Adobe conducted research to identify the foundational skills students need to effectively communicate using digital media tools. Based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world, the objectives cover entry-level skill expectations for graphic design and illustration.
An individual earning this certification has approximately 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience with the product, and is familiar with core features and capabilities, as well as relevant career concepts.
The Adobe Certified Associate certification demonstrates mastery of the following skills:
1 Working in the Design Industry
This objective covers critical concepts related to working with colleagues and clients as well as crucial legal, technical, and design-related knowledge.
- 1.Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing images.
- Determine whether content is relevant to the purpose, audience, and audience needs.
1.2 Communicate with colleagues and clients about design plans.
- Demonstrate knowledge of techniques for communicating about design plans with peers and clients.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic project management concepts.
1.3 Determine the type of copyright, permissions, and licensing required to use specific content.
- Identify legal and ethical considerations for using third-party content, such as copyright, permissions, and licensing.
- Identify when and how to obtain permission to use images of people and locations.
1.4 Demonstrate an understanding of key terminology related to digital images.
- Demonstrate knowledge of digital image terminology.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how color is created in digital images.
1.5 Demonstrate knowledge of basic design principles and best practices employed in the design industry.
2 Project Setup and Interface
This objective covers the interface setup and program settings that assist in an efficient and effective workflow, as well as knowledge about ingesting digital assets for a project.
- Communicate visually using the elements and principles of design and common design techniques.
- Identify and use common typographic adjustments to create contrast and hierarchy, and enhanced readability.
- Define common photographic and cinematic composition terms and principles.
2.1 Create a document with the appropriate settings for web, print, and video.
- Set appropriate document settings for printed and onscreen images.
- Create document presets to reuse for specific project needs.
2.2 Navigate, organize, and customize the application workspace.
- Identify and manipulate elements of the Illustrator interface.
- Organize and customize the workspace.
- Configure application preferences.
2.3 Use non-printing design tools in the interface to aid in design or workflow.
- Navigate documents.
- Use rulers.
- Use guides and grids..
- Use views and modes to work efficiently with vector graphics.
2.4 Import assets into a project.
- Open or import images.
- Place assets in an Illustrator document.
2.5 Manage colors, swatches, and gradients.
- Set the active fill and stroke colors.
- Create and customize gradients.
- Create, manage, and edit swatches and swatch libraries.
- Use the Color Guide panel to select coordinated colors.
2.6 Manage brushes, symbols, styles, and patterns.
3 Organizing Documents
This objective covers document structure such as layers, tracks, and managing document structure for efficient workflows.
- Open and browse libraries of included brushes, symbols, graphic styles, and patterns.
- Create and edit brushes, symbols, styles, and patterns.
3.1 Use layers to manage design elements.
- Use the Layers panel to modify layers.
- Manage layers in a complex project.
- Work with multiple layers.
3.2 Modify layer visibility using opacity and masks.
4 Creating and Modifying Visual Elements
This objective covers core tools and functionality of the application, as well as tools that affect the visual appearance of document elements.
- Adjust a layer’s opacity.
- Create, apply, and manipulate clipping masks.
4.1 Use core tools and features to create visual elements.
- Create images using a variety of tools.
- Modify and edit vector images using a variety of vector tools.
4.2 Add and manipulate text using appropriate typographic settings.
- Use type tools to add typography to a design.
- Use appropriate character settings in a design.
- Use appropriate paragraph settings in a design.
- Convert text to graphics.
- Manage text flow across multiple text areas.
4.3 Make, manage, and manipulate selections.
- Select objects using a variety of tools.
- Modify and refine selections using various methods..
- Group or ungroup selections.
4.4 Transform digital graphics and media.
- Modify artboards.
- Rotate, flip, and transform individual layers, objects, selections, groups, or graphical elements.
4.5 Use basic reconstructing and editing techniques to manipulate digital graphics and media.
- Apply basic auto-correction methods and tools.
- Repair and reconstruct images.
- Evaluate or adjust the appearance of objects, selections, or layers.
- Use Image Trace to create vectors from bitmap graphics.
4.6 Modify the appearance of design elements using effects and graphic styles.
5 Publishing Digital Media
This objective covers saving and exporting documents or assets within individual layers or selections.
- Use effects to modify images.
- Create, edit, and save Graphic Styles.
- Expand the appearance of objects.
5.1 Prepare images for export to web, print, and video.
- Check documents for errors and project specifications.
5.2 Export or save digital images to various file formats.
- Save in the native file format for Illustrator (.ai).
- Save images in appropriate formats for print or screen.
- Export project elements.
- Package an Illustrator project.