1. SkillShare class

Pre-Course Notes

There are both exercise and completed files.

Cheat sheets (and PDF) are also available. (bringyourownlaptop.com)

Getting started

There is a Getting Started exercise file that you can open.

The request is to reset the sidebar to Essentials (and reset them).

Some handy shortcuts that came up:

vSelection tool
aDirect selection tool
zZoom tool
+ or -Zoom in/out
SpacebarGrab and move things around
Shift + oArtboard tool
Shift + Cmd + pPlace

Note: You can have more than one page (artboard).

If you double click and things gray out, you are likely in isolation mode.

Drawing shapes and lines

We want to first use "place" to import a image file to be used as the example layer.

Shape builder

You can use the shape builder to combine/subtract shapes.

Hold alt down with the tool.

Other tips and tidbits from the course

  • Shape design tool is your friend.
  • Effects is a great way to add effects such as brush strokes.

Width tool

  • option to move one side.
  • Can change the anchor along a path.
  • Click and pull to open the width at that point.
  • Make sure the edge is as thin as possible before opening the width.

Types & Fonts

  • The is a point-type box and a second area-type type box.
  • We can also type along a path.
  • We can break apart and distort text by converting a text into outlines and using the Direct Selection tool.


  • RGB vs CMYK: most of the time you will want to represent things using RGB.
  • We can use the color picker to get image colors.
  • Window > Color theme and click explore to see some. This is being deprecated though, so you can go to Adobe Colors. Use the Graident tool to edit.
  • There is a cool website for gradients call Grabient.
  • You can aso do gradients by text.


  • You can mask the images by using a mask.
  • For complicated images you want to mask, you need to make shapes into a compound path first and then it can operated as a mask on an image.

CC Libraries

Libraries on the right hand panel allows you to do many things.

  • Libraries are cross-app (you can put them in Illustrator, Photoshop, etc).
  • Drag + drop saved assets with option on Mac to "unlink" the assets from the library and edit without changing the library.

Finding fonts

Go to typekit.com and pass in a screenshot.