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Adobe Illustrator: Enhancing Graphic Designs With Type and Color

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Most Technology Training classes will be delivered online until further notice.

Before each sesson, Tech Training will provide a Zoom link for live online classes, along with any required class materials.


This intermediate course covers Adobe Illustrator's Type tools combined with Painting tools. Topics include coloring your designs, adding photorealism with the gradient and mesh tools, creating vector objects with Shape Builder, and more!

This is the fourth session of the Stanford University Technology Training Graphics learning path proficiency certification. This learning path includes six sessions and a final exam challenge. In order to obtain your certificate of completion, you must attend at least three of the sessions in the learning path and successfully pass the final exam challenge.

Course Prerequisites
Have either taken the previous classes in the Adobe Illustrator Typography and Text Manipulation learning path, or have equivalent experience of the topics taught.

Course Goals

  • Master the various type tools.
  • Take advantage of Illustrator's efficient Live Paint and Paint Selection Tools.
  • Apply multi-color variations to graphics with the Gradient Tool.
  • Experiment with the Shape Builder Tool and Pathfinder options to create vector graphics.
  • Add depth to your design using the Mesh Tool.
  • Make a logo for a candy shop.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the course topics by passing the learning assessment.

Course Description
In this intermediate course, we will have creative fun with Adobe Illustrator's Type tools combined with Painting tools. We'll cover:

  • Type manipulation strategies and the best practices for typing on a path.
  • Coloring your designs with nimble efficiency.
  • Adding photorealism to your piece with the Gradient and Mesh tools.
  • How to effortlessly create vector objects with the Shape Builder and Pathfinder.
  • How to convert colored, analog images to vector line art with Image Trace.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to confidently make your graphic design projects colorful and dimensional.

Should I Take This Course?
This course is for learners who would like a deeper understanding of Illustrator's type and paint tool's customizable options, and who'd like to create a more efficient workflow. You are ready for this course if you:

  • Feel comfortable navigating Illustrator's interface, using Selection Tools, and importing files.
  • Know how to access and customize groups and libraries.
  • Know how to use the Perspective Grid Tool.

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe Illustrator's individual type functions and how they work.
  • Select instances to use the Shape Builder Tool or Pathfinder.
  • Dramatize your design with the vastly improved Gradient Tool.
  • Deduce colors from a key photo for your logo.
  • Assess which parts of your design would benefit from the addition of an image mesh.
  • Come up with a colorful logo that incorporates the highlighted features.

This course has interactive exercises with demonstrations, and a graphic design activity that will be completed during class. There will be requests for participation and discussion, and handouts will be provided. Note taking and questions are encouraged.

Technology Requirement: Participants should have access to Adobe Illustrator on their device. Trial download information will be shared with enrolled learners before the start of the class.

Rebekah A Venturini

I am a professional graphic designer and artist. I am an MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and received a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Custom training workshops are available for this program

Technology training sessions structured around individual or group learning objectives. Learn more about custom training

University IT Technology Training sessions are available to a wide range of participants, including Stanford University staff, faculty, students, and employees of Stanford Hospitals & Clinics, such as Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, Stanford Medicine Partners, and Stanford Medicine Children's Health.

Additionally, some of these programs are open to interested individuals not affiliated with Stanford, allowing for broader community engagement and learning opportunities.