For professional Illustrators, and anyone who wants to achieve professional results The Illustrator WOW! Book
is quite simply the best resource that money can buy (aside from Illustrator itself, of course).
Sharon Steuer and her coauthors have managed to produce a book that is an authoritative practical guide to Illustrator 9's tools and features as well as a showcase and guide to the techniques demonstrated by nearly a hundred commercial Illustrators.
To bring new users and upgraders up to speed there are two introductory chapters. Even seasoned users will pick up something from skimming these chapters thanks to the clear layout which places abundant illustrations and tip boxes in the outside columns. The remaining chapters are organised into "techniques" and "galleries". Using commercially created work the techniques focus on a single aspect of how a complex illustration was created. These tutorials pack a great deal into a short space because they don't go into specific detail about every single stage in the process--if you need to know the basics you can go back to the front of the book.
The galleries further demonstrate the techniques covered in the chapters by showcasing illustrations and discussing the processes by which each one was created: why one approach was chosen over another, which tools where used, how a particular type effect was produced, what where the special printing considerations and so on.
As a practical guide to Illustrator techniques, a source of creative ideas, a repository of hints and tips or a quiet lunchtime browse, you'll need to look hard to find a better, more useful book on Illustrator. --Ken McMahon
From the Back Cover
The Illustrator 9 Wow! Book is a beautiful, inspiring showcase of the best techniques using Illustrator 9's latest features, including details on the new Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format, IllustratorÕs added Flash output capability, and an entire chapter devoted to IllustratorÕs new Transparency palette. Updated from the previous, best-selling edition, it's packed with lush, full-color images and tips on how the artists used Illustrator to create them. Clear, helpful instructions and numerous sidebars guide the reader through IllustratorÕs highlights, from the basics to sophisticated, professional techniques. CD contains demos, actions, brushes, stock photos, and other Illustrator add-ons.