Why Adobe Illustrator?

Today I was sitting next to a guy in school that did all is product design in Illustrator.
Up until now I’ve never really thought about why some people actually use Illustrator, so why is it?
What’s the benefits aside from the obvious with vectors?

Professionally I use illustrator every day. I work in softgoods and in that industry it is the most used program to design in. Not really convinced it is the best because it holds very poor tolerances. So when you create techpacks with it they tend to be a little in accurate. I think the reason it is chosen is because it comes at the right price and you can lightly render with it and change colors easily. It is effective but it could use some improvements.

AI is heavily used in the footwear industry.

With AI I can sketch (kind of), render and create accurate tech packages all out of the same program.
It also saves time because accurately drawn images can quickly be converted from renderings to Tech pack images by just removing color and shading, and adding measurements.
In the event that a design needs to change then I can change it on both tech pack and rendering relatively quickly.

Many designers will use AI just for their line art, then jump to Photoshop, but that seems to just be individual preference.

I like Ai a lot too, I use it and have used it a lot. Every so often I’ll see something in Vectorworks but it seems cheap and silly not to just use what everybody else uses. Also if you get the design suite, it is in there, so you already have it.

Wanted to add a little to my original post now that I woke up a little more. I do really like illustrator but I find it to be a little difficult when it comes to doing very technical work such as TPR or TPU. When you get into .5mm it starts really becoming difficult to get it accurate. I deal with a lot of gloves and it is very common to have smaller pieces on them and illustrator just becomes clumsy to use.

Also dimensioning in it feels slow. When you have to draw every line for the dimension. Instead of like a true drafting program would just create a dimension for you after clicking two points. I have tried the plugin for illustrator that does this but it seemed like it bogged the program down.

I also like using illustrator for line work for renderings. It is very effective for this and I like being able to save the base line work in a scalable format.

I don’t use Illustrator much but if I do need an accurate drawing, I make it in Rhino first (where i have useful snaps and easy dimensioning/filleting). The Rhino curves are easily imported and edited in Illustrator.

I have to use AI a lot and I cant stand it. If there is a technical drawing I will do the same as Holtag and build it in Rhino. Bringing the curves in isnt always the most accurate, but it gets you close. Also, the dimensions are easier to deal with.

And when are they going to put a damn fillet button is AI!? I would kill to be able to not use guides or the rounded rectangle to get multiple fillets the same size.

There once was a plugin that allowed you to do dimension driven drawings in AI. I forget the name though. It almost made AI useful for doing hard product stuff.

There is one and has been since cs3. Under effects. Doesn’t work so good though on shapes with curved as tried to fillet those too. I use illustrator for everything and as has been said in footwear it’s the number one app.


Love it for print work and text manipulation, despise it for technical drawing. Accuracy is hit and miss even at 1/16" increments, and CADtools dimensioning is buggy and cumbersome.

The program that actually gets technical drawing right (and has a fillet tool)!?! CorelDraw. You heard me right, CorelDraw. I can select an individual node on a curve and fillet, chamfer or scallop it with accuracy and to scale! She’s not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she gets the job done when it counts.

Dunno what you all mean about accuracy. You kinda gotta be creative but it is totally accurate down to fractions of a pt (1pt =.013836in). Just gotta use guides or make reference boxes. Way easier/better than indesign fir ease of alignment btw.

I agree a better radius tool would be a big help.


Ask an you shall receive. This script is awesome. So much nicer than the stock option.


For example do this kinda stuff all the time.



Wicked. Will check it out for sure. Thanks. Learn something every day…


I absolutely love illustrator, it’s my number one go-to computer program for design. Tech packs, you can do good drafting in it if you use the right strategy, even some renderings are easier to do in it.
You just have to get a good strategy set, you can save a lot of time building your drawings the right way and using the right tools strategically.
And the way you can do so much with your key commands can make your workflow really fast. I’ve been cranking on it since 98 but it only took a few months to get really fast with it after figuring out a good strategy.

Sounds like there’s many good reasons to use illustrator. Is there any good line-art tutorial I should check out?
Many thx

Thank you sain! That works great. You have no idea how much time you just saved me. Time to set a shortcut for that.

It is cool, except it’s not accurate either. Unless you’re rounding squares. It’s almost as if the only thing it knows how to calculate is the radial distance of a 90 degree corner and it applies that to any corner angle.

Thanks for the link though, could be some other nice scripts in there…


Check out this Adobe Illustrator Work.