Web Design Questions

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by m828s, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. m828s macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2009
    Hello. I was laid off in September and have decided to go the self-employment route as a freelance copywriter. Rather than hire a web designer, I've tried to design and build my own --

    -- but I could use some friendly advice.

    1. I was able to get my hands on Adobe's Creative Suite (CS4). I've got just about everything I could possibly need. Not having any experience in design, I wasn't sure which program would be best to use for building graphics. I chose Illustrator and bought Adobe's Classroom in a Book. But I'm starting to get the idea that I should have learned Photoshop instead.

    Can anyone give me the pros and cons, Illustrator vs. Photoshop?

    2. One problem occurs when I create my basic logo banner in Illustrator. I create an image, export it, and apply it as a background image in my logo container, but I can't get ride of the white edges around it. I even made sure my art board was the exact size of the container in Dreamweaver.

    Maybe I wouldn't have this problem at all if I just learned Photoshop?

    3. My learning resources consist of the following three texts: Missing Manual for DW CS4 and Adobe's Classroom in a Book for both DW and Illustrator. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to what would be good references? Any great beginner websites for someone like me? Something other than Adobe's websites?

    As an FYI, I'm just looking to build a basic site. I could have just bought Yahoo's website services, or used Google, but I want something more personally designed, that really helps me to stand out. Having said that, it's still going to be a basic site. Header/Footer/Left Sidebar/Main Content on the Home page, then an About page, portfolio page, maybe a form and contact information.

    Thanks for any help you're able to provide. I'm using the latest Safari, Snow Leopard.
  2. Ride9650 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    1. Learning both doesn't hurt! When it comes to web design, it doesn't matter which one you learn really, while Photoshop is certainly more geared towards image production, in this case, you could accomplish most of what the average person might want in illustrator too.

    Illustrator is geared towards making "Vector images", whereas Photoshop is more suited for rasterized images, the key difference being that Vector images can be re-adjusted w/out loosing detail(unless you're altering something you imported into illustrator, in which case it would depend on what was imported)

    2. How did you export it? .jpg,.png,.gif, maybe a screenshot ? etc..

    You'll need to provide a little more info before anyone can really help and figure out whats going on. It is a little weird though that there's a border even though you matched the container size.

    3. There are a TON of tutorials online on just about every subject, as well as numerous forums like this one dedicated to web design,coding,etc.

    One site comes to mind is http://www.w3schools.com/
  3. star-fish macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    I think Photoshop will work better for you in the long run. You don't need to buy any books for any Adobe programs - all the info you could ever need is on the web and constantly updated. No need to buy expensive books with limited and often irrelevant tutorials. With Photoshop in particular, it's just a case of learning which tools you need for which job, and once you're used to it you'll be surprised how much you can do. It's literally a case of googling and playing around.

    I'm a copywriter and I've been doing web design for nearly a decade (self-taught) so, I remember exactly what it was like being in your position!
  4. Dal123 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2008
    Glad someone is else is trying to find what programs are for what :), took me a while to realise potential of each program on my mac.
    Like Ride said Illustrator for vector so you can scale to whatever size you want. I usually try to create my artwork in illustrator (if it's possible depending the sort of thing you're doing) then scale and reuse over and over again. Saving them as different file types. I had a lot of strange problems when trying to get my images to work on website. They didn't load; despite saving as png's .gifs etc. I used adobe image-ready and this seemed to remedy that problem. What you have sounds like padding or canvas size. If you check my previous posts there's an exact problem like you're having.
    Image Ready: for saving and converting images for web
    Photoshop: for editing bitmap images
    Illustrator: Creating vector origninal artwork that you will reuse on various things. If you're doing a logo use illustrator.
    In-design: for laying out magazines paper based stuff etc.
    People on here are very helpful, use google to search mac rumors and you'll find a lot of previous problems. You tube was handy for effects and tutorials on cool stuff. Google and Google and some more Google will help with problems, some problems will come along and they will keep you on it for days. I struggled understanding lists myself and took me about a week to comprehend :eek:. Try to learn everything as it all relates to each other and nothing is wasted knowledge :).
  5. m828s thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2009

    Thanks very much for your helpful suggestions, and please accept my apology for the delay in responding. I posted this and then, mentally, just needed to take a break. It's been a stressful time for me.

    It sounds to me like I made the right decision (if by little more than chance) going with Illustrator initially, if only because my initial artwork will be for my logo -- and I very much like the idea of easy scaling. The rest of my web site, at least initially, will be pretty simple-looking. I simply don't have the time for more complex imaging. And I've got the basics down in Illustrator. When I have more time, my next project will be learning Photoshop. Eventually, I'll take a look at InDesign.

    The software I know very well -- FrameMaker -- is the one piece of software that I don't have. But I'm okay with that. I'd like to keep my tech writing days in the past, if at all possible. Just a bit too dry for me, overall.

    I'm also going to investigate ImageReady, if a couple things are true:

    1. I can use the program to manipulate files that are first created in Illustrator.

    2. That I actually have the program. A brief Google told me that it comes with Photoshop, but I think I was looking at a pre-CS4 document, so I'm not sure it holds true any more.

    Also, I'm going to look up some tutorials online, as suggested. My initial strategy was quality over quantity, in the way of Adobe-created tutorials. I just get sooo impatient with that sort of research and learning. I'm a more visual learner.

    My holiday break is over, so back at it. I'm glad I stumbled upon this forum. Thanks for the welcome.

    star-fish: I particularly appreciated your final line. It feels good knowing that someone's out there doing what I want to do who was once in a similar situation.
  6. star-fish macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    I disagree, I would mainly use Photoshop for editing photos and creating layouts, which are more likely to be jpgs and gifs.
  7. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Um, no thats actually what PS is for.

    Though you may be confusing the word bitmap with the file format and not just the nature of the file being an actual bitmap (pixels).

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