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You know people sometimes ask me, why bother using Illustrator which is primarily a vector-based program to create what ultimately will be displayed as pixel-based graphics? Well this is probably one example that really shows the strength and benefits of using Illustrator, working with icons, which generally have to be produced very, very small. For example, as a designer, you may find it somewhat frustrating that when working with low resolution and small graphics in a program like Photoshop, make it difficult to really work with detail.
However, with Illustrator, we know that when working with vector graphics we can always zoom in as close as we need to create all that wonderful perfect detail in our artwork, yet at the same time be able to export that artwork in any format and in any resolution that we might need. Now more and more these days, designers are being asked to help developers create applications and design applications for devices such as the iPhone or the iPad or what Apple refers to as iOS devices. Now one designer, his name is Jon Hicks. He's based in the UK.
I actually went ahead and created a template inside of Illustrator to actually make it easier to create these icons for the various iOS devices. Now thanks to John's generosity, he's allowed me to include this file along with your exercise files for this title. Alternatively, you can go to John's web site, which is available at hicksdesign.co.uk/journal to download updated versions of this template or to see some of John's other work. Now to use this template, you can see that John has already created some layers here, and at the very top there's a layer called Guides & Masks.
If I turn that off, you simply see these squares that are here, which are all set to the correct sizes. You can simply go ahead now and design the artwork as needed across this actual template, and you would put all those elements on the artwork layer and when you're done, you could actually click on this Guides & Masks layer to reveal it, and you'll notice that each of these are also set up as separate artboards. So, all you would need to do is simply click on one of the artboards to make it active, then simply go to the File menu and choose Save for Web & Devices to export just that one icon.
I'll click Cancel here to go back to the document, but it's a really easy way to get all of your artwork in one place, and be able to export just about the icons in any size that you need right out of Illustrator.
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