This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to draw an iPhone 5 vector graphic in Adobe Illustrator

I just completed a small job for a good client of mine who needed a simple graphic of an iPhone to be used as a display. It needed to be enlarged a lot, so a simple jpeg just wasn't going to work for them. So this project was perfect for Adobe Illustrator.

I have been using, and teaching, Adobe Illustrator since the 1990s, and it is by far my favorite Adobe software program. Don't get me wrong, I like Photoshop just fine, but for many things, this graphic being a perfect example, Photoshop is the wrong choice.

The trick to beginning to understand Adobe Illustrator is to realize that it is not Photoshop. And it has to do with how these two software programs create images. Photoshop creates images by using little tiny squares called "pixels", Adobe Illustrator creates images by using simple shapes called vectors. I have to admit that many people can't really "wrap their head" around vectors, but those who do have a great advantage!

Yes, you could do a simple drawing like this in Photoshop, but it would be much more difficult than in Illustrator. Illustrator likes squares and circles and lines, and it likes to modify them and make them very precise. If the word "vector" throws you off, forget about it. When you look at this graphic, you see squares, rectangles, circles, etc.  You draw them and fill them in with color - in this case only black and white. Once the drawing is done, it can be exported as a pdf, which allows your client to enlarge it to any size without loss of sharpness and detail. It is not created with pixels, so there is no chance of it "pixelizing", that it, getting "the jaggies". For this blog post I saved it as a jpeg, which you can do right inside of Illustrator using the same "save for web" function that Photoshop has.

As an instructor and trainer in software, I hate to ever use the phrase "it's easy". But many people have taken a class in Adobe Illustrator and said that. "Really? It's that easy? You get paid to do that?"


By the way, I hold the copyright on this drawing and allow anyone to use it freely. So if you want it, go ahead and use it. If you need something else, just contact me and I will be happy to draw it for you. It really doesn't take much time, thanks to Adobe Illustrator!