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Illustrator for Web Design
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Using a grid system


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Illustrator for Web Design

with Justin Seeley

Video: Using a grid system

Another way to plan and mock up a project for web-based design is to utilize something called a grid system. The most famous of these systems is something called the 960 Grid System, and you can access the 960 Grid System by going to your web browser and going to 960.gs, for Grid System. The 960 Grid System is a method of laying out web sites by using a grid that is 960 pixels wide and evenly spaced using columns. So what's up with the number 960? Well, it's actually because using a number like 960 lends itself to much cleaner divisions numerically when dividing things into columns, and it also nicely fits on most computer monitors.
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  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

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Illustrator for Web Design
5h 27m Appropriate for all Jul 30, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups with the strong layout and color management tools in Adobe Illustrator. Author and Adobe Certified Expert Justin Seeley covers topics such as building responsive layouts with artboards, producing custom color palettes and swatches for web graphics, and making vector shapes and text that seamlessly scale. The course also explores adding drop shadows and other live effects, setting up interface elements such as forms and tabbed interfaces, optimizing and exporting different types of graphics, and speeding up your workflow with reusable image sprites and Smart Objects.

Topics include:
  • Customizing a web workspace
  • Decoding the mysteries behind screen size and resolution
  • Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
  • Coloring web graphics
  • Renaming and grouping layers
  • Working with shapes and symbols
  • Creating wireframes on a grid
  • Styling text
  • Creating image sprites
  • Simulating web pages with artboards
  • Optimizing and exporting your work
Subjects:
Design Web Web Graphics Web Design Web Foundations
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Using a grid system

Another way to plan and mock up a project for web-based design is to utilize something called a grid system. The most famous of these systems is something called the 960 Grid System, and you can access the 960 Grid System by going to your web browser and going to 960.gs, for Grid System. The 960 Grid System is a method of laying out web sites by using a grid that is 960 pixels wide and evenly spaced using columns. So what's up with the number 960? Well, it's actually because using a number like 960 lends itself to much cleaner divisions numerically when dividing things into columns, and it also nicely fits on most computer monitors.

Now when you download the grid--and you can do so by going to the 960 Grid System web site; you just click the big ol' Download button as it says-- you'll get several different templates for Acorn, Fireworks, Flash, InDesign, GIMP, Inkscape, Illustrator, OmniGraffle, Photoshop. You name it, they've pretty much got a 960 Grid System template for it. Take some time and go through the 960 Grid web site. It's going to be a great learning tool for you going forward if you really want to get into grid-based design. But for now, let's go back and Illustrator it for a moment and take a look at the grid that we have open here.

The Grid System comes in two basic setups: a 12-column and 16-column grid. The 12 column, which is what we are looking at here, contains columns that are 60 pixels wide. So these little light red areas that you see here are 60 pixels in width, and they lend itself to a great even division across the board here. If I wanted to use this to create a mockup, what I would do is startup by grabbing the Shape tool and then using the guides to tell me where to place my content. So for instance, if I want a header that goes all the way across the top here, I can just click and drag until I get to right here, and you see that's 940 pixel wide. And let's say I wanted it to be about 100 pixels tall.

There we go, and there is my header. And then let's say I wanted something that goes about halfway across, so I'll take this and I'll click right up against that guide, drag it out. You can see the numerical values tell me where I am at at all times, and they snap right to these guides as I go. So about 460 should be about enough, and let's do something like 200 pixels tall. There we go. And so if I want to duplicate this, I'll just Command+C or Ctrl+C, Command+F or Ctrl+F on my keyboard. That puts it right on top of it.

I'll switch to my Selection tool and just move it over. And it should sit nicely, just like that, evenly spaced. And so now I'll take this. Let's say I wanted three columns down here at the bottom, and so I'll do something like 300 pixels across, something like that. And we'll do something like 150 tall like that, and I'll copy, and that's Command+C or Ctrl+C. And then I'll Command+F or Ctrl+F twice.

I'll take this with the Selection tool and just move this one over, until it meets right there. Take this one over, and as long as I stay within the grid, I can evenly space things out. I don't have to worry about alignment or anything else. I can just utilize the Grid System as it goes here. If I were to go to the View menu and turn off the guides for a moment, you can see I am creating a web site mockup just by using these squares, and I am using even divisions across, and I am also getting great pixel values so that when I hand this off to a developer, they can easily determine how big the blocks of CSS need to be.

For instance, if I select this one, and look at the Info panel, I know that it's 460 pixels wide x 200 tall. If I grab this one, 940 pixels tall; grab this one 300 pixels wide; et cetera. Now in this case I have made mistake. I kind of dragged it past 300 pixels. That's okay. I can fix that just by using the Transform panel and changing that back to 300 instead of 301. So anytime you make a mistake, you can alter that, but using a grid system is a great way to get faster at prototyping or mocking up whatever it is that you are trying to build.

And utilizing a system like this and implementing it into your day-to-day workflow is really going to take you a long way in terms of getting faster and more efficient. And also, the developers that you work with are really going to like the fact that you are using a standardized system like 960 in order to develop your web sites, because then they can easily implement this system if they already know it, and they can easily translate your designs into functioning HTML and CSS. So take some time, go to the 960.gs web site, and take a look at it. Download the templates and start to play with it.

I have included the 960 grid with 12 columns here, but you might want to play around with the 16 column. There is even a 24 column as well if you need that little small level of control over your grid. So, like I said, take some time, explore this, see if you like it as a mockup tool. If you do, it can really go a long way to help you get faster; if not, you can just go back to your conventional way of creating your own mockups, but I just wanted to give you an idea of how this system works so that you could better understand it and hopefully use it and implement it into your work.

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