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117 of 118 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2005
This is the first time that I've written a recommendation for a book, but I'm so excited about Adobe Illustrator CS2 Classroom in a Book, I have to share my impressions with prospective buyers. Simply stated, after stumbling around in other Illustrator books, this one at last is what I've been looking for all along. All computer books should be designed and written like this one. It's organized like a classroom lesson guide, and the step by step instructions are concise, immediate, and so far as I can tell, leave nothing out. The overall impression is of having a truly competent instructor leaning over your shoulder. By the time I finished the introductory lesson, "A quick tour of Adobe Illustrator CS2," I'd learned more about this wonderful application than I had learned on my own in many months of blood, sweat, and tears! Not to mention undoing some bad habits I had developed, and showing me the quickest and most effective ways to accomplish the bedrock basics of Illustrator. After all, the book was written by the same people who invent each new release of Illustrator, so the logic of their approach is... well, logical. Add to this an instinctive feel for the mystical science of teaching, and you have in my opinion the perfect book for really learning Adobe Illustrator CS2. I heartily recommend it! Oh, yes, it's in full color, too.
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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2005
This is THE Illustrator book. It's the official book from Adobe press, the official training workbook from Adobe Systems, it's even written by Adobe (well ... people at Adobe). This new edition is printed in full color, a great improvement over earlier books that were mostly black and white with a small section of full color pages.

Color is important in Illustrator because a very small percentage of the work you'll be doing is in black and white. If the book is telling you something about color and illustrating it in black and white, it's hard to know what they are talking about.

This book has fifteen lessons that you can complete very quickly if you know what they are talking about but take longer if you're a complete beginner. The first lesson starts out with a simulated advertisement and gets you started making changes to the ad. This approach is helpful in remembering what the various tools you've used really do. Primarily in tutorial style, this book is a supplement to the reference type documentation supplied with Illustrator. It provides a good way to get started and to have a complete presentation with logical flow from start to finish.

The CD supplied with the book contains illustrations from the lessons, a collection of fonts, and other materials.

All in all, this book is well written, simple to follow, tells you enough to become if not a true expert, at least an advanced intermediate user. What more can you ask out of a book?
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2004
Adobe Illustrator CS Classroom in a Book provides a solid foundation for beginners and novices of the Illustrator application. As someone who was intimidated by vector graphics, I found this book to be a great introduction to the power of Illustrator, and provided me with some good ideas for my own projects.
This book, like many other Classroom in a Book texts, provides step-by-step instructions on how to do some of Illustrator's most popular and useful commands. Users of Photoshop will notice lots of similarities in the interface and tools, yet there are differences between commands that do the same thing (such as Ctrl+D to deselect in Photoshop, and Ctrl+Shift+A to deselect in Illustrator).
The Illustrator book in particular, however, was full of typographical errors that seemed rather embarrassing for being an official Adobe training book. While I understand the importance of being on bookshelves in a timely manner, taking a few extra days to properly proof their text would be appreciated by this particular user. This is especially true when considering the book's price, and the fact that the book is black and white, except for a small color section. The paper and type, however, are excellent, and the binding is flexible, while being strong at the same time.
I found this book to be a lot more in-depth than the Photoshop CS Classroom in a Book, as this text went on to describe the steps in clearer detail. It offers clear explanations for many of the choices that the user is instructed to make, while also focusing more time on the interesting exercises, as opposed to tasks that are rather redundant between any other similar application.
It will take the user approximately forty-five minutes to an hour and a half to complete each of the 19 lessons, making the book's completion time about one week.
Some of the book's later chapters deal with Illustrator-Photoshop workflows, so having Photoshop in addition to Illustrator is recommended. The book questionably refers the user to use the outdated Photoshop version 6 later in the book, leading me to believe that the author failed to update the text to the current version. Also be aware that some naming conventions do not match up with the application 100%. They are close, but I found it odd that many of these were not cross-checked for exact matches.
All in all, after completing this book, I am ready to move on to more specialized books on Illustrator, and look forward to implementing what I've learned to create streamlined work pipelines between this, Photoshop, and other graphic/layout programs.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2004
This is the official training workbook for Adobe Illustrator cs.
The book is organized and laid out to be used as a textbook/workbook for a class. But, if you don't have the time or money to take a class, you can work through this book yourself.
All materials and files for the lessons in the book are included on the CD (except, of course, for the application itself). You'll need to copy all the files from the CD to your hard drive and work with them from there, in order to make the changes to them as you work through the lessons.
Before you get to Lesson 1, there is "A Quick Tour of Adobe Illustrator," an interactive demo that gives you an overview of the key features of Illustrator cs. You actually use one of the art files on the CD and follow along with the book to try some features. The book says it takes about an hour.
This books will help you discover that even though Illustrator keeps adding more features, it is actually easier to use than it used to be. There are lessons on drawing with the pen tool, painting, working with type, working with brushes and scribbles, using the airbrush features, transforming objects, using the 3-D Effect (!), printing artwork and color separations, and combining Illustrator graphics with Photoshop images, and more.
Every lesson begins with a list of what you'll learn in the lesson, exactly which files from the CD you'll need to use and how to set up the document(s) you'll use in the lesson. From there, it has very clear lessons. You'll definitely learn how to use Illustrator if you follow this book.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
I started learning Illustrator CS2 after buying CS2 Standard Edition. I have gone through this book twice so that I can fully understand what this book offers. I am not sure where I would have begun with Illustrator without this book. The book/lessons are well organized and associated workshop files in the CD compliment the whole process of learning this complex vector-based graphic program. I recommend this book to anyone who has just started learning this program or who is interested in brushing up various aspects of Illustrators.

I am now moving on to Illustrator Wow book and Illustrator CS2 @ Work book to learn Illustrator from different angles.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2004
I teach Illustrator and use this for my college courses. It is a fantastic book that includes lots of new material for the latest CS version. I used the previous Classroom in a Book for my classes before our school upgraded to CS. Much of the material is new or improved. There is an updated chapter on transparency and lots of new features are covered - like the 3D effects, which have a new chapter. In fact there are several new chapters covering new features - making it difficult to determine how much to include in a semester long course - but the book lets my students go through additional material on their own following the course. I find it silly that someone who has not read the book (only flipped through it at a local bookstore) has decided to provide a poor review. I'd encourage they take the time and actually read the book. I have not found any errors, and I've been using Illustrator since version 3.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
What is it about the Classroom in a Book series that I devour like ice cream in the middle of August in Texas? It has to do with the richness of the presentation, the simplicity of design and the total coverage of material that you don't get in the box with the CD, or more importantly buy direct online and dont have a manual.

If you are starting out and don't know squat about CS2 Illustrator, or are migrating from another drawing program, you need this to get by. You need this too if your upgrading from older versions. What the hell, you just laid major coin on Illustrator, now dig a bit deeper and get to know all of what you invested all those late nights in paying for Illustrator.

Keeper and reference tool for all.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2007
Being a newbie in the graphics arts department, I have purchased a few books on the subject (forget the Adobe help section!), and while "CS2 In A Classroom" is more or less "official" Adobe stuff, it is written so that one like myself with just a little experience with Illustrator can duplicate and understand the material, having to "fill in" on occassion when a subject seems to be a bit glossed over. If you're on my level, get the book. You'll be glad you did.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2005
Adobe Illustrator CS Classroom in a Book (like the other books in the series) is extremely thorough, providing repeated opportunities to try the features of the software. After finishing the lessons, it's a great resource to have nearby.

The 19 lessons provide step-by-step instructions and screenshots for both Mac and Windows environments, so you don't have to worry about which version of Illustrator you are using. Each lesson also ends with Review Questions (with answers) to help you sum up the main points of each lesson. The attached CD-ROM provides partially finished files to use in the lessons and examples of the finished product, so you can tell if you completed the lesson successfully.

Finally, don't expect to master all of the functions by time you finish the book. You will learn quite a bit, but simply following the steps in the book once will not provide you mastery of this powerful piece of software. Still, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about learning how to use Illustrator.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2005
While some of the exercises may be helpful to some users, beginners will get lost in quite a few places. I managed fine because not only am I a bit past intermediate skills, but I have many years' experience as a senior tech writer. The problem is one that started several years' ago with the Adobe books, which used to be excellent.

In addition to dozens of typographical errors, steps are often missing and some are even wrong. I pointed out this problem to Adobe with their first release of the "Classroom" book for InDesign. Guess they're not listening because the volume for Illustrator CS is definitely not worth the money. Pick out one of the other well-reviewed volumes.

Don't buy this one!
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