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Recommended Resources: Illustration

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Read Time: 9 min

As we work daily to publish instructional material for Vectortuts+, we come across high quality tools and services. Here are the top resources we recommend for you — the vector creative professional — all assembled with care by our editorial staff.

Note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which simply means we’ll earn a small commission if you purchase that particular tool or service. If you do, we thank you for supporting Vectortuts+.

Core Applications

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud has all your favorite Adobe design software packaged together into one membership. With it, you can download and install any of the Adobe Creative Suite applications. You also get online services for file sharing, collaboration, and publishing. With this service you’ll always have the most recent release of Adobe’s top design software. Learn more over at Adobe.

Adobe Illustrator CC

Illustrator is what we teach the most here on Vectortuts+, it's our favorite (possibly an extension of ourselves). Adobe Illustrator CC is a vector creative's go to software tool. Get started with Adobe Illustrator Beginner Tutorials. The new version has been given Creative Cloud connection features, productivity enhancements, and improvements to core tools. Learn more over at Adobe.

Adobe InDesign CC

Adobe InDesign CC software is a versatile desktop publishing application that gives you pixel-perfect control over design and typography. Get started with Adobe InDesign Beginner Tutorials here on Vectortuts+. Create elegant and engaging pages for print, tablets, and other screens. InDesign CC is filled with feature improvements. With it, your layouts will look good in a variety of page sizes, orientations, and devices. Learn more over at Adobe.

Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC is the leading graphic design software for creatives working with images. The new version of Photoshop has been given performance enhancements, so it's faster, loaded with enhancements for designers and illustrators alike, and yes it's filled with imaging magic. Learn more over at Adobe.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 is a quality graphic design software solution. Some vector artists and designers prefer this suite to Adobe's tools. Get started with top CorelDRAW Tutorials here on Vectortuts+. With its content-rich environment, professional graphic design tools, vector illustration and page layout features, you have a strong competitor to Adobe Illustrator. Learn more over at Corel's website.


The vector tools and basic shapes in Sketch are a fantastic starting point for any drawing, whether you design for web, interfaces, or icons. This app is packed with advanced layer style options with multiple shadows, multiple fills, gradients, noise, blending, blur, and more. This is a powerful vector Mac app priced affordably. Learn more over at the Mac App store.


Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to leading commercial vector software. It uses the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Get started with great Inkscape tutorials from Vectortuts+. We recommend this vector software to get started with if you're on a budget. It's free software with an awesome tool set. Learn more over at Inkscape's website.

Astute Graphics Plugins

Astute Graphics create high quality plugins for our beloved Illustrator. These plugins add creative features and speedy tools to Illustrator. Get started working with DrawScribe, Phantasm CS, and VectorScribe. Quite a few top vector artists and designers wouldn't want to work in Illustrator without these plugins. They allow you to edit and create vector artwork faster, smarter, and dynamically. Learn more over at Astute Graphics.


An free outline font editor that lets you create your own postscript, truetype, opentype, cid-keyed, multi-master, cff, svg and bitmap (bdf, FON, NFNT) fonts, or edit existing ones. Also lets you convert one format to another. Learn more over at FontForge.

Resources Guides

Getting Into Anime and Manga Artwork And The Tools You’ll Need

For those of you drawing in the manga style here are some of the best tools to use. This article discusses the various media most often used by anime and manga artists today, the different brands within those media, their differences, and where you can buy them. Learn more about manga art tools.

Do You Need a Graphics Tablet? Find Out What You Need to Know

Are you thinking about ditching your mouse and replacing it with a graphics tablet? Do you need more information about features, uses and optional accessories before rushing out to buy one? Not sure which size will best suit your needs? We have a comprehensive guide for you. Learn more about choosing a quality graphics tablet.

Stock and Fonts

Envato Elements

Inspiring and ready-to-use photos, templates, fonts and assets. Unlimited downloads for a single monthly fee. Envato Elements opens up a world of creative possibilities for all your design projects. Powered by a community of talented designers, our subscription puts great design in reach for everyone. Learn more about Envato Elements.


At GraphicRiver you can buy and sell royalty-free, layered Photoshop files, vectors, icon packs, Adobe add-ons and design templates for just a few dollars. GraphicRiver is an Envato Marketplace and sister site to Vectortuts+. The site is home to a passionate community of graphic designers and illustrators. It's a great community to get involved with. Learn more about GraphicRiver.


At PhotoDune you can buy and sell royalty-free photographs and images starting at just $1. PhotoDune is an Envato Marketplace and sister site to Vectortuts+. Items are priced on the size/megapixels of each file. If you need quality, affordable stock photos for your next creative project, then this is a great resource to tap into. Learn more about PhotoDune.


MyFonts is the world’s largest font collection available on one easy-to-use website. They pull together fonts from both large font companies and boutique outfits. Quality fonts are added daily. If you're looking for a new font for your next client project, this is the site to find it on. Learn more over at MyFonts.

Mockup Templates

A collection of the latest and greatest free mockup templates from across the web. Whether you're looking for phone, tablet, computer, or real physical product mockups, they have something for you. A unique way to show your website screenshot on a real device. They have iPhone mockups, iPad mockups and more.

Web Services


If you're working as a freelance vector creative, then your business will benefit from ConceptShare. This cloud service helps creatives get client feedback on visual assets. It improves the client approval process and allows you to deliver polished results on time and on spec. Learn more over at ConceptShare.

Tools & Gear


If you purchase a pen tablet, then you'll need to learn how to use it. Get started with learning Illustrator's brush tutorials here on Vectortuts+. Wacom produces cutting edge, industry leading pen tablets. They have choices that fit any budget, from vector hobbyist to professional illustrator. Using a digital pen can transform the style of your vector artwork. Learn more about Wacom's tools over at Amazon.

Rhodia - Art Supplies

These French orange notebooks have a cult following, yes creatives do fall in love with their tools. These economical pads are one of our favorites. We love to run our fingers across their grids, smooth paper and uniquely scored covers. Rhodia has been carried by artists since the 1930s, so using these feels like you're taping into a rich creative legacy. Learn more about these notebooks over at Amazon.

Mobile Apps

Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas is your mobile digital sketchbook, letting you capture and explore ideas anywhere you go. Learn how to integrate Adobe Ideas into your Illustrator vector workflow. This mobile app lets you easily sketch using vectors, re-use specific colors using the Eyedropper tool, save and use multiple color themes. Adjust layer opacity, move, rotate and scale each layer independently. Learn more about this mobile app at the Mac App store.

Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler lets you capture color inspiration anywhere you find it. Learn how to capture colors from a painting, landscape, or wherever you happen to be with a snap of your iPhone camera in the Adobe Kuler tutorial here on Vectortuts+. With Kuler on your phone you can browse, create, and customize themes for your designs – all on your phone. Learn more about this mobile app at the Mac App store.


Procreate is a great sketchbook and drawing app for your iPad. It's fast to work with so you can get your ideas down quickly. It has a wide array of brushes to choose from, studio grade tools, and feels intuitive to draw with. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

SketchBook Pro for iPad

Autodesk SketchBook Pro for iPad is a professional-grade paint and drawing application. Using the same paint engine as its desktop counterpart, SketchBook Pro delivers a complete set of sketching and painting tools. While our favorite sketchbook app is Procreate, this one has its supporters, and is also a very good choice for iPad sketching. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

FontBook App

If you own an iPad and are a graphic designer, then you'll love this beautiful reference app. FontBook is the world’s most comprehensive reference on digital typography. It documents the work of 118 renowned international type foundries, representing close to 1650 type designers, constituting 35,000 fonts from 8050 font families. The FontBook app presents this selection through 700,000 typeface samples which can be intuitively spread out, searched, layered, moved, scrolled and combined like a collection of maps - truly awesome. Learn more about this app at iTunes.

Freeform - Vector Drawing App

Freeform is a vector drawing tool for your iPad. Create quick sketches, mockups, or diagrams with this app. Export your drawings via email in JPG, PNG, or PDF formats, or save to your photo library. This is a great app for vector on the go. Learn more about this app at iTunes.


One of the most feature-packed vector drawing and illustration apps available on the iPad, iDraw has all of the tools you need to create everything from detailed technical illustrations to beautiful works of art. This feature-rich vector app has many of the tools you'd want in compact vector software. Learn more about this app at iTunes.


Inkpad is a solid choice for professional vector illustration apps on the iPad. It supports paths, text, images, groups, masks, gradient fills, and an unlimited number of layers. Learn more about this app at iTunes.
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