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Customer Review

5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful book, March 2, 2012
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This review is from: Illustrator CS5 Digital Classroom, (Book and Video Training) (Paperback)
I am a complete novice with Illustrator and am taking a class in college that requires me to do artboards using Illustrator. I had hoped that this book, given its good user review, would get me going fast since I have very little time to learn this software before I need to be productive. Unfortunately this book is really poorly written for someone in my situation. If you have lots of time to casually learn illustrator and want to learn only the very basic stuff in a sequential order, this book might be fine. But I need to know how to do clipping masks, how to import and modify drawings created in other programs like Sketchup, and to create sophisticated-looking overlays using a combination of photographs and line work, and I need to know it fast. This book is a waste of time for me - it takes you step-by-step through creating some goofy greeting-cart artwork, but doesn't go into depth on anything. The index is worthless (clipping masks were nowhere to be found) and many of the more powerful features of Illustrator appear not to be discussed. The arrangement of the material isn't useful for someone needing to quickly refer to specific tools or features. Maybe someone with a casual interest in learning the basics at a relaxed pace could get something out of this book, but as for me I'm buying a better book ASAP, and it shouldn't be hard to find a better one. This book sets the bar pretty low.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 10, 2012 11:56:54 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 14, 2012 11:32:50 PM PDT
This review is like comparing a truck to a race car, and complaining that the race car doesn't have enough room to hold your groceries, or comparing an apartment to a house in the suburbs. It's not that one is good and the other bad - and to provide a one star review because you prefer one to the other (or need one vs. the other) really isn't helpful.
This book provides a clear path for a user to start learning Illustrator as a drawing tool. Whether you want to use it to create artwork, text, and designs for online or interactive use, for printing, or even for things like fashion design or architecture. If you're looking for a complete course for learning essential Illustrator skills, this is the right book for you.
But if you have one or two specific questions about Illustrator, you need a reference book. More importantly, you should use the Search Inside feature on Amazon to confirm the content is covered to your satisfaction before purchasing the book.
If you are looking for a reference book because you only want to perform one specific task, and don't want to learn all the essential skills, then this book might not be the best choice. But most new users don't import files from Google Sketchup, so it isn't covered in this book. Regarding the coverage of importing images overall, this gets covered in chapter 1 (page 27) and chapter 5 has a huge section on importing and tracing images, while chapter 7 covers importing type.
If the book was not accurate, or the description misleading, I could understand this review. But thousands of people have used this book to learn Illustrator, and the content is so carefully presented to make it easy for a new user to learn the topic, that it's disappointing that a reader would simply state that it doesn't meet their specific needs, and thus must be of no value. A complete table of contents is available on the Digital Classroom dot com website and so is a sample chapter and video, and you can see some of the videos here on the Amazon site as well.

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 2:17:40 PM PST
Colorado Mom says:
What "better book" did you find? I tend to like the classroom in a book series but if you know a better book that gets you there to the grit faster,I'd like to know about it too!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2012 7:33:46 AM PST
Also consider Adobe Illustrator CS6 Digital Classroom - the CS6 version of this book, which was fully updated and revised for CS6. If you like the C.I.B. series, you'll certainly like the Digital Classroom. One key advantage of the Digital Classroom is that every lesson includes video tutorials that relate directly to the content in the lesson. These are available on the DVD with the printed book, or online for Kindle users. Additionally, as you see by these posts, the authors and editors are active and respond to inquiries and feedback. Best wishes learning Illustrator!
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