How to Make a Rectangle in Illustrator?
Adobe Illustrator is a cool tool for every graphic designer. It works with vectors and allows you to design according to your graphic needs. From redefining logos to using unique colour schemes, there are a lot of possibilities for you with the illustrator tool.
While a lot of designers still rely on Photoshop, a new load is focusing their efforts on evolving with Illustrator.
Before we move onto designing with Illustrator, and getting insights into some unique tips, let’s understand the basic difference between Photoshop and Illustrator, which can help you design better.
When to Use Illustrator?
When you have a choice between two different tools, you should know which tool to use and when. Let’s take you through the basic difference between Illustrator and Photoshop, and when to use them.
Photoshop is majorly used to edit images while Illustrator is used to create images. When, as a designer, you realise this difference, it becomes easier to choose the tool that suits your purpose.
You can use Illustrator when:
- You have an image concept, and there is nothing that matches it. You can create it from the build using Illustrator.
- When a particular design requires more freehand, and you need to create graphics to improve the overall appearance of your creation.
- If your images are more vector-based, then you need to use Illustrator as opposed to other tools. It becomes easier with this Adobe tool, as it uses vector images majorly.
- Document creation is easier and more graphical when you use this tool. You can create interesting and interactive reports, brochures, and documentation with this tool.
Let’s see when to use Photoshop for your needs:
- As discussed, this tool works majorly for image editing and enhancement. You can use the different tools to impress the users with the image.
- You can use it to remove blemishes and retouch your images. Photoshop continuously improves its features.
- If you want to edit or create pixel-based images, then this is your go-to tool.
How to Draw a Line with Illustrator?
To create basic shapes using Illustrator, you should use the shape tools from the tools panel. You need to draw the shapes to the measurement. There are smart guides in the view panel, which allow you to check the actual size of the shape. This will allow you to draw the right size and use the right measurement formulas and examples.
You can easily get live shapes, which means you can edit without switching the tools. You will also have widgets along with the shapes, which allows you to change the number of sides, the radius, and other details for the shapes.
Before moving onto drawing a rectangle using the Illustrator tool, let’s understand how you can draw a line with this tool.
How to Draw a Line?
- The line is made of start and end anchor points, and is connected along a path.
- You can use the line segment tool from the panel, which will allow you to draw lines with ease.
- Click on the rectangle tool, choose the line segment tool and hold onto it.
- You can switch the direction and change the length of the line after drawing it.
- You can rotate the line by shifting the pointer along the end and dragging it.
Basic Shapes with Illustrator
When we talk about basic shapes in Illustrator, the default shape happens to be a rectangle. In the tools panel, you will notice certain shape tools that you can use. For instance, the rectangle tool allows you to create the said shape. The other tools include the Rounded Flare, Rectangle, Polygon, Ellipse, or Star.
You will have to right-click the rectangle tool to get to the other tools. You can make the selection and choose the one that suits your requirement. The Adobe tool allows you to drag and use the shape that you are creating.
There are some Illustrator shortcuts that you should be aware of while drawing these shapes. It makes creating shapes easier for the artist.
- Hold the Shift key while creating the rectangle or the rounded rectangle shape. The result will be straight lines and a properly proportioned square.
- Hold the Shift key when drawing an ellipse, and you will get the perfect circle.
- The Alt key is yet another shortcut that enables a new shape. With the Alt key (in case of Mac users it is the Option key), you can draw any shape from the centre as against from the corner, which is the case normally.
- If you are aware of the correct size or shape of the object you are planning to draw, then you can select the shape tool from the panel, and click on the screen, instead of dragging it. You can type in the dimensions for the shape in the box that appears.
With these shortcuts, you can easily build any shape and create effective designs for your needs. The graphic designers should know all these shapes like a pro for greater efficiency.
When you are drawing shapes as a part of the images, you will also need to add colours to these shapes. Let’s take you through a tutorial which will help you understand how to colour a shape.
Colouring the Shape
When you are done creating the shape using the tool, you can go ahead and choose the colours. Use the colour pickers from the top left, and choose the colour that suits your purpose. The colour grid will allow you to choose from a wide range of colours and shades.
It is also important for you to know how to cut the shape using the Illustrator tool.
How to Cut a Shape?
When you look at the basic shapes, you will observe that it does not come with half circles or other elementary half shapes. You will need to draw the whole shape and then cut it to get the shape you want.
Here is the method that you can use to cut the shape.
- Draw the basic shape that will give you the half shape. For instance, draw a circle to get a semi-circle.
- There are various ways in which you can cut the shape. The easiest is using the pathfinder tool. Go to Window>Pathfinder.
- Cut the shape into two. For instance, if you want to cut it along a path, draw the lines along the path.
- Now click on Divide in Pathfinder tool to cut the shape.
You now know how to create a unique shape and cut it using the Pathfinder tool. If you have to merge two different shapes, how will you do it?
How to Merge Shapes in Illustrator?
You may have to merge shapes in Illustrator, as this will give you the unique shape that you require for a particular concept.
You need to open the Pathfinder tool from the Window. The pop-up box will open. Select all the objects that you need to merge using the tool. Click on merge in this tool panel. The shapes will merge automatically. With this tool, you will get a unique, new shape that will define your concept.
With this tool, you can merge and define multiple shapes and create a lot of images.
Beginner Tips for Illustrator
- As a beginner with Illustrator, apart from knowing how to draw shapes and merge them, there are a few things that should help you reach the pro-level sooner.
- It is perfectly fine to use the pen tool when drawing graphics for your requirements. You will be able to design some impressive vector graphics with this tool. It is the best way to manage and create new vectors. While it may seem scary to you at the beginning, once you start using the tool, you will realise that it is much better than other tools. Practice with this tool, and you should be able to get it right.
- The other tool to get accustomed to is the clipping mask. It will help you immensely in your Illustrator journey. Whether it is to limit a pattern or group a few shapes, you will find the clipping mask to be quite a friendly tool. You can save a lot of your time and effort while designing with this tool.
- The Pathfinder tool is your holy grail, and you should use it as much as possible. It allows you to merge, draw and even cut shapes, which is a need for graphic designers. There are a lot of tools here, and each one is a lot more impressive than the other.
- The Appearance panel allows you to design, create, and even redefine the images. You will be able to do a lot with the appearance panel, and it is time you embrace it too.
Illustrator happens to be the best tool when it comes to drawing a vector from a concept. You can use the tool to create new images or work on documentation that requires an aesthetic feel and functional appearance. Among the different tools, you should have a complete grasp of the pen tool and clipping mask to further your designing capabilities.