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Illustrator CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide (Visual QuickStart Guides) [Paperback]

Elaine Weinmann , Peter Lourekas
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.99
Price: 20.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 April 2009 032156345X 978-0321563453 1
Adobe Illustrator is the indispensable vector drawing tool used by digital artists around the world. Illustrator CS4 provides those artists with powerful drawing tools, unparalleled typographic controls, and much more. With a slew of new features and tighter-than-ever integration with the rest of Adobe Creative Suite 4's design, graphics, and publishing tools, Illustrator CS4 promises to make designers' lives a whole lot easier, especially if they have this task-based guide!

Now revised and updated, and in 4 COLOR this book uses simple step-by-step instructions, loads of screen shots, and an array of time-saving tips and tricks, serving both as the quickest route to Illustrator CS4 mastery for new users, and a handy reference for more experienced designers. This edition of the Visual QuickStart Guide covers Illustrator CS4's newest features, including the much anticipated multi art board feature and much more.

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Illustrator CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide (Visual QuickStart Guides) + Adobe Illustrator CS4 Classroom in a Book (Classroom in a Book (Adobe))
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Product details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (21 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032156345X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321563453
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Adobe Illustrator is the indispensable vector drawing tool used by digital artists around the world. Illustrator CS4 provides those artists with powerful drawing tools, unparalleled typographic controls, and much more. With a slew of new features and tighter-than-ever integration with the rest of Adobe Creative Suite 4's design, graphics, and publishing tools, Illustrator CS4 promises to make designers' lives a whole lot easier, especially if they have this task-based guide!

Now revised and updated, and in 4 COLOR this book uses simple step-by-step instructions, loads of screen shots, and an array of time-saving tips and tricks, serving both as the quickest route to Illustrator CS4 mastery for new users, and a handy reference for more experienced designers. This edition of the Visual QuickStart Guide covers Illustrator CS4's newest features, including the much anticipated multi art board feature and much more.

About the Author

In addition to this book, Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas have also written, designed, and illustrated Visual QuickStart Guides to Adobe Photoshop and QuarkXPress. Their books have been translated into 12 languages and have sold more than 2.1 million copies worldwide. They have also taught at Pratt Manhattan, the Cooper Union School of Art, the New School Computer Instruction Center, and the Parsons School of Design.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great support & Explanation for an oldie 12 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been trying to get up to date with Illustrator for some time, so this book is supporting my difficult learning curve. Explanation of the mechanics for me is a great support. Having not worked with it commercially for over fifteen years I'm beginning to understand the great changes this programme provides.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book 5 May 2012
By marco
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have one of these books for each new application that I buy.
They're quick and easy to pick up, find an answer, put down and get on with it.
I would highly recommend this and all other Visual QuickStart Guides for beginners and intermediate users who want to use the programs without spending hours with a manual.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quickstart-Illustrator CS4 5 July 2011
By Chalky
Format:Paperback
I found this book very informative about a subject that is not as straight-forward as the title Adobe Illustrator suggests.

It does not take you through every stage to complete artwork as a project from scratch:- but if you want to cross reference a method or technique you are employing to create a desired end result this book is great. For example; you can jump from say chapter*1, to chapter*28 depending on what panel/function/effect/etc you are unsure about.

This is a very user-orientated book that will help readers to understand the huge possibilities of Illustrator as you come across areas that do not behave the way that the panel/icon/effect/etc, title suggests.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is pretty... PRETTY TERRIBLE!! 11 Oct 2009
By Joseph Greer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is pretty and has lots of colorful images in it. There, you know the only thing I like about it. If you expect to learn how to use Illustrator on your own using this book, save your money and buy another one. It is confusing, poorly written, lacks proper directions, and provides neither a quick nor easy way to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator.

A quick note on the numerous glowing reviews. Note that many of these ratings are from students using the book to supplement a course. As purely a reference guide, this book is not bad. However, I bought this book "Learn Illustrator the quick and easy way" (as it says right on the cover) on my own. If you want a book to teach you how to get "started quick", avoid this "quick start" book. It's a waste of money.

After buying this book, I've come to find some other very well written books that are by far superior to this one that I can recommend. No, I'm not some marketer. If you don't believe me, head down to your nearest book store, pull these books side by side and you'll immediately see what I mean. I wish someone had asked me to do the same. It would have saved a lot of heartache.

Try Adobe Illustrator CS4 Bible by Ted Alspach. Read the section in Chapter 2 titled "Picasso Meets Illustrator" and you'll see what I mean. Also good is the Adobe Illustrator CS4 How-Tos by David Karlins. Just compare how he lays out the different document profiles on page 2 with the way Weinman and Lourekas do on page 3 of theirs. (It took two of them to get it that wrong).

My biggest complaint about this book is that it fails to teach at all. The book reads like a series of definitions of functions rather than tell you how to use the tool. To illustrate my points (pardon the pun... I couldn't resist) I've listed a few complaints below:

1. Images in the book are not accessible: Purchase of this book gives you access to the authors' "private" lesson files. One would imagine you'd have access to the image files used in the book to follow along with the various lessons. Good luck. No explanation of where these images can be found is provided. For example, on page 7, the book has an image of four playing cards, all aces. The lesson uses this image to show you how to add an artboard to your document. The instructions fail to tell you where this document is. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find any access to these pretty pictures.

2. Poor directions: On page 3 'Creating a new document', the book states "From the New Document Profile menu, choose a preset for the medium in which you plan to output your file.". As a PC user, I'm looking in the menu at the top of the screen for some "New Document Profile" menu. There is not one. They mean 'drop-down list box'. And what the heck medium do I plan to output my file??? I'm just trying to draw something!! This book should be "guiding me" by saying, "Select 'Print' in the 'New Document Profile' listbox and click 'OK'".

3. Q: When do I get to draw?? A: Page 80!!! Yeah, you don't even learn how to draw freehand until chapter 7!! There's nothing quick about this quick start. In fact, you'll spend a lot of time reading painstakingly detailed tersely written prose about everything you don't need to know right away before you even draw anything at all. Without the context of a basic drawing, many of these concepts were not clear to me at all.

4. Spaghetti writing: Nearly anything you try to read about will reference a technical term you'll need to look up somewhere else. This term will usually also contain more jargon you'll need to look up and on and on until you've flipped through the entire book.

Example 1: page 7: Under "To add an artboard to your document", step 2 it says:
"Choose the artboard tool (Shift-O).
On the Control panel, click Document Setup, then click Edit Artboards."

I spent a long time a) trying to figure out what the "Control Panel" was and b) looking for the dag blasted Document setup button. The control panel is not described anywhere up to this point. Turns out, the control panel disappears once you hit Shift-O. The book is trying to show you two ways of doing the same thing. The layout of this is not clear.

Example 2: Page 72: "When you release the mouse, the rectangle or oval will be selected, and the current fill and stroke settings will be applied to it." Go to the index to see where you can learn about the Fill and Stroke settings.... Fills, Fill Patterns, and Fill Colors aren't covered until page 333, 131, and 111 respectively. That's right. The basic concepts of filling a shape with a color of your choice aren't covered in detail until much later. Even then, stroke or fill are only tangentially discussed as options in some other lesson. Trying to find what you need is extremely difficult.

5. Extra extra dry writing: This book reads like a dry college textbook on a subject that could be fascinating and engaging if it were written by someone who write as well as they were passionate about their subject. Example page 184: "If you target a layer or group, a "Contents" listing also appears on the Appearance panel. Double-click a Contents listing to display attributes that apply to the whole layer; or click a Group listing to display group attributes."

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Maybe I'm being harsh on the book, but I am in the IT industry and I own a plethora of technology manuals. This one has probably been the most frustrating to try and learn from.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one! 18 Feb 2010
By Tim Mckimmie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've recently looked at all of the Illustrator CS4 guides/books. This is the best one in my opinion. It is straightforward, easy to use, easy to read. I am just now learning Illustrator but I have used Photoshop and Indesign so I am familiar with Adobe interfaces. There may be better books for experienced users but this is the one for beginners. My only criticism is the cover but don't let it scare you off.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one I go to, and I teach the program! 27 July 2009
By Al B. Tross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been teaching Illustrator using this series of books for the past 13 years. They have an admirable combination of brevity, excellent organization, clear writing and a excellent section of illustrations that cue students into the real potential of the program. I use them to learn all the necessary upgrades I need to be able to teach. Highly Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reference for Illustrator 21 May 2009
By JEFF SMITH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These books are great for initially bringing yourself up to an decent knowledge level and a great reference book for when you forget something you don't normally use. I like it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big con 5 May 2010
By Alisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First - pros: it's a very well designed book, with great concise descriptions, good illustrations and even free downloadable images (with the purchase of the book) to practice with. I used the book a lot, until....
BIG Con: ...I had to do a college assignment to show my skills working with Mesh tool. Quite honestly I was shocked to find absolute zero on the tool in this book. Mesh tool is used very frequently and one doing digital illustration needs to be very comfortable with it. With other tools described so clearly and diligently, I am puzzled why Mesh tool was so rudely ignored by the authors...
I will not return the book, but I warn others of buying it.
INCOMPLETE!
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