Illustrator vs. Photoshop in Web Development

d4nn0

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 15, 2005
32
0
Canada
Hi all,

Just a simple question: is there a reason, (other than effects,) that Photoshop is the choice of most web developers over Illustrator? I prefer working in Illustrator myself, due to its handling of vector images, so I'm just curious if there's something I'm missing out on.

-Danno
 

d4nn0

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 15, 2005
32
0
Canada
So... really no reason? I guess I should add that I got the impression that most web devs use PS from Smashing Magazine...
 
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decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,070
70
Use Fireworks - takes all your bitmaps from photoshop and all your vectors from illustrator, and is specifically built for the job.
 
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Darth.Titan

macrumors 68030
Oct 31, 2007
2,733
443
Austin, TX
Different tools for different purposes. Most web designers deal with more photos than vector graphics, hence the proclivity for Photoshop.

If I need to retouch photos and get them web-ready, I'm in Photoshop. If I need to create a logo and get it web-ready, I'm in Illustrator. I don't think it has anything to do with "preferring" one over the other.
 
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UTclassof89

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2008
421
0
At the end of the day, the web graphic needs to be in a pixel format, so working in Photoshop--a pixel environment where you have a pixel level control-- seems more natural. (and I say that as a long-time user of Illustrator)
 
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eponym

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2010
297
3
Illustrator is one of my all time favourite pieces of software, but web is by no means its strong suit. It lacks the control needed to do really polished, really precise web graphics.

Photoshop is based around raster artwork. And so is the web/your screen. Vectors are mathematically calculated curves which are simply being scaled to fit a certain area. You have no control over the actual specific pixels that get rendered. And when it comes to certain types of graphics (like icons), relying on the software-determined render of a vector isn't ideal. The direct scaling of a large icon into a 24x24 box won't look its best. That stuff needs to be manually tweaked (there's a reason why Helveticons for instance comes with a set of PNG files for various sizes for each and every vector icon).

And SVGs aren't a practical format on the web just yet (and still have the scaling issues I mentioned).

Illustrator should certainly be used. It complements PS very well. But IMHO, it's in no way a suitable substitute.
 
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d4nn0

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 15, 2005
32
0
Canada
I certainly see what you guys are saying. I guess that I obsess over avoiding pixelized images, although in a web environment this isn't really necessary. And I have definitely experienced the problem of an image looking different in Illustrator than it does on the webpage.

Just makes HTML 5 all the more exciting for it's vector-like abilities :)

Thanks!
-Danno
 
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Jason Beck

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2009
1,913
0
Cedar City, Utah
Me personally I am in Photoshop and Indesign and Dreamweaver the most. I do photography and design but not so much design work unless its a spread for a flyer or a portfolio book for a model that needs to go to print. I don't use Illustrator that much. I like it, but I don't use it much. I absolutely love some of the art that people do in it. Vector is awesome, scalable, and not medium inclusive.

Also aside from owning the studio I am in school right now getting my bachelors in graphic arts. I am looking forward to my Fireworks class! Just finished Dreamweaver and really enjoyed it. Illustrator is a Godlike program for printing! I love the ads, the marketing you can do with it.. just good stuff!
 
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eponym

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2010
297
3
I certainly see what you guys are saying. I guess that I obsess over avoiding pixelized images, although in a web environment this isn't really necessary. And I have definitely experienced the problem of an image looking different in Illustrator than it does on the webpage.

Just makes HTML 5 all the more exciting for it's vector-like abilities :)

Thanks!
-Danno
Small tip for when you are doing stuff in Illustrator: pay close attention to your coordinates in the transform palette and turn pixel preview on. And if you're using CS5, make use of the pixel-aligned property for objects.
 
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MCRunning

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2008
324
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I do everything in Photoshop, then once I'm done slice everything in Photoshop, then export it to Dreamweaver to code it
 
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newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,090
19
If you're doing web stuff, you really shouldn't be using Photoshop or Illustrator. Fireworks is specifically made for that purpose and using it rather than Photoshop will be much more efficient assuming of course you have equal knowledge of both.

However, lots of web designers are coming from the print world and aren't too familiar with Fireworks so they just stick with what they already know.
 
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wheezy

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2005
1,280
1
Alpine, UT
I use photoshop because my first web job made us. Not really sure why it's the de facto web design program other than maybe cause you do deal in pixel dimensions. I still make sure that 99% of my graphics remain vector in Photoshop, I only rasterize if it's a texture layer.

I expect within a few years most good designers will start in Photoshop to get styles defined but will do most of the design grunt work in the code-customers will never see PS mockups.
 
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