CREATING THE POSTER
Tim McKenna | Azrael Group
WHO IS TIM MCKENNA?
Enola-based designer/developer who loves illustration.
Unicorn advocate (designers should know some front end dev).
Public speaker, even if you don’t want him to.
Obsessive Compulsive about learning (Pluralsight, Lynda, Treehouse, Coursera).
Is huge in Japan. No, really, he is.
Twitter me: @AzraelGroup
WHAT IS ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR?
A powerful vector art program that gives you the tools to create a variety
of projects for print, web, video, and animation.
This tool is used by artists, graphic designers, web designers, video editors
and animators, making it one of the most versatile tools in the Adobe
Adobe illustator (ai) is vector based, meaning instead of its image quality
being dependent on a set amount of pixels it uses mathematical points of
measurement to allow for infinite scability.
Movie Poster: District 9
WHY USE ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR?
Being able to scale you work without being locked to a particular dimension or
resolution. Photoshop is a great tool, but you need the right tool for the right job.
Multifaceted tool - Adobe Illustrator templates can be created and distributed to work
for all sorts of other software, even outside of Adobe software lineup. AI templates
exist for Maya, Blender, ZBrush, AutoCAD and many other software solutions.
It works great for a wide audience. Not many tools can cater to so many different
It’s fun to use.
Photorealistic Digital Art: Light Bulb
Technical Illustration: Engine
IT LOOKS COMPLICATED...
Since Adobe has tightly integrated tool sets and features in all of its creation software,
any experience you have with Photoshop and/or InDesign will greatly help.
Common struggles that novices have with AI is that the brush tools don’t work similar to
I made a simple video to show you how the Pen and Paintbrush tools actually work.
User Interface: Star Trek LCARS OS
CREATING A MOVIE POSTER
Step 1: Think.
Step 2: Think some more.
Step 3: Think and sketch.
Step 4: Sketch more.
Step 5: Sketch a lot more.
CREATING A MOVIE POSTER
Step 6: Finalize your sketches, nail down the composition.
Step 7: Figure out your color pallete (preparing for AI).
Step 8: Use sketch as reference or scan, but open up AI.
Step 9: Prep Artboard with bleeds, color mode, raster effects.
Step 10: Begin work on poster in AI (Use scanned sketch as a locked guide layer).
Step 11: Refine your work. Save often.
Illustration: Mischevious Venus
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR FILE TYPES
.ai - Native Adobe Illustrator file, will open in Photoshop with extra options, and importst
into InDesign (not best practice). This retains all scalabilty
.pdf - Portable Document Format file, used practically everywhere. Can be used to save
out high resolution final images to send to printer, or web ready images to share through
email. .pdf files do not save white ink!
.eps - Encapsulated PostScript file, compressed vector file type best used to import
into InDesign and Photoshop.
.svg - Scalable Vector Graphic file is mainly used for the web and retains scalability. You
can save out the image as a .svg image or save out the code for use in web projects.
Editorial Illustration & Animation: Keystone Physician Magazine
CREATING A MOVIE POSTER
Step 12: Refine, refine, refine aaaaaaaannnnndddd refine.
Step 13: Save a master .ai file and store it somewhere (cloud, external, etc).
Step 14: For print, save a .pdf. Check out .pdf settings for cropmarks and bleeds.
Step 15: Check your .pdf file compared to your AI file. Does everything looks right?
Illustration for skatedeck: Shell City
COMMON AI OUTPUT ISSUES
“My image doesn’t look dark enough!”
- Make sure your black is rich black instead of 100k black.
“My image is too dark!”
- Check your screen brightness and your color pallette, adjust accordingly.
“My text looks weird!?”
- Save your text as outlines for the .pdf, but keep them as live text for the .ai file.
“It didn’t print out correctly!”
- Check your .pdf in Acrobat Pro and Reader, not just in AI.
Logo and SVG use case: Primary Healthcare Consultants
WALK ME THROUGH IT
See my video here.
Logo Design/Brand Mark: Michael Zigmund
BUT WHAT ABOUT...
As a big fan of open source projects and solutions, I keep my eye out for software
solutions that can be an equal in regards to use and workflow.
Sketch by Bohemian Coding is a contender, but this is more akin to the now defunct
Adobe Fireworks then Illustrator. Downside, it only runs on Mac.
Inkscape is an open source vector art program that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Downside, it doesn’t have much in the same features and ease of use compared to AI.
Corel Draw is a beast of a program and offers an astounding array of similar features and
tools. Downside, it’s expensive (might as well get CC) and it’s Windows only.
Animated GIF lIllustration: Daft Punk Helmet
AI FOR THE WIN
Compared to other vector drawing programs, AI really wins out because of its versatility
and its integration with so many other programs.
Once you understand the difference between raster image editting and vector image
editting, the learning curve lessens and you can start to have a lot of fun with AI.
AI & Flash Animated Beatbox Player: Incredibox
Compared to other vector drawing
programs, AI really wins out because
of its versatility and its integration
with so many other programs.
Once you understand the difference
between raster image editting and
vector image editting, the learning
curve lessens and you can start to
have a lot of fun with AI.
Come to BarCamp HBG on May 3rd and listen to me yammer.