The newest member of the Fiasco team, junior designer and all round nice guy Tom, discusses his experience in working with Adobe Illustrator to create initial web visuals and the advantages and disadvantages of using the vector based program over the more traditional, pixel-pushing practice of Photoshop.
“I was surprised to find that Fiasco Design uses Illustrator at the initial stages of web design and now that I’ve adjusted to working in this way myself, I can really see the benefits.”
“Initially it took time to get used to using guides, grids and sizing art-boards and this was proved to be a little confusing at first. The difficulty comes as some of the telling pixel based cues I was used to in Photoshop, are not the same in Illustrator, meaning you can become unsure of relative object sizes.”
“After carefully establishing guides and art boards you are left with the illustrative freedom of vector based designs, which, for concept designs not concerned with absolute pixel perfect accuracy, are ideal. After all, most web design is not laden with photographs but rather predominantly made up of text, line art and boxes which Illustrator excels in.”
“Another advantage is the naturally tidy organisation of layers and artboards. Creating complex files that house several “pages” can be organised to leave you with a single layer per version or for different options, avoiding a daunting tower of layers. This also handily saves on the use of countless files as you spread out over artboards and layers in the newer versions of Illustrator rather than separate files. These can then be exported into multi-paged PDFs for presenting quite easily.”
“Admittedly, Illustrator can be messy when it comes to handling photographs, but this is a small setback in the early stages. Overall I’ve found Illustrator to be very useful and agile for layouts and concept designs.”
We all work in different ways and it’s important to find what works best for you so you’re comfortable with the programs you’re using and getting the most from your time. This said, trying new ways of working and exploring different programs is all part of becoming a more rounded designer and pushing yourself forward.
How do you work when designing web templates and visuals? Do you ride regular or goofy? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a description of your working process and share your ideas with the online community.