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Vector Basic Training: A Systematic Creative Process for Building Precision Vector Artwork (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0134176734
ISBN-10: 0134176731
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The problem with vector images today is that I hate most of them! Mainly because something dies between the drawing and the precision vector graphic version. Perhaps it’s the illustration’s soul lost in the transition? Most vector images today contain too many cyber-slick gradations; they are too mathematically perfect, like many of the billions of images populating millions of microstock sites that lack anything real and human. If Von’s book can help improve a designer’s ability to create better vector images, I’m all for it. And remember: Just because you can make everything a gradation doesn’t mean you should make everything a gradation.”

— Charles S. Anderson, Founder of CSA Design 


With Vector Basic Training, Von Glitschka shames me. And I thank him for it. He reminds me that I am walking a tightrope of forsaking my first love: drawing. Von approaches the process with an honor and reverence that emerges from a tradition rooted in art as much as design. His depth of thought, trained hand, and ability to art direct himself have produced a stunning body of work, and he brings it all home in VBT to share with the reader. That’s the thing with Von—not only is he a powerful talent, he’s gracious enough to share it all. I’ll be keeping my copy of VBT next to my Mac and, yes, my sketchpad.” 

— Terry Marks, Creative Principal of TMARKS Design Studio 


Von’s experience as an award-winning ‘illustrative designer’ enables him to provide a valuable methodology for creating vector artwork guaranteed to produce results for every designer.” 

— Earl Gee, Creative Director, Gee + Chung Design 


As president of the School of Advertising Art (SAA), I would like to thank Von for writing this book. Young designers need to understand the power of the drawing process, and they need to know that time spent sketching before jumping to the computer is time well spent on any project. Von clearly demonstrates this philosophy throughout the book by incorporating interesting visual examples of his work. I am excited to share Vector Basic Training, Second Edition with SAA students.” 

— Jessica Graves, President, School of Advertising Art, Kettering, Ohio  

About the Author

Von Glitschka has created award-winning illustrative design for over 27 years through his multidisciplinary firm, Glitschka Studios. Von has collaborated on some of the most respected global brands with ad agencies, design firms, and in-house art departments from around the world. Von’s mix of humor, inspiration, great design, and solid, creative methodology make him a sought-after speaker on the topics of design and creativity. He also develops skill-based design courses for Lynda.com and can usually be found hanging out on Twitter (@vonster) posting snarky tweets about anything and everything. Von lives and works in Salem, Oregon.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 2 edition (October 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0134176731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0134176734
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a how-to book. You will not learn how to draw an awesome tiger or a sweet ninja in the Vonster style. You will not find any magical buttons in Adobe Illustrator that autodraw your work.

On the other hand, this is definitely a how-to book. You will learn how to think, follow a creative process and you will learn how to construct vector artwork.

As a designer, creating quality, polished vector art can often be the hardest part of the job. Frequently, the construction methodology and the 'Why?' takes a backseat to other things while you're in school; it takes time to learn these once you're working in the field. Von generously pulls back the curtain and gives everyone a long, detailed look at the steps his creative process takes, but also the reasoning behind everything he does. It's rare to have such an in-depth, practical look at creative methodology and this book offers exactly that.

I cannot recommend this book enough. If you're a pro or if you're a student, it doesn't matter. If you're in design school you need to own this book. I promise that your portfolios will be better for it when you graduate. I followed Von's blog for years, learning lessons where I could to enhance my own skill set. It's wonderful to see his process in this richly deconstructed view and understand that you too can produce quality vector artwork if you'll apply the theories and practices he puts forth. It's a little like taking a digital illustration course from the man himself, only you don't have to commute or wake up on time for class.

UPDATE: I wanted to add to the review I wrote for the 1st edition. Glitschka has included many pieces of new artwork and dedicated a chapter to Color and Detailing, which is very well-thought out. The tone is clear and direct and the visual examples are easy to understand, making this edition a must-have for beginners and pros alike.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The professional reviewers and the other reviewers previous to my entry have summarized and praised the book well. Anyone working in Illustrator needs this book in their reference library. I bought his first edition and read and highlighted every line and as a result my work improved a 100%. However, like any book based on computer software you have to upgrade your reference materials to keep up with the software.

The first part of the book has the same basic information as the first edition. Understanding and following Glitschka's basic principals: analog to digital, PPP (precise point placement) and the "clock method" will take you from mediocre vector artist to a great one. There is no need to mess with perfection.

What is new and what I appreciate it is the overview of the Astute Graphic's plug-ins, which while not absolutely necessary, do speed up your work tremendously. Given the work I do (animal illustrations) I can no longer work without Astute Graphic's Vector Scribe, Stylism, Smart Remove Tool, and Collider. All these tools make Illustrator's native tools seem clunky and archaic.

The last three chapters are worth the price of the book. These chapters, especially the coloring, are a manual to the the tutorials on the Peach pit site that come with the book (plus his tutorials on lynda.com). I found the concepts of layering gradients on top of each other with the myriad transparencies and tints difficult concept and having a book to follow is extremely helpful. Understanding Glitska's meticulous workflow can help give your work that extra edge to rise above your peers in the fast moving digital design and illustration business.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've become good friends with Von through his books and Lynda.com courses. Anytime Von shares something you can tell it's been unbelievably well thought out and what's truly amazing is how much of it there is. The amount of content he provides and on such a high level is truly amazing. He's not only a great designer/artist but a great teacher as well. If you want to be an artist/designer and don't necessarily want to do vectors still follow Von and pick up this book you'll get tons out of it.

P.S. I have over 3 large bookshelves filled with art books and I think this is my first review...that should tell you something.
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Read this while I was enrolled in my first ever graphic arts course where I learned Illustrator basics. It was really eye-opening to read along, as I got two different perspectives on how to do certain things. It's got an excellent balance of text and artwork, and I found the amount of explanations and steps adequate.
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Format: Paperback
Many other vector training resources focus on the functionality of Adobe Illustrator, but what separates the Vonster's approach is that he focuses on the most important aspect of design - DRAWING. Sure, you can make a tutorial that shows me how to make a graphic leaf in illustrator, and now I know how to do it your way, but with Vector Basic Training, you are shown how to take YOUR art and create vector graphics so you are expressing yourself while still creating high quality graphics.

This book does a LOT of things well, but the best is the emphasis on workflow and formulating a plan. After reading this book I feel much more confident in my graphic design abilities, and the reason is because it helped me to take my analog drawings and turn them into vectors, rather than trying to make vectors as if they were a separate form of art all together. This keeps my designs fresh and original instead of looking like every other freshman graphic design student's vector art.

I could go on and on about the details of the book, but this book stands out from a lot of other material because Von's personality comes through in the writing. You absolutely get the feeling you are learning from not just a professional, but someone who cares about this work and wants to share his experience, rather than a dry, dull, step-by-step instruction manual about Illustrator. The book is so much more, going into approaches on art and design in general that can apply to any visual media.

This book unlocked a lot for me creatively, inspired me to draw a lot more, and helped me connect my hand drawings with a digital platform.
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