December 5, 2008

Just in Time for the Holidays: Real World Illustrator CS4

Real World Illustrator CS4 is finally a reality! The book is at the printer and will ship from the publisher on December 18, 2008 - YAY! As most of you know, I started the Real World Illustrator Blog shortly after I published the CS2 edition of the book. And I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your wonderful support and participation over the years! Many of your comments and suggestions have helped me create what is the most significant update to the Real World Illustrator book since I've been working on it.

Here's an overview of what you'll find in the CS4 edition of the book:

Past editions of Real World Illustrator were printed in black and white (with a small color insert), which unfortunately, didn't do justice to many of the features. So I was thrilled when I found out that my publisher approved my request to do the entire book in color this time! Screenshots look better, the instructions and details are more clearly understood, and the book looks bright, colorful, and great!

As they say, be careful what you wish for. Immediately after I got the approval from my publisher to do the entire book in color, I realized the ramifications of that -- I would need to create great looking art for the examples in the book! Rather than panic, I turned towards my friends over at iStockPhoto. Especially after meeting several artists during my visit to Melbourne this past summer, I was able to find some really amazing artists. All of the artwork that appears in the book is derived from a short list of iStockPhoto illustrators. I arranged it so that each chapter features the artwork from a different illustrator. I'm sure you'll enjoy their art that appears in the book, and you can also check out their artwork on iStockPhoto as well. In the order in which they appear in the book, the featured artists are: Julie Felton (jfelton), Simon Oxley (simonox), John Woodcock (johnwoodcock), Cheryl Graham (freetransform), Diane Labombarbe (diane555), Kemie Guaida Ortega (kemie), Che McPherson (chemc), Jennifer Borton (bortonia), Fanelie Rosier (absolutely_frenchy), and Sam Posnick (sposnick).

In the book, as you would expect, I thoroughly cover the new features found in Illustrator CS4, including multiple artboards and the Blob Brush tool. Of course, I also go into my usual in-depth detail on all of the nuances of the application, and cover all of the enhancements like the Appearance panel, smart guides, Separations preview, color blindness preview, and more. I still think Real World Illustrator has more information on the Live Color feature (which was added in CS3) than any other book or training materials that I've seen to date.

Based on a tremendous amount of helpful feedback that I've received over the years, I have reformatted the structure of the book to better cover the features in a more conceptual way. In this new format, you can easily read the book from cover to cover, but even more so, the book serves as an incredible reference as the features are grouped together in a more intuitive fashion. I've also made significant updates and even complete rewrites of the chapters. For example, the chapter covering web graphics is almost entire new and covers the challenges of using Illustrator to create precise pixel-perfect and antialiased artwork. The featured artwork that I use throughout the book also allowed me to provide examples that are both clear and understandable.

Each edition of Real World Illustrator gets a fabulous new illustration, and CS4 is certainly no different. Von Glitschka was hired to create the cover illustration for the CS4 edition and he doesn't disappoint. Von's use of color and his style has always appealed to me, and in a blog post, Von goes into detail on what inspired him for this particular project. In fact, I enjoyed working with Von so much that I also asked him to create an identity for my upcoming relaunch of


Gary Spedding, Ph.D. said...


I know you are under obligations with the Publisher but shouldn't you have created the cover image in Illustrator?!

Mordy Golding said...

Surely you jest, Gary :)

I know my place. I can teach a whole lot better than I can draw. My background is in art production, not art creation. Alas, I wish I could visual masterpieces. Maybe in another life :)

daniel said...


Good luck on your new book. I'm looking forward to reading it.


Gary Spedding, Ph.D. said...

No jest - I love everything you care to share with us and I know where you point out your limitations. I just enjoyed your Lynda Training Titles and noted some gems amongt the older titles in there. Worth a look at by newbies and seasoned folks alike.

Have a Great Holiday Season,


DL Smith said...

Awesome, Mordy! Can't wait to see the new book.

Jean-Claude Tremblay said...

The cover is wonderful! Von have done a great job again. I can’t wait to see this book. I will probably open it in the middle and put my nose in it and sniff the smell of fresh ink. Oups... Old print guy habit!