Adobe Illustrator Toolbox

by Steven Snell

September 8, 2008 in Resources

If you’re interested in improving your skills with Adobe Illustrator or finding resources that can make you more effective and efficient with your time in Illustrator, this is the collection for you.


For getting started and learning more about Illustrator, here are some helpful articles.

7 Things You Didn’t Know Illustrator Could Do – Attitude Design Journal

Illustrator’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide – VECTORTUTS

Pent Tool Guide

Illustrator Pen Tool Exercises – Veerle

Pen Tool Exercises

Maintaining Rhythm and Flow in Vector Character Design – VECTORTUTS

Seven Helpful Techniques for Illustrator – VECTORTUTS

Best Sites for Illustrator Tutorials:

For continual learning of Illustrator, these 9 sites produce excellent tutorials that will help you in your development.





Veerle’s Blog










N. Design Studio

N. Design



Collections of Tutorials:

Rather than listing the best Illustrator tutorials here (which other bloggers have already done effectively), I’ll list several collections of helpful tutorials. When you have some time on your hands come back to these resources and learn just about anything you can imagine in Illustrator.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Smashing Magazine

Ai Tutorials

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Best of – Smashing Magazine

Best of Illustrator

30+ Adobe Illustrator Tutorials: Mastering Your Tools and Options – Noupe

Illustrator Tutorials

Illustrator Tutorials – Designer Today

Illustrator Tutorials – N. Design Studio

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorials and Lessons – Kevin Hulsey

65 Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Emma Alvarez

Illustrator Tutorials – Layers Magazine

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Learn It 2

Illustrator Tutorials – Tutorial Outpost

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Tutorialized

Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – Vectorials

Adobe Illustrator Video Tutorials –

Illustrator Tutorials – Tutorial Blog

30 Tutorials That Will Teach You Illustrator – Arbenting

Illustrator Tutorials – BioRUSt

Free Brushes:

Photoshop brushes are more popular than Illustrator brushes, but there are still plenty of great places to get free brushes for Illustrator.

35 Free Abstract Illustrator Brushes – Bittbox

Abstract Brushes

16 Sketchy Illustrator Brushes – Design Blurb

Sketchy brushes

28 Free Illustrator Brushes for Making Swooshes and Swirls – Bittbox

Illustrator Brushes – Colorburned

30 Free Sketchy-Style Brushes – Vectips

30 Illustrator Pattern Brushes for Making Flowers and Circular Designs – Bittbox

Ink and Watercolor Brushes – Bittbox

Free Illustrator Brushes and Vectors: Foliage – Bittbox

Illustrator Brushes – Adobe

Free Watercolor Brushes and Tutorial – Vectips

9 Free CS3 Brushes and Symbols – Brainstorms and Raves

Vector Art Brushes – Vector-Art.Blogspot


In addition to brushes, you can also pick up some free vectors to use in your own work. Here are some of the best resources.

Vecteezy – Free vector graphics


QVectors – Quality free vector graphics


Free Illustrator Stuff – CreateSk8

Free Vector Downloads – Tutorial Blog

Ornate, Floral, Swirly and Curly Vector Roundup – Blog.SpoonGraphics

50 Free Vector Grunge Corners – Bittbox

25 Free Vector Grunge Patterns – CreateSk8

12 Glossy Buttons – deviantART

VectorVault – The ultimate vector art community


Aside from the categories listed above, these resources will help you in a variety of ways with your use of Illustrator.

Learn Illustrator CS3 in 30 Days - Vectorydiary

30 Days

Adobe Illustrator Shortcuts – Web Designer Wall

Ai Shortcuts

Vector Illustration: 60+ Illustrator Tutorials, Tips and Best Practices – Noupe

53 Killer Photoshop Illustrator Effects and Tutorials – Noupe

Top 10 Free Adobe Illustrator Symbols Resource Sites – Speckyboy

Design and CAD Plugins for Illustrator – Hot Door

Plugins for Illustrator – Graffix

Illustrator World – Dedicated exclusively to vector art and vector applications

Designers Revolution – Best graphic design resources on the web

Go Media’s Arsenal – Freebies from Go Media

Huge List of Adobe Illustrator Plugins & Filters & Tools – All Graphic Design

For more Adobe Illustrator resoureces see:

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design.Connect with Stephen on google+

  • Rachel

    Sep 8th

    Great List!!! Thank you so much for linking to All Graphic Design’s Illustrator list. :) I just added it to Stumble.


  • Angie Bowen

    Sep 8th

    This is a great list, thanks so much for putting it together. I’m in the process of learning Illustrator and this will be so useful!

    And, thanks for including Arbenting!

  • Eivind

    Sep 9th

    I have bookmarked this! I wanted to up my Illustrator skills anyway, so thanks a lot for creating a wonderful list!


  • QVectors

    Sep 9th

    Great list.
    Thanks for adding Qvectors.

  • Shannon Snow

    Sep 9th

    Excellent list, something I will need to bookmark for use at times when I can’t seem to figure out how to do something really cool in Illustrator! Vecteezy and Go Media are by far my favorite resources, good stuff!

  • Noura Yehia

    Sep 9th

    Thats really a great resource, i am sure it took you a lot of time to gather all these in one post.
    Thanks for including Noupe’s posts among these excellent posts :)

  • Lola

    Sep 10th

    An awesome and extensive list of very useful resources! I am excited that I found this page. Thanks very much.

  • Vectordiary

    Sep 11th

    Thanks for adding vectordiary!

  • Aquadote

    Sep 14th

    this is a great list! thank you so much!

  • web design company

    Sep 16th

    A great collection of Adobe Illustrator resources, tools, and articles. Great one!!!

  • JP

    Sep 20th

    I was just talking with a colleague who was wanting to get started in Illustrator. I was going to have to pull a list for him, but you have saved me tons of time! Thanks for the post! Happy illustrating!

  • Matt Clarke

    Apr 17th

    Thanks for the wicked resource list, don’t know how i survived without it before, cheers!!! Keep up the good work!! Matt

  • Lash

    May 2nd

    Thanks a lot for all the resources! This may come very helpful!

    Also, if you want to, check out this page:

    I don’t think a lot of tutorials show how to obtain this effect, so I thought I’d add this.

  • Matt Clarke

    May 28th

    This one has been bookmarked in my main toolbar, nice one!

  • steve

    Oct 30th

    Thanks for this i am using illustrator as we speak for desgining a website, so thanks for the information

  • Boldis Media

    Apr 28th

    Thanks so much! These are great, as is quite a bit of other stuff you give away on this site.

  • AH

    May 11th

    Thanks so much! I just downloaded illustrator so this is a huuge help :)

  • lv

    Aug 4th

    as is quite a bit of other stuff you give away on this site.

  • Bojan Živković

    Apr 5th

    I don’t see The Mac Lab video tutorials which are also great to get started

  • SoftwareFan

    Jun 28th

    Graphic Designers, did you know you can Preflight AND Package Adobe Illustrator files with FlightCheck? Get FREE PageZephyr, too! See how at

  • yordan

    Sep 14th

    awsomer list for us

    good and free

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