January 01, 2009

Pen Zen for 2009

Mordy Golding offers 10 Illustrator Resolutions for 2009–ten great suggestions for getting more out of this amazingly powerful app.  My notes:


  • If you do nothing else, try double clicking your artwork to enter “isolation mode.”  It’s just like editing a symbol in place in FlashStop doing the whole lock/unlock, group/ungroup dance.  Isolation mode is your friend, particularly in CS4.


  • Mordy is right on about the power of the Appearance panel.  In CS4 the panel is at last just what I’d hoped it could be–namely, a killer one-stop shop for adding and editing object effects and parameters.


  • My personal addition to the list?  Envelope distortions.  Create some artwork, then choose Object->Envelope Distort, then either Make With Warp or Make With Mesh.  I like choosing the latter, then selecting the Free Transform Tool (E), clicking and dragging on one corner, and then while still moused down holding Cmd/Ctrl to do a perspective transform.  Bam, instant re-editable Star Wars text.



If you really want to brush up on your fundamentals & really wrap your head around the Pen tool, I recommend a couple of great resources:




And oh yeah, Happy New Year!  We’ll see whether my blogging can hold up under not one but two bambinos.  Bring him/her on! ;-)

Posted by John Nack at 2:21 PM on January 01, 2009


  • keith — 2:44 PM on January 01, 2009

    I’ve used those pen tool tutorials and with just a bit a practice I was zippin’ around with the tool. Amazing selection tool, if ya just give it a try (or two).

  • Stepher — 11:02 AM on January 02, 2009

    Congrats! I’m going to take that last bit of your post as a hint.
    I’ve got 3, it’s super fun, you’ll enjoy it.

  • Scott Valentine — 9:56 PM on January 03, 2009

    yay, John!
    Working on an Adobe basketball team? =)
    [Nah, just looking for more Scrabble partners. ;-) –J.]

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