Why an Adobe Illustrator course?
Researchers often need diagrams to visualise the ideas behind their work. Whether it’s Figure 6b on your next big manuscript, or that summary schematic for your conference poster or grant proposal; having a key visual can help immensely to demystify complex information.
But creating an illustration might be unfamiliar territory for many researchers, especially for those with limited art experience. So, where could you begin?
Join Dr Juan Miguel Balbin, project manager & science communicator at Animate Your Science, as he takes you through the fundamentals of vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator for research purposes.
From drawing cell models to creating your very own 3D solar system, you will learn to use the right tools to help you turn your abstract research ideas into stunning visuals that are clear, informative, and fit-for-purpose!
So wave your final goodbyes to PowerPoint diagrams.
It’s time for the next level up in Adobe Illustrator!
*To follow the tutorials, this course requires you to have your own license** of Adobe Illustrator. All tutorials are based on the 2022 version of the software.
**7 Day Trials are available on the Adobe website for keen learners who wish to complete this course within a week.
Being unfamiliar with digital art formats
Having a comprehensive knowledge of vector illustration
Plain, old, boring PowerPoint-style diagrams
Clean, sleek, professional Illustrator schematics
Taking hours to create simple diagrams
Taking minutes to create polished works of vector art
30 video lessons | 3.5 hours of learning | exercises & downloads
Module 1: Course introduction
1.1 Meet your instructor
1.2 Software and course overview
Module 2: Understanding graphic design
2.1 Graphic design in your research outputs
2.2 What’s the difference between raster and vector graphics?
Module 3: Fundamental tools in Adobe Illustrator
3.1 Setting up your workspace
3.2 Using the Selection Tools
3.3 Drawing with the Pen Tool
3.4 Drawing with the Pencil Tool
3.5 Applying colour using Swatches and the Eyedropper Tool
3.6 Adding text using the Type Tool
3.7 Exploring the Shapes Tools
3.8 Organise your workspace using Layers
3.9 Combine vectors using the Shape Builder Tool and Pathfinder
3.10 Applying basic Effects
Module 4: Fundamental exercises
4.1 Creating the Rutherford atomic model
4.2 Creating a eukaryotic cell model
4.3 Creating a micropipette
Module 5: Intermediate tools in Adobe Illustrator
5.1 Editing existing vectors
5.2 Levelling up your colouring skills using Gradients
5.3 Writing on outlines using the Type on a Path Tool
5.4 Cropping and clipping objects
5.5 Overview of new 3D and Materials panel (2022+ exclusive)
Module 6: Intermediate exercises
6.1 Creating a 3D solar system
6.2 Creating a red blood cell with gradients
Module 7: Working with images
7.1 Embedding and importing images
7.2 Vectorise any image using Image Trace
Module 8: Graphical abstracts & scientific posters
8.1 Introduction to graphical abstracts
8.2 Creating a graphical abstract template
8.3 Introduction to scientific posters
8.4 Creating a scientific poster template
Closing + extras
9.1 That’s a wrap!
9.2 Bonus downloadable exercises
Lifecycle of the jellyfish
Radioactive waste barrel
3D methane molecule
About Your Instructor
Hey there! I’m Dr Juan Miguel Balbin (call me Miguel), project manager, science communicator, molecular biologist, and graphic designer. At the communications agency Animate Your Science, I help researchers to visually represent their work through our animations and custom graphics services.
I've been using Adobe Illustrator since 2012 as my software of choice for creating all kinds of digital art. More recently, I was able to apply my graphic design skills during my time as a malaria researcher (PhD, 2018-2021) to explain my work in my own creative ways.
After presenting my design work to my field, my Illustrator skills started gaining a lot of unexpected attention. From that point onward, I found myself collaborating with other researchers who needed an illustrator to visually explain complex concepts.
That's when I knew that graphic design skills needed a place in academic training.
I'm excited to share my knowledge in graphic design so that more researchers can confidently create great scientific illustrations for themselves.
So what are you waiting for? Let's get creative!
"Very detailed and comprehensive process, from initial contact, to planning, to revisions, to finished product. The staff can both develop concepts independently or enhance your ideas. Very good at working within stylistic constraints that you (your agency, company, etc.) may have, such as visual identity guidelines and protocols. The Director and staff have a scientific backgrounds, so they understand what is required to distil and clearly convey information of scientific nature to a lay- or informed-public audience. Video and email communications and task work were quick and professional. Highly recommended."
International Atomic Energy Agency
”I worked with Animate Your Science to create scientific posters for my work and they were super efficient and delivered great quality posters. Highly recommended!"
"Tullio and the team at Animate Your Science were very communicative, asking questions and setting up meetings along the way to make sure they got our lab's information correct and were able to turn it into an infographic that accurately and concisely portrayed our research process. A talented group of science communicators and designers, I highly suggest working with them to communicate your next science project!"
Arizona State University
1 Year Online Course Access
+ Bonus exercises
one time purchase
One year access to the online course “Learn to draw in Illustrator: by scientists for scientists”
Adobe Illustrator tools overview PDF
Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcuts PDF
Certificate of completion
Bonus exercises following the completion of the course
Lifetime Online Course Access
+ Individualised feedback
+ Community access
one time purchase
You’ll get everything in Essential, plus:
Lifetime access to the online course “Learn to draw in Illustrator: by scientists to scientists”
Lifetime access to the AYS Visual Science Community where you’ll be able to ask questions, share your wins and get inspired by other students
Individualised feedback for artwork you create from the course exercises, bonus exercises, or original scientific artwork created in Adobe Illustrator
Fully customisable to the needs
of your students and staff
Bulk discounts available
You’ll get everything in Essential or Premium
Group poster feedback sessions
Bundles with our other courses and workshops