Illustrator has long been the industry-standard platform for working with vectors. But if the world of UX is teaching us any lessons, the design industry is full of surprises. And it’s open to disruptors. If you want to make the switch from Illustrator to Vecornator, it has never been easier.
Even if you’re not a designer, you’ve probably heard of Illustrator before.
Like any software tool, Illustrator started small (if you can imagine); but unlike most other software tools, it has defined an industry.
Adobe Illustrator began back in 1986, mainly as a graphic design, font, and logo design software. The main purpose for Adobe Illustrator was to integrate the use of mathematical equations for smooth and curved lines that would form shapes based on Bezier curves; aka Vectors.
To showcase this concept, Adobe chose an image to speak louder than their words stuffed with mathematical vernacular. Did the image do its job? Looking at it now, it might seem strange that it did. But it really, really did. Since the introduction of Illustrator 1 in 1988 the world of vectors began to take shape, literally. It’s truly fantastic what designers can achieve today with math.
What is Adobe Illustrator?
Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphic design program, generally used as part of a larger design flow to create posters, symbols, logos, patterns, icons, and so on.
It’s become widely used by graphic designers, visual artists, web designers, and professional illustrators in order to create high quality artwork. “High quality”, of course, here refers to the fact that vectors are quite amazingly capable of being zoomed in infinitely, and edited infinitely.
Vector Graphics in Adobe Illustrator
Let’s look a bit closer at vectors, shall we? This is one of the most important features of Adobe Illustrator.
A vector is another name for a graphic shape or line that is created by a mathematical equation. This means that the object’s quality is independent of the resolution at which it is displayed. By comparison, photographs or raster graphics are resolution-dependent, because they are made from many tiny colored squares, called pixels. Their quality decreases as the images are enlarged.
Each vector has to pass through a location known as a node, which determines the vector’s path, and has various attributes such as color, curve, fill, shape, and thickness. The way you define these attributes will eventually define the way that your artwork will be displayed.
There’s a lot more to say about vectors, but you can learn all that by going to our Design Tips section dedicated to this type of graphics.
How to use Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is mostly used to create digital graphics designed for the web, including logos, diagrams, charts, infographics, cartoons, and illustrations.
You can use Illustrator to trace a raster image, which can then give your vector illustration the impression of a free-hand drawing. But you can also opt to draw your vector illustration free-hand as well.
Illustrator also makes it possible to manipulate text in many different ways, making it useful for creating posters or postcards, for example.
Some designers also use Illustrator for creating website design mock-ups. But if you’re familiar with other UX design tools like Sketch, Figma, or even XD from Adobe, then you’ll know that interface design is maybe not the best use for such a complicated piece of software.
Skills required for Adobe Illustrator
It’s a well-known fact that the Adobe suite requires a lot of skill in order to be used effectively. In fact, this software in particular is known for being a little more difficult to use than its peers. Additionally, the vast number of features it contains may be a tad intimidating, and most designers will only end up using a small fraction of the features that the program provides.
Many people are also intimidated because they believe they have no artistic skill. If you can’t draw on paper, what makes you think you can draw on a screen? But in actuality, Adobe Illustrator and most other vector-based programs don’t require any prior knowledge of drawing or painting. While it can certainly help, it’s not a necessity.
Whilst learning all of this might be a bit overwhelming to new users, with practice comes ease. The learning curve is steep, but learning how to work with vectors is essential for any graphic designer.
An integration that can redefine your workflow
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. For us, it’s really important that designers don’t pigeonhole themselves into using just one software.
And whether we’re playing on the same team or not, we want to allow all designers to use Vectornator at any stage in their creative process. Therefore, we also need to allow them to switch to other programs, and vice-versa. So if you find that you’ve got an Illustrator file that you want to amend in Vectornator, it’s just as easy as opening any other .vectronator file. Plus, you can even save a Vectornator file as .ai.
We also provide this integration with other design softwares like Figma and Sketch. This is because we strongly believe in the concept of integrated design as a holistic approach which brings specialities together that would normally be considered separately. It takes into consideration all the modulations and steps taken during a decision-making process in design.
All of these integrations are here to make your life easier as a designer. Because we are designers too, and we understand the pain. Read more on how to import and export Illustrator compatible files into Vectornator.
What's better than taking notes and scribbling pen-on-paper? We know - digitizing them into rich text or vectors! Curious how? Then give the Bamboo Slate section a read. Hit "Next" below.