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Basic Shapes Overview

Lesson 2 from: Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator

Jason Hoppe

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Lesson Info

2. Basic Shapes Overview

Lesson Info

Basic Shapes Overview

So, we're gonna get started with just the basic shapes, and how we're gonna use basic shapes to build. So, starting off with my Illustrator file. Couple things that we can start off with. What mode do I work in, color wise? Well, when I start up a new document, one of the things I can choose is what color mode I'm gonna be in. Am I gonna build this for web, or am I gonna build this for print? And so, when you start up a document you can check this, and when the new document dialog box, or, you can open up a document, and then you can convert the color mode afterwards. If you're mainly building for web and display, you can work in RGB mode. If you're gonna be working for mainly for print, you can work in CMYK mode as well. Either one, just something to think about. So, I wanna get my tools ready to use. And we're gonna be using all of our drawing tools. So, in the tool bar, if I click and hold, I get my little fly out menu. But I'm not gonna keep going back to my menu and having to clic...

k and hold and go through all of the tools, so I'm gonna click and hold, I'm gonna have my menu fly out, I'm gonna go over to the far right, and I'm gonna touch on what's called the little tear off bar, which will allow me to tear those off to get them free floating so that I can quickly just go, instead of having to dig deep into the nested tools there. I can just click and hold, click the tear off. And these are the basic tools that I'm gonna be using. All of my shape drawing tools, and then my line drawing tools. This is what I need because this is not a drawing class, it's not an illustration class. It is how to use the building blocks to create virtually everything. And our building blocks are our shapes and our lines. So, starting off with any of our tools here, the rectangle tool, rounded rectangle, oval, polygon, and star tool. These are what we're gonna use. So just some quick overview of how these tools work. Any one of these shapes, I can click on the shape, and I can draw these shapes. There we go. Draw all the shapes. Great. There's my shapes. Now, if I want to draw a shape a particular size or a particular attribute here, I can go in and instead of going in and drawing the shapes, I can take the shape, click on it, and then with my cursor, just simply click on my art board, and that's gonna call up a dialog box so I can put in the size of my object, or any characteristics. So, if I want this 200 wide and 150 high, I can draw my shape the exact size. Somebody have a question? Yes. Two things. So the first thing is, while we're taking requests, can you do something education related? I sure can. That would be great. The second thing is, when you open the file, does it make sense to select a certain size of page, or how does that work? That's a great question. So when you create a new file here, you can go into the file menu and choose New. You have the ability to set up your files for mobile, for web, or for print. This is a new interface that just came out with, the Creative Cloud 2017. And depending on what your intent is going to be, if you wanna do this for print or for web, you'll notice for print everything is going to be in points, or for web everything is going to be in pixels. And it's also going to change the color mode here as well, depending on for print or web. Given the size of the art board, if you are doing something like this for web or mobile, and you wanna make sure it's gonna fit within that mobile device or that tablet, or website, it's great to have these presets done for you so you don't have to look up the information. But today, I just started just a normal print file because I'm just gonna be throwing a lot of things at it right there. So, great question. But yes, you have all these presets that you can do. If you end up working on something and you find you wanna change that preset, up in the control bar, you can click on the Document Setup here, or go into the File menu and change the Document Setup or the color mode right there, after the fact. So, not a problem. Yeah. So, does it help if you sort of set up a plan, I don't know, on a piece of paper before you go in like, this is kinda what I'm trying to do, and this is what I want it to look like before you go in, and even though you kind of have, you know, no idea what you're trying to do; but does it help to sort of set that out so you then go in and say, I need this kind of page, or I need this? Yes. Absolutely. And I actually teach first year graphic design at one of the local Seattle colleges, and that's one of the first things I tell people is that you can't use Illustrator to be your design tool unless you know what it is that you're building. So as you get really good with design, I just design in my head and I put it right on the page. But it's very difficult to learn the tools while you're trying to solve a problem design wise too. It's best to put it on paper, sketch it out, solve the problem, and then go in and actually build off of what you have gone ahead and designed. If you don't know Illustrator very well, you tend to limit yourself because you use the tool to the extent that you know. But once you get really good with Illustrator, I just kind of design on the fly. But for beginners, absolutely. Draw it out, understand what it is, and then try to recreate it in Illustrator. Absolutely. And that's why I encourage, and I tell people with this class, it's a definite building blocks kind of thing. We don't go in and illustrate, you know, Thanksgiving turkey and all that stuff. You know, we'll go ahead and we'll show you an icon and how to do the basic building blocks to build that.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Infographic Assortment

Ratings and Reviews

Patricia Green

This class is so much fun! I gobbled it up because I enjoyed every minute. It begins my journey into infographics, something I intend to put in my portfolio. Jason Hoppe is a great instructor who really knows his stuff. If you want to have fun with Illustrator, this is the class for you!


I bought the first version of the course of Infographics and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to use Illustrator. Exactly as he explains in the video, this is not a course just to learn how to make graphics. At the end of the course you will be able to develop just about anything in Illustrator. Really! All the knowledge I have today of this tool, started from this course of Infographics to which he refers. Not only the content is comprehensive, but Jason is a great teacher, explaining everything very, very simply. I'm looking forward to watching this update.


Jason, you ROCK! I learned a lot of things during this class. Thank you for being such a great teacher and taking time to share your knowledge. Will continue to purchase your classes. Sandra

Student Work