For a beginner, the multiple options and plethora of tools in Photoshop can be overwhelming on good days and downright puzzling on bad days. But becoming well versed in Photoshop is to be done with practice and tips. Illustrator can be a bit of an engulfment of the unknown but if can get the basics down properly, then it becomes something very useful for everyday work.

Mastering the pen tool

It can be scary to use the pen tool and end up with squiggly lines all over a blank canvas. But the pen tool is something that can be tamed with multiple uses. Illustrator’s best graphics on branding firm and other company works come from the pen tool. There are multiple tutorials on using the pen tool on the internet and starting off these and using the tool every day will enable you to design great graphics.

When using the pen tool, one of the greatest things is being able to mark the points of the vector you want drawn so that you do not go off course. These anchor points will enable straight segments and these are great for drawing straight angled vectors. For drawing curved vectors you use the same anchor point method but using less amounts of anchor points enable a smooth vector (if you use multiple anchor points the vector may end up with bumps). When drawing curves you need to make the anchor point and then drag until direction lines appear. Ten from these you drag the direction line to create the curve you need.

Starting on clipping masks

Clipping masks are used for creating vectors in branding agency and marketing agency advertising campaigns to create the multiple vectors. They can create limitations for patterns, shapes, paths or other vectors or even an area of a vector. By using these masks you can use different effects in different areas of the objects without having to duplicate the same object. You can the clipping mask for one layer or multiple layers but usually only vectors and artwork can be used for masking.

Using the pathfinder

One of the most vital tools in Illustrator, pathfinder is the best for making shapes and using multiple options on your vectors. You can add (combine all selected objects and merge), subtract (cut the bottom object with shape from upper object), intersect (remove the non-overlapping areas and combine overlapping) and exclude (remove overlaps and combine the non-overlapping) vectors to create new shapes or change attributes of your existing ones.

Once you have mastered the pathfinder then get started on using the shape builder which is another great way of manipulating vectors.