Saturday, May 26, 2007

Create Vector Graphics in Illustrator and Freehand

Many designers I talk to love Photoshop. They're experienced with it and know how it works, so they use it for almost everything. But when it comes to using Illustrator or Freehand, they're a lot less comfortable. "I know I can do that Photoshop," they think. "Why bother with Illustrator?"
I'll answer that question in this, the first article from a series on vector images. In subsequent parts of the series, we'll take the fundamentals we'll learn here and see how they can be applied to a range of more complex design tasks.
If you think Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand are all about creating boring geometric shapes, think again. By the end of this article, you'll have seen some very cool applications of vector graphics in design practice.
Why Vectors?
Once upon a time, people had to use pen and paper to compose letters or write articles. College papers were drafted on stacks of notebook paper; lots of lines crossed out unwanted words or sentences, while little carets inserted additional words or phrases. It wasn't unusual to see garbage cans full of crumpled pieces of paper (this was also before recycling), or for writers to mark pages with arrows or footnotes that pointed to other places where they wanted to insert another paragraph or two... more

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