If I needed to perform in Adobe Illustrator with only 20% of the ideal training time, what would you have me focus on? Especially on logo design aspect
- Pen tool
- Pen Tool
- Pen Tool
- Pathfinder Operations / Shape Builder Tool
- Alignment options
- Path operations - Joining, cutting, altering
- The Appearance Panel
- Effects - Specifically the Distort & Transform effects (others can be learned much later)
While doing all this learn about snapping, outlining type, swatch management/types.
The truth of the matter is almost every single file I create uses a different set of tools/features. The items above are most commonly used. In fact, probably used in every single file I ever create to some degree.
Pen Tool is intentionally repeated because a very strong understanding of the Pen tool will translate to many other areas and tools. The Pen Tool offers a core understanding of how bezier curves are created and altered.
I would also suggest that you disable the
Bounding Box (View > Hide Bounding Box). Without the Bounding Box you will be forced to learn better, often more accurate, ways to manipulate objects. You really don't need the Bounding box 99.9% of the time. It was added in CS4 to make Corel Users feel more comfortable. The only thing the Bounding Box does no other feature does is, easily resize an area text box without distorting text, that's it. If you need to scale or stretch.... use the Free Transform Tool. It does everything the Bounding Box will do (except the area text box thing) plus more and doesn't constantly get in the way of the visual preview of objects.