The 10 most popular Illustrator tutorials from 2014 by leading illustrators and designers.

These are the most popular Adobe Illustrator tutorials that we've published during 2014 - covering techniques for designing brilliant art, graphics and type. Written by some of the UK and Europe's best creatives, these five tutorials cover how to bring a vector portrait to life, how to design an animal in the shape of a letter, how to add a sense of motion to a vector graphic or artwork, how to decorate type and how to design vector patterns to be printed or lasercut for hanging as art.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Create stylish vector portraits

In this tutorial, Eelco van den Berg lets you behind the curtain to see how he creates his incredible vector portraits by turning a photo into a ‘poppy’ vector illustration.

You will learn quick and easy Photoshop adjustments that prepare artwork for translation into vector shapes. He shows you how to trace the basic shapes using the main tools in Illustrator, and how to use layers to organise the photos and your new vector artwork.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Add motion to an artwork

In this tutorial, illustrator Eric Van Den Boom explains how you can use lines and patterns to add a sense of motion to your illustration or photograph.

Here you’ll learn how to make your own pattern swatches and transform them. You’ll then use them to make your football player appear to be at the centre of the action, resulting in a more dynamic piece.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Add stylish ornaments to type

Adding ornaments to type has enjoyed a revival recently, but it's an artform which has been around for many centuries.

Whether you want to create a logo, a graphic for anything from video or animation to packaging, or a headline – this tutorial will show you the basics of adding ornament to type in conjunction with Illustrator techniques such as Live trace and the Pathfinder panel.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Create vector animal type

Illustrator Marcus Reed says that the idea behind his Animal Alphabet project was to create an engaging and creative way of helping children learn about animals and the alphabet, through the mediums of flash cards and prints.

He used geometric shapes and symmetry for the illustrations, a muted palette and use of space to help give a stylised approach to the concept.

Here he details the approaches he used for one of the letterforms, L is for Lion, from initial sketches to vector design in Illustrator to the final artwork.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Create lasercut metal art from vector patterns

Barnsley’s ‘Enlightened Exhibition’ (made possible by Cutting Technologies and design studio DMSQD) brought together a selection of artists and designers to create lasercut pieces of art and furniture to show quite what’s capable of the lasercutting technology in 2014.

For the show, artist Ben The Illustrator designed a new surface pattern inspired by the Australian rainforest, a lush little scene featuring a Wompoo Fruit Dove, which he then developed into a (rather heavy) lasercut metal installation.