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There are many applications for designing content for the web. Adobe alone has several, including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Professional, and Flash Catalyst. Of course, there is also Adobe Illustrator. And while you may not think of Illustrator as being a web design application, the reality is that Illustrator is a design application to the core, and it offers many benefits to those who need to create graphics for the web or graphics that are destined to be displayed on virtually any screen for that matter. Perhaps the most significant reason for why Illustrator is a great choice for web and interactive design is because artwork created in Illustrator can easily be repurposed for virtually any need, be it in print, on computer screens, mobile devices, and even broadcast video and movies.
With the ability to scale your artwork to almost any size, you can be sure that anything that you create in Illustrator will be usable for any task, now or in the future. You can take artwork created in Illustrator and easily move it into many different applications. In most cases, when moving artwork from Illustrator into these applications, important structures such as groups, layers, and text remain intact. Now when it comes to the web, as the saying goes, the only thing that will never change is that things will always change.
The flow of newer technologies and best practices is constant. As a designer, you need to be able to deliver content in various ways. With Illustrator, you can rest assure that whatever you create will be compatible with what you need now and in the future. Now to a designer, one of the most valuable parts of the design process is experimentation. You want to be able to quickly view different variations of a design and you want to keep your ideas at your fingertips. With Illustrator's concept of a single large canvas, with multiple artboards within it, you can manage various ideas, sketches, and design elements, all easily within reach and in the same document.
And because Illustrator is object- based, it's easy to move artwork around without worrying about layers and complex selections. Illustrator CS5 introduces several new features, specifically for working with web graphics. The new Align to Pixel Grid setting ensures that artwork looks crisp and sharp with optimized anti-aliasing. Symbols are much improved and working with slices is more efficient. If you're designing artwork that will be viewed with the Adobe Flash Player and you're working with applications such as Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, or Flash Builder, then Illustrator is the perfect application for you.
With best in class support for these Flash Authoring tools, using Illustrator can save you valuable time. Of course, at the end of the day, you'll probably do your best design work in an application that you're already familiar with, and if you know Illustrator, you'll be designing high-quality web graphics and interactive applications in no time.
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