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30 Best illustrator tutorials created in 2021

This post is part of our “best of the year” series, which aims to showcase the most outstanding illustrator tutorials published throughout 2021. By frequently practicing new design tutorials, you’ll undoubtedly sharpen your skills and learn new techniques in Illustrator. From text effects to illustrations, this roundup includes a diverse mix of great tutorials that cater to all levels of expertise, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Illustrator user.

Each tutorial included in this list is a valuable resource that you can learn a lot from. In fact, you might even discover some hidden Illustrator features that you never knew existed before! Not only will these tutorials help you improve your design skills, but they’re also a fun way to explore your creativity.

We hope that you’ll enjoy this roundup and find it helpful in your journey as an illustrator. If you have a favorite illustrator tutorial from 2021, we would love to hear about it in the comments below. Share your thoughts with us and let’s continue learning and growing together!

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1. How to Create a Fall Text Effect in Illustrator

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to make a leaf brush in Illustrator and how to create a fall text effect.

2. How to Create a Vintage Badge Logo in Adobe Illustrator

how Illustrator’s vector tools can help you create interesting vintage-style logos, combining text effects and shapes to build the layout. 

3. How to Make an Overlapping Square Pattern in Illustrator

It’s not infrequent that you as a designer might need a pattern (or three). Sometimes it’s hard to find the exact perfect fit, so you need to create your own. So today we’re going to learn how to make a pattern in Illustrator. There are a few tricky bits, but today you’ll get the low down on how to do this quickly and easily, using some “secret” Illustrator tools that will absolutely speed up your workflow.

4. How to Design a Trendy T-Shirt in Illustrator

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to make a shirt design in Illustrator.

5. How to Create a Modern Gradient Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator

It will show you how Illustrator’s shape tools make it easy to construct the basic vector design, then we’ll apply a vibrant colour scheme using gradients. The final result is a trendy vector logo icon with interlinking shapes and bright colour spectrums. Using these same techniques, you can create modern logo designs with all kinds of shapes and layouts.

6. How to Easily Make a Fur Text Effect in Illustrator

Awhile back I wrote a tutorial about How to Make a 3D Tube Text in Illustrator and today I’m taking that tutorial further with added step which will bring about the Fur effect. The Fur effect tool is often left unused amongst designer – especially since there are so MANY different tools to choose from in Illustrator. And today, we’ll get to focus on how to apply this Fur effect to a hand made text path.

7. Wavy 3D Distorted Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

 It’s ideal for creating interesting quote art or visually interesting poster designs. We’ll begin by applying the wavy distortion to the type, then I’ll show you how you can really enhance your text effects with Illustrator’s 3D tools.

8. How to Make an Arrow in Illustrator

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to make an arrow in Illustrator. We’ll explore three simple methods that you can use to create arrows in Illustrator.

9. How to Create a Watercolor Background Using Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to create watercolor background using a Gradient Mesh, tools of deformation and Blending Modes. The techniques which are described here allow the creation of complex watercolor backgrounds in Adobe Illustrator.

10. How to Create a Pride Rainbow Gradient Overlay in Adobe Illustrator

How to create your own pride rainbow gradient in Adobe Illustrator and how to apply it over one of your illustrations, so you can show your pride and support for the LGBTQI community!

11. How to Create a pair of Ice Skates in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a pair of Ice Skates in Adobe Illustrator. We’ll create all of these starting from simple shapes and using a few manipulation techniques along with the Pathfinder palette. Next, you will learn how to add details and highlights on your artwork using the Stroke palette plus the Blend Options and some effects (Inner Glow, Drop Shadow…). Moving on you will learn how create a text using a artistic brush. You’ll finish with the nice background using the Sketch effect and the Gaussian Blur effect.

12. 3D Style Retro Text Effect Tutorial

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create dimensional text inspired by vintage packaging designs and logotypes. Pour a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s create some text with the help of Illustrator effects, the Blend Tool, and textures fit for the branding of a coffee house.

13. How to Create a Mountain Rescue Unit Badge in Adobe Illustrator

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to create a mountain rescue unit vector badge in Adobe Illustrator. For starters, you’ll learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create the main badge shape. Using basic vector shape-building techniques and some warp effects, you’ll learn how to create the rest of the shapes.

14. How to Create a Simple Shape Fruit Vector Design

In this tutorial we’ll create a delicious  fruit vector design from basic shapes and create a dynamic composition perfect for print and web media alike!

15. How to Create a Colorful Retro-Style ‘Rainbow’ Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

his text style has somewhat of a retro vibe, with it being the kind of effect you might see on an old VHS tape box or brand identity for a 70-80s tech or media company. Illustrator’s Blend tool will form a core part of the procedure, but I will also share a useful tip that enables you to alter the wording of all the text instances at once.

16. How to Create a Mascot

Mascots are fun, useful brand/service and event ambassadors. Therefore they should be appealing in order to grab the attention of their target audience, and must reflect the spirit and nature of the “product”.

17. Create a Stylized Ocean Design in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial we’ll be making a nautical scene with underwater elements. We’ll be using basic geometric shapes as well as creating our own brushes and doing some freehand drawing to create a unique ocean design

18. How to Make a Timeline Infographic in Adobe Illustrator

In the following steps, you will learn how to make a timeline in Adobe Illustrator for Black History Month. Black History Month is an annual observance in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. In this infographic, we will focus on the US Black History Month and the significant events that advanced civil rights. 

19. Save Multiple Artboards To A PDF In Illustrator

In this tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how to save multiple artboards to a PDF in Illustrator, and I’ll also be addressing how to set the order of your artboards to determine which page numbers they will represent.

220. Video Tutorial: How to Create a Stained Glass Window Effect

Follow along with this tutorial to learn how to create a stylized illustration with the appearance of a stained glass window, where the artwork is segmented into several coloured shapes. I’ll first show you how to create the simplified illustration style by using Illustrator‘s shape tools to draw a rose graphic.

21. How to Draw a Cute Snowman Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Winter season is the time of fluffy snow, snowballs and snowmen! Let’s make one, too. In this tutorial, we’ll be creating a cute snowman icon using basic geometric shapes, the Stroke panel and various tools and functions of Adobe Illustrator to create a simple snowman icon with outlines. 

22. How to Create a Vintage Type Postcard

In the following steps, you will learn how to design a vintage postcard in Adobe Illustrator. Harken back to an era when postcards were all the rage with this friendly type style. The tutorial will delve into clipping masks, using bitmap images, working with layers, effects, and blends. 

23. How to draw colorful, high-impact lettering

In this how-to, Leandro walks you through the process of creating a colorful lettering design in Adobe Illustrator. To follow along, choose your own message and download Leandro’s vibrant color palettes.

24. How To Flow Text Around A Shape with Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can easily flow text around a shape with Adobe Illustrator. This can be really useful if you’re doing any kind of desktop publishing — like for a magazine, a poster, flyer, or whatever else — and you want to make your text interact with other design elements in a professional, consistent style.

25. Retro Badge Logo Design Illustrator Tutorial

In today’s Adobe Illustrator video tutorial I’m going to show you how to create an outdoors themed badge design, featuring a simple mountains graphic and colourful sunset effect using a retro colour scheme. This style of logo is based on embroidered National Park patches, and has become a popular design trend for all kinds of outdoors, adventure, or camping themed brand identities. We’ll use Illustrator’s basic shape tools to construct the vector badge design, then stick around until the end of this tutorial to discover an easy way to make your digital design look real with stitching and embroidery effects.

26. How to Create a Pastel Gradient Background

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a pastel gradient background in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Cool and warm, this timeless trend will give a soothing effect to any design. All you have to do is look for the best gradient combinations. 

27. Create a Cozy Teapot Scene in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a stylized teapot scene for a warm and cozy scene in a trendy flat style. We’ll be using basic geometric shapes along with the Stroke options and the Pen Tool to preserve a minimalistic and well-balanced composition.

28. How to Create Retro Polaroids on a Clothesline in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make Polaroids hanging on a clothesline using the Mesh Tool.

29. Adobe Illustrator ‘Futuristic Gradient Speed Lines’ Text Effect

I’m not entirely sure what to call the text effect I’ll be showing you how to create in this Adobe Illustrator tutorial, but it’s the kind of futuristic text style you might see on old VHS tapes, old sci-fi movie titles, or maybe even classic sports or tech brand logos.

30. Build a Trendy Line Icon Office Vector Scene in 15 Minutes!

Create a quick and trendy office vector scene with simple line icons. We’ll go through each piece, step by step in no time flat!

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