LearnLearn What’s New With Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud


Mat Helme
writes on May 14, 2013

Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud

Every year Adobe puts on an event called MAX. At the event Adobe unveils all their latest and greatest software feature upgrades and products. This year they announced that all their past software applications like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, etc… will no longer be sold in tangible boxes and downloadable disk. Also you won’t be able to buy the products out right for a one time fee, everything will be subscription based. With this new payment plan came new applications and some really amazing new features. I was most intrigued by Adobe Illustrators new features. Here are the new features Adobe Illustrator CC will offer on its release this June.

Touch Type Tool

Touch Type Tool

The Touch Type Tools allows you to manipulate individual characters within the text area.  You are also able to use the Characters panel as well.  Things like kerning, leading, line-height, etc… can still be controlled.  Also you are still able to edit the text in real time as well.  This tool will definitely speed up your workflow when it comes to type heavy designs.

Images and Brushes

Images In Brushes

We’re now able to add raster images to our Art, Scatter and Pattern brushes.  Say if you wanted to use an image like this photographed stitch “X” pattern above and repeat it across a path. This all can be done in Adobe Illustrator CC.  This feature also increases workflow as we are able to edit the paths and reshape the raster images applied to the brush.  It almost feels like a little bit of Photoshop is being sprinkled into Illustrator.

Font Search

For an easier font viewing experience Illustrator now has a live type search feature in the Charecters Panel.  Simply start typing in the font you would like and Illustrator will narrow down your selections and preview the font for you.  You can also select “bold” or “italic” from the list as well.

Sync Fonts

typekit Syncs with Illustrator CC

One of the biggest upgrades and part of Creative Cloud is the Sync Font feature.  Simply Navigate the font you’re looking for by going to Typekit.com.  Then sync the font to your system and you’re now ready to use the font on your desktop applications.

Multiple-file Placement

Illustrator CC has a new tool which allows you to import multiple files into your document.  I would imagine this is the same type of functionality that Adobe InDesign currently has.  This tool allows you to select the location of the placement as well as the size of the imported file.

CSS Extraction

Imagine being able to export CSS code directly from your web layouts in Illustrator.  This is exactly what the CSS Extraction feature let’s us do.  Not only does it create the CSS code for us but it also let’s us extract code from SVGs as well.  This tool will really save us time when it comes to static design to coded layouts in HTML and CSS.

Sync Colors

Have you ever been in nature or at the store and see a color combination that really catches your eye?  Have you ever wished you had save those colors so you could use them in your future designs?  You can now capture these colors and sync them to your designs nby using the Adobe Kuler app and Illustrator CC.  You’re able to capture the colors with your phone app then sync them to your colors panel in Illustrator CC, pretty impressive.

Area and Point Type Conversion

This type feature lets us switch between the Area Type option to the Point Type option.  Text object conversions are now happens instantly.  This also works with imported type as well, for a much faster workflow.

Auto corners for pattern brushes

When creating pattern brushes in the past we always had to create a special corner pattern to our custom brush as it would get skewed and distorted.  Not now,  Illustrator CC now has an auto corner pattern brush feature which creates an auto-generated stroke that matches and coincides with the rest of the design.

On Art Transform

The on art transform tool allows us to move, scale and rotate our designs using a touchscreen on a device.  This feature also works with the mouse on the Artboard for fast editing.

Faster Type Performance

In the past when rendering out text effects the processing speed used to lag a bit.  In Illustrator CC this all has been sped up for us.  We’re now able to work quickly and efficiently when it comes to test effects.

Sync Settings

Illustrator CC can now work cloud base and has the ability to sync multiple devices. We are now able to work on team projects not only for multiple people but from multiple locations as well.  Sync from your home computer to your work computer.  Pull it up on your device for client meetings. It’s all the same file, just accessed from multiple locations. This also goes from presets, brushes and custom workspaces. Set it up once and sync the rest.

File Packaging

No need to save fonts to an external folder as well as assets or color palettes. Illustrator CC now packages all of that for us. This makes sending files to print or even web layouts that are passed off to other developers easy and painless.  We don’t have to worry about our designs being printed or coded in correctly do to fonts missing or colors being incorrect.

Unembedded images

We can now un-embed images that are imbedded in Illustrator with ease.  Before we had to go to the Links Panel and single select all the assets and embed or un-embed them all.  With Illustrator CC we can execute this task much faster the the unembedded images feature.

Expanded Links panel options

The links panel is now hooked up with an image, text and graphic assets a gps system.  It now has more options allowing us to track down files with ease.  This is a much needed feature when working with large external asset heavy files, such as book layouts.


All in all I’m super excited about Adobe Creative Cloud and all the new features rolled out into Illustrator.  It almost feels like we have a little bit of Photoshop and inDesign sprinkled on top of Illustrator creating a more powerful software.  The new options create a faster workflow and a much happier user experience.

Moving Forward

I feel Adobe needs to consider three things for Adobe Illustrator.

The first thing is something they made a massive improvement when rolling out Illustrator CS5 and that was the 64 bit processing speed.  I feel there is still more room for improvement.  I can still crash Illustrator pretty quickly when working with textures and an excessive amount of paths or effects.

The next thing is adding an Animation Panel to the application like Photoshop.  Being able to create animations like rotoscoping right inside Illustrator would be amazing. Also being able to create animated gifs, Sprite Maps and javascript animations will become more popular with scalable web design when using scalable vector graphics.

Finally the last consideration I think Adobe needs to make is a vector based stand alone web application like an Illustrator lite. If not I feel they will lose out tremendously in the market.  Yeah they are dominating it now with the desktop application but moving forward most illustrators or web designers only use about five to eight tools 90% of the time.  With that said someone or some company will essentially develop an extremely user friendly and minimal version of Illustrator. This will be a vector generating web app for cloud based devices like the Google Chromebook.  There are some out there now but they just aren’t developed correctly yet.  Moving forward though it’s gonna happen,  especially with the popularity of SVGs.  Will Adobe be the ones to capitalize on this type of application?


All Images were captured from Adobe Illustrator CC product page.

Interested in Learning Adobe Illustrator?

If you’d like to learn Adobe Illustrator as a whole to advance your illustration and graphic design skills check out Treehouse’s new course Illustrator Foundations. The course covers all the tools and panels related to web design and print design. By the end you will understand the complete functionality of Illustrator and how to use it in your future projects.

Get Started Now


Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Get Started

3 Responses to “Learn What’s New With Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud”

  1. I’m so stoked to dig deeper into this foundations course! I used to be fluent in Illustrator like 15 yrs ago in highschool and I’m now trying to get back into design, and Illustrator is my go-to program (I hardly ever open Photoshop)

    Looking very much forward to this one Mat….!

  2. James on May 15, 2013 at 7:36 am said:

    Hi Mat, thanks for the breakdown. I’m really interested in breaking into the digital design world and just wondered whether in your opinion Illustrator is overkill, or will something like a GIMP/Inkscape workflow be just as useful? I don’t have much experience with illustrator but do know my way around Photoshop and am quite interested in the direction Adobe are headed with their cloud product.

    • Hey James,

      Illustrator is not overkill at all. It’s hands down the best vector based application I have ever used. Simply start off learning the power tools and go from there. This would be the Pen, Shape(Rectangle, Ellipse, etc.), Type and the selection tools. Dont try to do everything at once, take it slow and steady, learn something then practice it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

man working on his laptop

Are you ready to start learning?

Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Start a Free Trial
woman working on her laptop