Adobe Illustrator is a very powerful program for creating digital graphic art.
ts power comes from the fact that it creates graphics with vector points, instead of pixels. In Photoshop you have to plan your project around the resolution (pixels per inch), but in Illustrator you can create resolution free graphics that will look good anywhere, from your web site or business card up to and including the side of a building.
Creating artwork in Illustrator is very much like creating an old fashioned montage with scissors and colored paper. If you want to draw an apple, you cut out an apple shape from your red paper and paste it down. If you want to draw a shadow on the apple, you cut out the shadow shape from your darker red paper and paste that in place. To use the analogy, in Illustrator your scissors is the pen tool, and your paper is the color picker. Where it gets exciting is the beauty of the artwork you can create once you climb the initial learning curve.
Unlike drawing with pencils or pastels, if you want more detail or precision in your Illustrator artwork, you simply zoom in and adjust the bezier curves in your pen paths. Of course Illustrator is much deeper than just a tool for creating digital art, it has a strong suite of type formatting tools and is extremely useful for creating business stationery such as business cards, letterheads, posters, CD covers and maps.
The artwork below was created by students in the Media Design and Production Program.