Review: Adobe Illustrator CS2 Gone Wild

Illustrator CS2 Gone WildAdobe Illustrator CS2 Gone Wild by David Karlins with Bruce K. Hopkins (Wiley, 2005) begins by announcing itself as a different kind of book that pushes Illustrator in new directions. The book is not intended as a basic Illustrator book and provides none of the usual basics like workspace descriptions or tool descriptions. Instead, readers are expected to be experienced Illustrator users who want to try some new (and wild) projects and learn some new techniques.

Several of the projects in the book make use of Illustrator CS2’s new Live Paint and Live Trace features, but old familar Illustrator features are put to new uses in the book’s pages as well. In keeping with the “gone wild” theme, the book’s tone is light and humorous.

There’s no CD with project files. Readers are expected to take the ideas and techniques featured in the book’s pages and turn out creative new illustrations of their own. There’s an emphasis on adapting the techniques with your own creativity in the book’s pages, rather than a slavish set of step-by-step instructions leading to a finished illustration that must look exactly like the example.

One thing I loved (you know me) about this book was a small project at the very end of the book that sets up some illustrations in CSS layers for a mouseover show and hide area on a web page. Illustrator generates the CSS for this! I don’t know how good the CSS is, or how much extra HTML code gets generated in the process, but I’m very happy to see graphic tools moving in this direction, even if the implementation isn’t yet perfect. If anyone has tried this with Illustrator CS2 and can point to a web page where I can see it in action, I’d love to know about it.

The cover image on both the site and the site doesn’t match the cover on the book I received, so be sure you are getting the Illustrator CS2 version of the book if you buy it. If you are teaching an advanced Illustrator class, you should check this book out.

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