in Illustrator, the next thing is to practice creating them.
Vectors in Adobe Illustrator include paths, anchor points, and segments. You can use most of the tools in the Illustrator Toolbar to create vectors in Illustrator.
Here are the steps to use the Pen Tool to create a vector:
Step 1: Open a New Document
First things first, open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document.
Step 2: Select the Pen Tool
Choose the Pen Tool from the toolbar.
Step 3: Draw Your Path
Click to add your first anchor point, and then continue adding more to complete your path.
Step 4: Manipulate Anchor Points
Use the Direct Selection Tool to manipulate anchor points as needed.
Additional Tools and Features
Illustrator offers a range of vector tools aside from the pen tool, like the type tool for text-based vector formats.
Illustrator CC, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, offers updated features and compatibility with other software like Affinity Designer, a viable alternative to Illustrator for vector graphic design.
Vectors In Graphic Design
Vectors are integral to graphic design. Given their scalability, they are often used in creating everything from simple shapes to complex vector illustrations.
A skilled graphic designer will use Illustrator to manipulate vector formats for a range of applications, from creating SVG files for web design to generating high-quality PDF files for print.
The Future: Adobe Creative Cloud and Beyond
Adobe Illustrator is part of the larger Adobe Creative Cloud suite, which allows for seamless integration with other Adobe products.
As cloud-based services continue to evolve, expect even more powerful vector tools and file format compatibility in future updates.
Whether you’re a seasoned graphic designer or just starting out, vectors in Adobe Illustrator offer an expansive world of possibilities.
So, are you ready to dive in and explore the limitless potential of vector graphics?