Rather than prettifying all plots in Illustrator, I prefer doing as much as possible already in Matlab. Chances that you’ll have to regenerate the figures at some point (because you decide to change one step somewhere in your analysis pipeline, say…), and by scripting the plots as much as possible you can replace your pdfs with an updated one with just one click.
Here, I’ll make an overview of several types of plots I use a lot, and my strategies for making them look good. Some final touches in Illustrator might not be possible to avoid, but this should get you quite far. Continue reading