Home » Book Review » 13 Adobe Illustrator CS4 Reference Books for Your Shelf

13 Adobe Illustrator CS4 Reference Books for Your Shelf

by Louellen Coker on September 2, 2009

Book Graphic 13 Adobe Illustrator CS4 Reference Books for Your Shelf

We’re wordy folks here at Content Solutions, so it’s no wonder our bookshelves are often full to overflowing. Earlier this year we upgraded to Adobe Creative Suite CS4 and haven’t looked back! If you’re new to Adobe Illustrator CS4, here are some books that may be of interest to you.

I’ve pulled a brief description of each title from Amazon.com and provided a link to Amazon’s listing for the title. The prices you see here are the cover prices rather than the actual going rate (Amazon offers nice discounts).

I’ve also divided these books into two categories—in review and other titles. The publishers of five popular titles have been generous to supply a copy for us to review, so we’ve listed them first and will add links to our review on our blog as we post them. (So stay tuned.)

Illustrator CS4 Books Content Solutions is Reviewing

We’d like to thank the publishers for providing  Content Solutions with a copy of these books for us to review for your reading (and graphic designing) pleasure.

  • [amazon-product text="Adobe Illustrator CS4 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques" type="text"]0321562909[/amazon-product]by David Karlins. Published by Adobe Press. $24.99. Kindle edition available. From Amazon: This info-packed guide lets users get right down to work by focusing on the Illustrator CS4 features they’re most likely to use and showcasing each in a stand-alone tip–complete with a relevant hint or two and a graphic example. In this fashion, readers learn just what they need to know, exploring the program in a way that makes sense to them. Before they know it, users will be using all the new features as well as creating symbols and applying instances and exporting their work to Adobe Flash.
  • [amazon-product text="Adobe Illustrator CS4 Classroom in a Book" type="text"]0321573781[/amazon-product] by the Adobe Creative Team. Published by Adobe Press. $54.99. From Amazon: The fastest, easiest, most comprehensive way to learn Adobe Illustrator CS4. Adobe Illustrator CS4 Classroom in a Book contains 15 lessons. The book covers the basics of learning Illustrator and provides countless tips and techniques to help you become more productive with the program. You can follow the book from start to finish or choose only those lessons that interest you. Learn how to create artwork for illustrations, logos, stationery, page layouts, posters, and integrate with Adobe Flash® movies, Adobe InDesign® layouts, and more!
  • [amazon-product text="Illustrator CS4 For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))" type="text"]0470396563[/amazon-product] by Ted Alspach. Published by For Dummies. $29.99. From Amazon: This full-color guide gives you the scoop on the newest tools, tips on color control and path editing, ways to organize graphics, and how to get your work into print or on the Web. You’ve heard Illustrator is a bit complicated? That’s why you need this friendly For Dummies book! With plain-English instructions and colorful examples of what you can acheive, Illustrator CS4 for Dummies will make you an Illustrator pro in no time.
  • [amazon-product text="Real World Adobe Illustrator CS4" type="text"]0321573552[/amazon-product] by Mordy Golding. Published by Peachpit Press. $54.99. From Amazon: Real World Adobe Illustrator CS4 is the definitive reference to Adobe’s industry-standard vector graphics software and is now in 4-color. With an easy, engaging style, author and past Illustrator product manager Mordy Golding takes readers through all of the features of the program, explaining not only how to use the multitude of features but also why and when to use them. This edition has been thoroughly updated for Illustrator CS4 and includes techniques on using the new multiple artboards for quicker Illustrator work across a variety of designs, demonstrations of the new Blob Brush tool and transparency in gradients, overviews of the new cross-product feature support with InDesign, Flash, and Flex (opening up new opportunities for collaborations between developers and designers), and coverage on a whirlwind of other new useful features. Along with tips, sidebars, and expert commentary, there are also numerous 4-color illustrations and screen shots from contributing artists included to offer readers the most complete coverage on this extraordinary application. Designers from all fields–illustrators, animators, package designers, graphic designers, web designers, and more–will find Real World Adobe Illustrator CS4 their one-stop guide to creating powerful designs in Illustrator.
  • [amazon-product text="Adobe Illustrator CS4 on Demand" type="text"]0789738384[/amazon-product] by Steve Johnson. Published by Que. $29.99. Kindle edition available. From Amazon: What you need, when you need it! Need answers quickly? Adobe Illustrator CS4 on Demand provides those answers in a visual step-by-step format. We will show you exactly what to do through lots of full color illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions.

Other Illustrator CS4 Books Available

Here are some other popular titles. We haven’t seen the books at the time of this post, but their reputation precedes them.

  • [amazon-product text="Illustrator CS4 Bible" type="text"]0470345195[/amazon-product]by Ted Alspach. Published by Wiley. $44.99. From Amazon: The ultimate comprehensive guide to everything from drawing basics to advanced techniques.
  • [amazon-product text="Illustrator CS4 Digital Classroom" type="text"]0470436352[/amazon-product] by Aquent Creative Team. Published by Wiley. $49.99. From Amazon: Illustrator CS4 Digital Classroom is like having a personal instructor guiding readers through each lesson, while they work at their own pace. This book includes 11 self-paced lessons that let readers discover essential skills and explore new features and capabilities of Adobe Illustrator CS4. Every lesson is presented in full color with step-by-step instructions. Learning is reinforced with video tutorials and lesson files on a companion DVD that were developed by the same team of Adobe Certified Instructors and Flash experts who have created many of the official training titles for Adobe Systems. Each video tutorial is approximately five minutes long and demonstrates and explains the concepts and features covered in the lesson. This training package shows how to create and produce vibrant graphics using this robust vector drawing application. Jam-packed with information, this book and DVD takes users from the basics through intermediate level topics and helps readers find the information they need in a clear, approachable manner.
  • [amazon-product text="Adobe Illustrator CS4 Revealed" type="text"]1435441885[/amazon-product] by Chris Botello. Published by Course Technology. $63.95. From Amazon: Adobe Illustrator CS4 Revealed offers a smart, thorough, and well-designed guided tour through this new release. The book begins with coverage of fundamental concepts and progresses to in-depth explorations of the software’s full set of features, making this a turnkey solution that offers everything you need to know about Illustrator CS4. With added material on all the updates- including the enhanced Crop and Eraser tools, the improved color-handling abilities, and the revolutionary Live Color feature- this edition explores the new while retaining the step-by-step tutorials and user-friendly design that made previous editions so successful.
  • [amazon-product text="Exploring Adobe Illustrator CS4 (Design Exploration)" type="text"]1435442024[/amazon-product] by Annesa Hartman. Published by Delmar Cengage Learning. $46.95. From Amazon:  Now fully updated to the new release of Adobe’s Creative Suite, Exploring Adobe Illustrator CS4 shows designers how to use this feature-rich software tool to create dynamic design. Written by an author who is an experienced designer and educator known for her user-friendly style, Exploring Adobe Illustrator CS4 teaches the must-have software skills and how to use those skills to create exceptional design. The book examines the tools and features of Adobe IllustratorÂ’s newest release and shows how to create vector graphics and drawings for both print and the Web with fundamental design elements in mind. Extensive artwork is expertly woven throughout the information-packed format to drive home key design concepts and show the way to great digital illustration.
  • [amazon-product text="How to Do Everything: Adobe Illustrator CS4" type="text"]0071603107[/amazon-product] by Sue Jenkins. Published by McGraw-Hill Osborne Media. $39.99. From Amazon: This full-color guide is perfect for designers and artists looking to master the most powerful graphics program available. Whether new to the software or upgrading from an earlier version, you will learn how to use the most important features of the latest version and create print, Web, and motion graphics. The examples in the book demonstrate how to develop logos, editorial and book illustrations, page layouts, magazine ads, business graphs and charts, and more. The book takes you step-by-step through the process of creating various types of illustrations, and demonstrates professional techniques, shortcuts, and solutions.
  • [amazon-product text="Adobe Illustrator CS4 One-on-One" type="text"]0596515928[/amazon-product] by Deke McClelland. Published by O’Reilly. $49.99. Not yet released. From Amazon: Master the fundamentals of Illustrator, Adobe’s vector-based drawing program, with Deke McClelland’s unique and effective learning system. Adobe Illustrator CS4 One-on-One includes step-by-step tutorials, hours of DVD-video demonstrations, and lots of hands-on projects to help you improve your knowledge and hone your skills. Once you read about a particular technique, you can see how it’s done first-hand in the video. The combination is uniquely effective. Whether you’re new to Illustrator or a creative professional interested in CS4′s new features, Deke’s conversational style and carefully structured lessons guide you easily through the program’s fundamental and advanced concepts and techniques. Adobe Illustrator CS4 One-on-One simulates a classroom environment that provides one-on-one attention as you proceed from lesson to lesson. You’ll learn to use Illustrator faster, more creatively, and more efficiently than you thought possible.
  • [amazon-product text="The Adobe Illustrator CS4 Wow! Book" type="text"]0321605586[/amazon-product] by Sharon Steuer. Published by Peachpit Press. $59.99. From Amazon: For years, Sharon Steuer and her international Wow! team have been reaching out to the world of professional illustrators to showcase the range and quality of work these artists are doing in Illustrator. In this revised edition of the best-selling and award-winning Illustrator Wow! Book, you’ll find tips, tricks, and techniques derived from actual projects from more than 100 of the world’s top Illustrator artists. Using Adobe Illustrator CS4, Sharon shows you how to integrate projects using multiple artboards, work transparency into gradients, and draw with the new Blob Brush tool. You’ll not only learn how to “think in Illustrator” with the Zen of Illustrator lessons, you’ll be guided in a wide range of techniques essential for mastering Adobe Illustrator.
  • [amazon-product text="Illustrator CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide" type="text"]032156345X[/amazon-product] by Weinmann, Elaine, and Peter Lourekas. Published by Peachpit Press. $39.99. From Amazon: Now revised and updated, and in 4 COLOR this book uses simple step-by-step instructions, loads of screen shots, and an array of time-saving tips and tricks, serving both as the quickest route to Illustrator CS4 mastery for new users, and a handy reference for more experienced designers. This edition of the Visual QuickStart Guide covers Illustrator CS4′s newest features, including the much anticipated multi art board feature and much more.


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