8 Tips to Avoid Common Illustrator Mistakes

Though Illustrator and other Adobe products make life easier for designers and artists, we cannot argue the fact that we are not free from taking a few missteps along the designing process. While some errors can be easily undone, some situations may lead to a discovery of other problems. Whatever the case is, these slip-ups cause a lot of effort and time wasted.


Faults aside, what is important is to recover and be more careful to avoid committing the same mistakes. There are simple ways to overcome bad habits. So, let’s hurdle over the common mistakes we tend to commit in Illustrator and read on for our tips on how to avoid them.

  1. Use Layers

    Just like Photoshop, Illustrator also has layers. Using layers allows your project to be organized. It makes designing a smooth process as you group your graphic elements and name each layer. Layers can aid you in identifying which spot you need to work on. And in case other designers will take over your job, it will be easy for them to understand your work since layers enable you to put descriptions on each layer.

  2. Organize Your Documents

    Keeping in mind the sense of orderliness, place your files, documents, and images in a folder specifically made for the project. Having the assets properly stored gives you a clear space for creativity. A neat, tidy, and uncluttered digital workspace provides a conducive atmosphere for you to be more productive and decreases the stress while working with Illustrator. The discipline of having organized files and artboard will also influence the way you work with Illustrator.

  3. Check the File Type

    Illustrator can take you as far as your skills and creativity can get you. But starting it off with a bad file can set your project onto a wrong path. Making sure that all the files you need in accomplishing the task are in the proper format is a must. .eps files work better than .gif or .jpeg as the latter two produce poor resolutions. .eps files also remain editable, which can be an advantage for you in case of revisions.

  4. Use the Built-In Color Swatches

    One of the great features of Illustrator is its built-in color swatches. Many users aren’t familiar with these ready-made swatches. From the basic neutral hues to other color compositions for food and florals, these ready-made swatches eliminate the time you need to spend on generating palettes and also allow you to familiarize and experiment with new color groups for your next project.

  5. Master the Pen Tool

    Moving on to another well-known feature, the Pen Tool is as good an instrument as the hands working with it. Many designers are reserved in using this tool for its difficulty, but investing the time in mastering how it works can benefit you in many ways. Playing The Bézier Game is a good way to enhance your Pen Tool skills. From curve manipulation to maximizing vector graphics editor capabilities, a harnessed skill in using the Pen Tool can set a skillful designer from the rest.

  6. Use the Correct Brush

    One of the great things about Illustrator is its variety of brushes. There are brushes fit for calligraphy and other effects that are good tools to create elements customized to any design needs. And with many selections to choose from, it is easy to go the wrong way if brush familiarity isn’t your forté. See online reinforcements for assistance in using brushes and discover how to flare up your design by exploring the brush library, its strokes, and adding borders and definition.

  7. Use the Pathfinder Tool

    The Pathfinder Tool is the version of the Swiss Army knife for designers using Illustrator. This versatile feature provides assistance for designers in shape modifications by just ticking a box. Whether it is for combining shapes, subtracting, overlapping, and intersecting it, the Pathfinder Tool is a handy feature that will enable you to solve design problems and hone your skills at the same time.

  8. Save Your Work Periodically

    As Murphy’s Law says, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” In this case, whether there is power disruption or software malfunction, saving your work on from time to time assures you that whatever happens, you don’t have to start from scratch again. Although there’s an AutoSave feature, it won’t hurt to save your work after every change to ensure that you can recover the latest version.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Technology has done its job and is continuing its purpose to make our lives easier. But when it fails us, we realized that the way to resolve it may take us a few steps back in the process. Dealing with software like Illustrator is a good example of this situation. By giving all the facets in designing a compelling image, it is now up to the designer to put caution and aesthetic on the table. Following these tips equip us to work smarter with Illustrator.