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Vector-Based Illustration

Image created in Illustrator by Rachel Stocker, UM School of Media Arts

Jan. 6 - Feb. 14

Location: Online
Hours of Instruction: 36

Course Fee:



Register Now

Deadline is Dec. 23.

Course Policies



This 6-week online course on Vector-Based Illustration using Adobe Illustrator is the third in the Digital Design Certificate Program. It is possible for some students to jump into this course without having had the previous two courses in the series, but not recommended, as the information is offered sequentially and the lessons build upon one another.  If you have not taken Fundamentals of Digital Color and Design and Intro to Still Image Design, but think you would like to register for this course, please discuss it with the academic coordinator for this program, Rick Hughes by emailing

Course Description:

Adobe Illustrator is the leading software for vector-based art creation. Familiarize yourself with Illustrator tools, interface, and palettes. Learn how to draw with the pen and pencil tools, create curves, and select objects, and then combine these with geometric objects. Modify objects with reshape, transform, and arrange commands. Stroke your paths and color your shapes, add type to your designs, and work with layers and filters. Use brushes, gradients, and blends; open and import images from other applications; and learn what file formats correspond to different outputs. There will be a student project gallery, critique and feedback areas, and downloadable videos specific to the curriculum.

Students should anticipate spending 2 hours on an exercise, 3 or more hours on a project, and 1 hour on peer review each week. The course has an asynchronous learning environment which means students do not have to log on to the course at specific times. However, the instructors may post deadlines for course projects or other assignments.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the program students will have:
• A solid understanding of the basic toolsets and techniques of Illustrator
• Enhanced design capabilities in 2D digital design
• Knowledge of applicable technical standards
• A portfolio of still image projects


Basic computer literacy and an interest in art and design for either personal or professional purposes.

Required Materials:

Students can use either a Mac or a PC and need Adobe Illustrator for this course.  All other resources will be provided.

View the necessary computer system requirements at

About the Instructor:

Instructor Photo: Greg TwiggGregory Twigg

Associate Professor, Media Arts
University of Montana
Teaching areas: Digital illustration, Motion Design

Twigg received a B.A. in Fine Art as a UM undergraduate, and later completed an MFA in the newly developing Media Arts sector. This combination of traditional and more cutting-edge studies has served him well, as he finds numerous ways to weave the two realms into his work.  After graduate school, Twigg worked full-time for a local advertising firm, where, for a year and a half, he sharpened his image and motion software skills. When  the opportunity arose to teach at the university in 2003, he seized it. Though he still keeps his hands in numerous, freelance opportunities, he has a passion and a gift for teaching his skills to others. He seems to truly appreciate being, as he says, "involved in the variety of creative work that students bring to the table" when working in the Media Arts. Awards: 2004 - Two Gold Addys were awarded by the Montana Addys for his animation work with the Montana Repertory Theater on commercials for their productions of "Steel Magnolias" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." Greg also was awarded a Judges Commendation on his animation for "Steel Magnolias." 

  • School of Extended & Lifelong Learning
  • The University of Montana
  • 32 Campus Drive
  • Missoula, MT  59812
  • Phone: (406) 243-2900
  • Fax: (406) 243-2047
  • Email: