Adobe Illustrator Logo

Adobe Illustrator is a very powerful tool that many artists rely on worldwide to create vector arts. One of the most frequently asked questions is about the difference between Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator; well, the difference is very simple, Adobe Photoshop is used to create bitmaps which is very suitable for photo manipulation (it’s worth noting that bitmaps loses quality when they’re scaled), while Adobe Illustrator is used to create vector graphics which don’t lose quality when they’re scaled.

There are free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape is the most widely known and used of these alternatives. There are many reasons for why you should be interested in learning Adobe Illustrator; first, it can help you create vector art for your website, game or any other creative project you’re working on. It can also help you find a part/full time job, shutterstock and 99designs are just two of the outlets that you can use to sell your artwork.

The aim of this post is to present and compare between free online sources that beginners can rely on to learn Adobe Illustrator, the sources stated here are full-structured courses that beginners can follow along so you won’t find a link to a single article or a reply in a forum post, you won’t also find a million source to learn Adobe Illustrator and that’s also confusing. It’s worth noting that this article is addressing Adobe Illustrator CC only.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn Illustrator) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator from Scratch

Adobe TV

Adobe TV is the first free online source where beginners can learn Adobe Illustrator. You don’t need to register to have access to the course, just go to the website and you’re ready to go. The course covers the majority of the topics that a beginner should know; it also covers some of the intermediate and advanced topics.

Structure: the course is divided into 11 sections; each section is divided into lessons, the lesson is a video tutorial that covers certain topics in Adobe Illustrator.

Interface: The interface is very simple as seen below, the lessons are listed under each other, you click on the lesson you’re interested in and you’re ready to go.

Adobe TV Adobe Illustrator Course, learn Illustrator online, learn Illustrator free, how learn Illustrator, adobe illustrator tutorialsNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured for beginners.
  3. The course covers some of the intermediate and advanced topics in Adobe Illustrator.

Cons

  1. The course isn’t well organized.
  2. The course is presented by many instructors which is inconsistent and might be problem for some.

Verdict: This outlet would be the first place that you should visit to start learning Adobe Illustrator, I’d recommend that you start from the lesson entitled “How To Get Started With Adobe Illustrator CC – 10 Things Beginners Want To Know How To Do” in the “Essential Tasks” section.

Udemy is the second free source where beginners can learn Adobe Illustrator through video tutorials; you can learn literally anything on Udemy for free or for a fee (depending on the course provider). To join Udemy just register using your email. Go to the search bar and type what you want to learn (Adobe Illustrator in our case); of course you should choose the free courses and at the time of writing this post the following were present:

Udemy Adobe Illustrator Course, learn Illustrator online, learn Illustrator free, how learn Illustrator, adobe illustrator tutorialsYou can choose one of these courses and start it. Each course is divided into lessons (depending on the instructor); I’ve tried the “Getting Started with Illustrator CC” course and the instructor was good.

Structure: The “Getting Started with Illustrator CC” course is divided into 2 sections and each section is divided into lessons (22 lessons in total), each lesson covers certain topics in Illustrator.

Interface: The interface is quite simple just click on the lesson you want and the video tutorial will start.

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. The tutorial is only suitable for beginners, there are no free courses for intermediate and advanced users.

Verdict: The course is a good source for beginners, but it only coves the very basics of Adobe Illustrator. It’s the place to go to if you just want to get a general idea about Illustrator.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe creative cloud is the third online outlet where beginners can learn Illustrator for free. You don’t need to register to have access to the video library, just go to the website and you’re ready to go. The course doesn’t only cover beginner’s topics but it also covers intermediate and advanced topics.

Structure: The course is divided into 6 groups, each group is divided into sections and the sections are divided into lessons, each lesson covers a certain topic in Adobe Illustrator.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the topics you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the video tutorial page.

Adobe Creative Cloud Adobe Illustrator Course, learn Illustrator online, learn Illustrator free, how learn Illustrator, adobe illustrator tutorialsNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The course is well-structured for beginners.
  3. The course covers some of the intermediate and advanced topics in Adobe Illustrator.

Cons

  1. The course is organized in such an abysmal way that really ruins the effort made in creating these video tutorials, one of the examples of the abysmal organization is that you can find the “Setting up a new document” tutorial after the “Understanding layers and stacking order” tutorial!

Verdict: The course is well-structured but abysmally organized which ruins the entire experience for beginners; of course if you’ve used any of the Adobe products before the organization problem won’t be much of an issue for you.

Vector Diary

Vector Diary would be the fourth free outlet where you can learn Adobe Illustrator through a text and photos  guide (similar to a walk-through). You don’t need to register to have access to the training, just go to the website and you’re ready to go.

Structure: The course is divided into 4 weeks (sections), each weak is divided into days (lessons) that covers certain topics in Adobe Illustrator.

Interface: The interface is very simple; the lessons are listed under each other you just click on the topic you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to its page, where you can read more about it.

Vector Diary Cloud Adobe Illustrator Course, learn Illustrator online, learn Illustrator free, how learn Illustrator, adobe illustrator tutorialsNow, the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. Well organized and structured for beginners.

Cons

  1. There are no video tutorials available, so that might be a problem for some.

Verdict: This is an excellent source for any Adobe Illustrator beginner; it’s very suitable for those who can’t follow along video tutorials. Beginner can also rely on this outlet to revise certain topics in illustrator.

Bottom Line

The recipe to start learning Illustrator for free:

  1. You should start from the course entitled “How To Get Started With Adobe Illustrator CC – 10 Things Beginners Want To Know How to Do” in the “Essential Tasks” section at Adobe TV.
  2. If you just want to get an overview about Illustrator then Udemy is your pace to go.
  3. If you prefer written tutorials or you want a source that you can revise from then Vector Diary is the outlet for you.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in Adobe Illustrator.