Illustrator or Photoshop: Which Should I Learn for Fashion Design?

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“Should I learn Illustrator or Photoshop if I’m a fashion designer?” I get this question regularly, at least once per month, sometimes more. And it’s an important question to consider when you’re pressed for time, money and resources. Many students need to get their skills up-to-date in a hurry and need to understand which software makes the most sense for their day-to-day tasks. They also don’t want to spend money learning a program that they don’t need.

The answer for most fashion designers is pretty straightforward: learn Illustrator. Except, there is a “but”. It also depends on your job description or title and your level of seniority. Here’s how a typical conversation might go.

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My Top Five Methods to Reduce File Sizes in Adobe Illustrator

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“My files are massive! Why are they like this?” 

“Our files are so hard to manage. What is making them so big!”

“Is there no way to make my file smaller?”

I get these questions all the time, often from fashion designers in areas like intimate apparel where they use intricate designs and embellishments like scanned laces, pattern brushes and pattern swatches. Brushes and pattern swatches are two of the most memory-heavy functions or tools you can use in Adobe Illustrator (especially if they’re very intricate). Add in a few detailed raster images, and your file can easily go from a very manageable 1 or 2MB document to a 10 or 20+MB nightmare!

Sometimes, it really just ‘is what it is’. But most of the time, these issues can be managed, and larger files can be reduced. It starts with smart, efficient drawing techniques and a few helpful Illustrator tools and options.

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How to Have Fun in Summer School

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

It may not feel like it today, but Saturday (at least in NY) gave us all a taste of spring and a longing for summer weather. And summer weather brings to mind all kinds of fun things: ice cream, sunshine, trips to the beach, and . . . summer school!

Ok, before you call me crazy, hear me out! School may be the LAST thing you equate ‘summer fun’ with, but perhaps it just hasn’t been the right venue. I mean, if you could take a class while lounging by the pool, mouse in one hand and mojito in the other, would that feel more like fun? . . . Yup, we think so, too!

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How to Use Symbols to Save Trims in Adobe Illustrator

Symbols can be tremendously helpful to save trims and create trim libraries. They also make it very easy to update an item that is repeated multiple times within a document.

So, what is a Symbol? A symbol is an art object that can be reused in a document. The other symbols reused on the page are called instances, and they’re all linked to the original artwork. They can be created using vector or raster artwork, and symbols can save time and reduce file size. Continue reading “How to Use Symbols to Save Trims in Adobe Illustrator”

How to Create Interlocking Rings

 

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Create interlocking rings

This quick tip was inspired by one of my Accessories students who wanted a quick and easy way to create interlocking rings.

Now, as some of you may know, there are lots of clip art libraries that you can purchase (or find for free on the internet or through a trend service) that contain different types of rings. But if you don’t have access to that or you need to create them on your own, this tutorial is for you!

Interlocking rings are simple to create using the Pathfinder Panel and the Shape Builder Tool in Illustrator. The Shape Builder Tool intuitively combines multiple objects to create one large object just by dragging across the areas you want to combine. Use this with the Pathfinder Panel, and you’ll have interlocking rings in no time!

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