new and confused (footwear)

hello everyone,

i am new to the site and would appreciate some advice. I have just acquired a used MACBOOK PRO INTEL CORE 2 DUO/2.33 GHZ laptop and am currently working on a footwear design/product. i have just made up my mind today that i would like to design the product myself as compared to paying a designer to do it for me. would ILLUSTRATOR CS4 be a good enough program to use for my project? best wishes. thanks. :neutral_face:

Adobe illustrator is a good program to start to setup most of the line work for the shoe, but then it is usually both into Adobe Photoshop and then line work is used as paths to easily shade and highlight selected areas. I would suggest go on to youtube and search shoe rendering tutorial, to get an idea of how some designers setup a shoe rendering.

That is great advice i havent thought of that yet and ive literally used my entire day at work doing research and reading different reviews. i greatly appreciate your help.

Yea no problem, Check out Cadjunky’s videos at 2D Shoe Rendering in AI and PS, part 01 - YouTube they should help you out a lot.

again thank you very much im on it right now.

Software has nothing to do to make you a footwear designer. It’s only a tool. You can design with a pencil and paper if you know what you are doing. Thinking that having the right software means you don’t need a designer is a recipie for failure.


Sounds like a terrible idea.

If wanted to build an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower in my back yard, my first step would be to HIRE an architect as well as an engineer.

As R said, Illustrator does not make you a designer. It makes you a person who has a copy of Illustrator who has zero concept of Industrial Design, shoe design, prototyping, or manufacturing.

Additionally, it seems you’re already trying to cut corners by using Illustrator CS4 instead of CS6. CS4 is still a great program in the hands of an expert, but you’re not an expert.

Honestly, I’m offended by your post.

See my signature.

Hello, I’m no expert in Illustrator, or shoe design. But if you have an idea in your mind, you just need a tool to shape it. We do not know if you have technical knowledge, nobody asked you, only you crucified. If you have no money, or wishes to hire a teacher, teachers do not have to get angry, if you try to gain knowledge on your own. There are many design programs. The most popular are Illustrator and Photoshop, but not mean they are indispensable. You can start designing with vectors, but if you want to create artistic representations to levels that you will agree, then used Photoshop. I’ve even seen a video of Adidas professional designers, who use airbrush in his sketches.

In the Technique is the art, and vice versa


Because I am offended by your post. It makes designers sound condescending, defensive and thin-skinned. I don’t think those are good qualities for a designer.

The OP asked a harmless question about the tools of the trade. He/she wants to use the correct tool for the job. That shows a willingness to learn. That is a great quality for a designer. Do you see the difference?

If I go to a woodworking forum and ask about table saws, I would hope no one would jump down my throat about my audacity in wanting to be a wood worker.

So yes, as soon as you design something, by definition, you are a designer. It doesn’t make you a good designer, or a professional designer, or whatever qualifications you want to put to it, but you are designing. Just as soon as I cut that piece of wood with my table saw, I have entered into the realm of woodworking.

And for the record, I use CS4. I don’t have a need for 6.

No need for more toughness in the forum. Just balance the negativity with positive contributions. Each of professionals and non-professionals have to criticize themselves, first. The ego management is important, the designer is still undervalued in the industry, in my country, no need for more scorn from colleagues.


Good points. I suppose I’m commenting on the big picture here. Industrial Design is a design process in which the end goal is to solve a problem in product form, then that design to mass manufacturing, to then be sold in volume to public/private markets (generally speaking of course). Anything else is a craft or creating a piece of art.

I just get this a lot in my inbox and I get sick of it. “Hi, I’m going to be rich because I have a great idea. You are an Industrial Designer who make my idea happen. You just make it look good, that is all. I will pay you nothing, you get rich later, maybe if you’re good and it works.” This guy is saying this, but without even wanting to hire an industrial designer at all.

Its a complex process in which we make our livings at and this individual is making it seem like an Industrial Designer is simply someone who uses Illustrator. I spent a lot of hard earned money on my education and thousands of hours honing my abilities, and I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I want to get to. Plus, they posted this on an Industrial Design forum, not an Adobe forum asking how to “draw cool stuff”. Nope, not having it. This individual will likely make interesting drawings in Illustrator, which is great. But it is not Industrial Design.

I don’t discredit lawyers, architects, doctors, or chefs at their professions. “I want to build a house, but the first thing I’m going to do is fire ALL the architects in the world.” … “Yo, Doctor, where did you buy that scalpel? Is it cool if I use last years model and just cut this tonsil out myself?” I don’t want my profession to be discredited, that happens enough outside of Industrial Design forums.

This reminds me of an old saying “Please encourage your children to read the bible, we need more atheists.”

Today we have greater access to tools of all kinds; word processors (Walter Isaacson has the same copy of Word you do), music mixers, movie editing suites, and design tools. An Avid editing suite used to cost upwards of $50k all in, now you can get Final Cut for a reasonable sum, or use the free copy of iMovie. Spielberg isn’t worried though.

Potentially, access to these tools has the ability to help people to appreciate the sensitivity, training, and experience it takes to design good product. In some cases it uncovers some hidden latent talent. Both are wins for the profession in my view.

So I think you both are right. We can encourage access while we advocate the value of expertise.

Hi Taylor, It used to be that the architects hired others to do performing arts, people with skills for that. Including other architects who specialize in that, in illustration.

The point is, if an architect, who dont dominates the art, and he wants to try to do it (for whatever reason, is commonly lack of money), is at liberty to try. And that does not mean that the architect does not respect others profession , we just have to strive to experience. If a human resources manager, sits a couple of weeks in front of a computer, trying to design anything, maybe he understand the profession of a designer, that is difficult, and only so values ​​the experience.

You’re right on this, Taylor, industrial design is to solve problems, and I have a huge respect for the designers. I was about to try to study industrial design, but I felt I did not have enough capacity and gennius to deal with complex structures and assembled, because at that time, my idea about this profession, and my perception of it, started to see diagrams, disassembly of cars, engines etc … Very complex things. That was my idea of ​​the profession. But, “Yo” was right in this, the current tools, allow us to experience things that a professional does. You can make a virtual surgery, a dressmaker could sew better than a surgeon, and that does not mean he have to grant a medical license. A surgeon can learn a minimal ability to another person, it is humility. The point, today anyone with certain skills can try a 3D software, and try to design a pen cap, also anyone can attempt to make a digital Picasso, with a few strokes in Photoshop.

In the end, I think, professionals have to look beyond what an amateur can do, try to be better. Experience and excellence will draw a clear line between an amateur and a professional.

I think the person who started this thread, did not intend to disturb the professionals, and perhaps can not pay and hire a designer, or even wants to be also a designer, he can be a singer, mechanical, and actor in his spare time. The thread started in the shoe department, and specified items of footwear. Because the shoe design is linked to fashion design, which involves artistic aspects where sometimes the inspiration and concepts are before the technique. I think the professionals, here, should be flattered, that fans come to be counseled. Best regards and my respect for all.

I completely agree with everything you wrote. I was just giving the OP the benefit of the doubt. It seems to me English may be a second language and he wasn’t clear in his (or her) intent. I didn’t want to scare away a noob.

To answer the OP:
“would ILLUSTRATOR CS4 be a good enough program to use for my project?”

Yes this program is good enough for your project. Illustrator is an excellent tool for creating both techpacks and product renderings, but like anything you will need to become a master of your tools. Others have recommended also using Photoshop. While Photoshop is nice you do not need it. With enough skill you can create photo renderings solely using Illustrator.

A pencil is also great. And this new thing called paper.


^ Where can I download those? Is there a package version available?

So I think you both are right. We can encourage access while we advocate the value of expertise.

This is a passage from one of my favorite books; The Wheelwright’s Shop. I think it may illustrate what Weldon’s feeling, how a lot of us feel about our craft, about any craft for that matter, and the time in grade that it takes to become proficient. It also reminds me of the old adage, “It is a poor workman that blames his tools.” It’s not the tools … it’s who is using them.

First published in 1923, it’s the true story of an untrained man who took over his father’s wheel making business in 1884 and the “education” it took to become a Master Wheelwright. Overall it’s a great read on “profession”, “making”, and human understanding. I actually think it should be part of formal design education.

The Wheelwright’s Shop
George Sturt
Pg. 69, Chapter XIV, Waggon-Locking

A pleasant story lingered in the shop, and was now and then told again, about an estate carpenter employed by Bishop Sumner at > Farnham Castle> . This man had built a new wagon in a workshop there, only to find that it was too wide to be got out of the door. And when the wagon, having been taken to pieces in the shop, was put together again in the yard, there proved to be too little room in the yard for turning it around, and it had to be got into Farnham Park for more room.

This story, I will admit, had probably been invented by a wheelwright to pour contempt upon the craft of carpenters. Certainly an idea prevailed – not wholly without justification perhaps – that while any man able to make a wheel knew enough to be a carpenter, on the other hand, a carpenter could not do wheelwright’s work, for lack of apprenticeship. In this connection a strong prejudice was felt against any causal who claimed to be a wheelwright and carpenter both. Such a pretension was almost enough in itself to prevent the wretched tramp from getting a job in my shop – would he not prove to be a Jack of all trades and Master of none? Unshapely cart-work by carpenters sometimes forced its way under my notice, and served as a warning against the employment of such men.

To return to the story of the wagon at Farnham Castle – it illustrates a difficulty that an inexperienced man would hardly fail to meet with. To build a farm wagon that would turn round in reasonable space – something less than Farnham Park – was a problem that needed attention even in the marking out the main timbers for sawing. The trouble was that the front wheel would not ”lock” (that is turn) full circle under the wagon. For reasons no to be discussed just here the said wheels were too high, so that about half-way round the upper edges of them clashed into the body and were stopped…

How to prepare for this no carpenter could be expected to know; only by faithfully following a certain tradition could the wheelwright partially meet the difficulty.