Most skilled and wise web developers prefer working closely with designers to create the best of websites for clients. They also make use of a wide variety of tools for code generation, concepting, content creation, and wireframing as an integral part of online workflow. However, many developers tend to go back to the same old Adobe Illustrator. It is one of the hot favorites among these professionals. Why?
Most people believe that the responsive design almost killed the static design process. Is it the truth? Not exactly! In fact, it made it tougher. Illustrator comes equipped with a variety of tools and features that can be used for several purposes such as creating simple content, mockups (wireframing), static sites, full-scale responsive designs and much more.
Although the workflow entirely depends on the developer’s needs and convenience, it is crucial to pay attention to constantly evolving content is on the World Wide Web. These are getting mobile optimized, cooler, leaner, and more user-friendly. So, it is wise to give a critic’s eye at the tools used and assess if they make for the best choice for projects undertaken at present and in future.
Here are the major reasons Illustrator makes for an integral part of web workflow:
1. PNG, SVG, GIF, JPG – Effortless!
Illustrator is a vector tool. Hence, it is capable of generating optimized web content as PNG, SVG, GIF, or JPG graphics formats. The World Wide Web is constantly evolving. Developers are using scalable vector graphics content on sites. This is very useful for designing a responsive website and its content.
2. Resolution Independence
Illustrator is fundamentally vector-oriented (based on “points and math”), to be precise. It allows developers to create artwork that can be scaled infinitely and look attractive. Content online should be optimized for virtually all sizes.
3. Hosted and Icon Fonts
Adobe Illustrator is part of the Creative Cloud. Hence, subscribers will automatically have access to the Typekit library. So, an entire library of hosted fonts can be used in the Illustrator designs as well as on the website. Icon fonts can be used for buttons, social icons, and many more. You can choose from a dozen of icon font sites, including Genericons and Font Awesome. Many allow downloading of icon font(s) offered, including a desktop font which can be installed so that the icon fonts can be used in Illustrator while the designing process is in action.
4. Time-Saving Features and Symbols
Illustrator comes equipped with many time-saving features including graphic styles, symbols (with 9-slice scaling), live shapes, text, dynamic buttons, global swatches, and many more. Symbols help reusing artwork and maintaining consistency. Any artwork saved as a symbol can be utilized several times in a document. Other features include Text and Graphic Styles, Live Shapes, Global Swatches etc.
5. Pixel Perfection
Since websites are usually built with something similar to a framework comprising of a fluid grid (CSS), a grid is designed by most developers. It may be quite helpful to match the design to the grid, especially when the website is at the development stage in Illustrator. Designing to a grid is also associated to achieving pixel perfection. In terms of Illustrator, this means ensuring alignment to built-in pixel grid. Illustrator provides a series of web and device profiles when creating a new document (File > New) for starting a design. The process sets the color space as RGB. Units are set as pixels. You can get variety of document sizes. “Align New Objects to Pixel Grid” setting is also turned on. If you need to know more so feel free to ask us any question: smanikdesign.com
6. Integration to Existing Framework
If you prefer starting a web development project with a specific framework or platform in mind or design with larger frameworks such as Zurb Foundation or Twitter’s Bootstrap, you may add shared libraries for your design components.
7. Capable of Extracting CSS
Don’t use this feature often? Well, it is certainly an added benefit! The CSS Properties panel was added by Illustrator a few versions back (Window > CSS Properties). It can be used for extracting CSS from artwork, text, and other content. Thereafter, it can be exported it as a CSS file or you may copy and paste it to a favorite editor. The technique is very helpful for designers who would hand off front-end CSS to the developer. The CSS Properties panel is also capable of saving PNG files from artwork.
8. Creates Interactive Prototypes
Adding basic interactivity to design really helps when using Illustrator for developing a web design mockup. You may later share it with your clients. It will let you gain a better insight into the UX and make changes to the UI way before creating a line of code. A variety of prototyping tools are available to choose from.
With all of the above listed amazing tools and features at disposal, Adobe Illustrator CC is definitely an amazing addition to any web workflow.