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Illustrator

6 REASONS WHY EVERY CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR SHOULD USE ILLUSTRATOR

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If you’re a creative entrepreneur who wants to dramatically improve your online presence, you should be using Adobe Illustrator. Here’s why.

1. Illustrator is the tool of choice for professionals

The logo of every big name brand you can think of was created in Illustrator. The packaging of most things you’ve ever bought was created in Illustrator. So without me saying any more, you know that it’s the tool of choice to create things that get noticed, and sell. 

2. You’re competing with other professionally designed brands. 

It’s hard to make your brand or product stand out online. So use the best tool you can to help make yours stand out. If you notice that other brands in your niche have better graphics or social media images, it might be because they are using better tools. So even things up by using Illustrator.

3. Vector graphics will make your website stand out

Illustrator creates vector graphics. Unlike photos, these can communicate a brand, a product, or a concept really quickly and directly. 

4. Vector graphics will make your social media posts stand out

Vector graphics work especially well on small screens, so they are perfect for getting your social media posts noticed.

5. You can create stunning lead magnets in Illustrator

You can create beautiful pdf cheat sheets or mini guides for download directly in Illustrator. As it’s the same tool you’ll have used to create your branding, you can keep everything consistent. 

6. In Illustrator you are free to create without limits

In Illustrator you can create your own logo, pattern, Illustration. You can use any font, define any colour. You can incorporate stunning gradients, blends. You can take inspiration from the best designers as you create your own creations. 

…and 3 reasons why maybe you shouldn’t use it

1. You can do everything you need with free software

2. You haven’t got the budget for paid software

3. You don’t want to take the time to learn a new skill

 

Sum up. 

Illustrator isn’t free, but if you want to take your online presence to the next level, it’s a tool you should seriously consider using. You’ll have access to the tool used by professionals to create all the famous logos you know and most of the packaging you see on the products you buy. It’s equally perfect for creating graphics for social media posts, icons for your website and lead magnets. And of course if you have the skill you can create your own branding. If you want to try it out, get a 7 day fully working version here, and check out the first dozen videos of our Illustrator for Creative Entrepreneurs course. 

Your free 2018 social media image sizes cheat sheet

If you want to quickly make an image for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest, our handy cheat sheet will tell you the size.

Even better, with a copy of Adobe Illustrator you can edit the downloadable pdf which has artboards set up for every size you might want. This handy resource will save you lots of time and frustration. Enter your name and email address below to access it from our resource library (and check your emails for access):

The sizes are correct on the day of posting in May 2018. They came courtesy of Sprout Social.

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.indd? .psd? .ai? .eps? .jpg? Which file types are used for which purpose?

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If you're new to design, or simply have been given some files to work with, which ones are used for which purpose? Here follows a very brief post attempting to simplify a very large subject.

Files with an .indd suffix are created in InDesign, which is the program most widely used to create documents that will be printed, such as magazines, newspapers, brochures and newsletters. It's this file that you'd open in InDesign if you wanted to change any aspect of the file that you've been sent.

Images that are placed within the InDesign file usually come from two different sources. Some are most likely photographs, usually created in Photoshop, and will very often be .jpg files. Other file types created from Photoshop include the .tiff file and the .psd.

What all of these file types have in common is that they are images made out of pixels (also called bitmap or raster images, because they've been rasterised: converted into pixels). What separates them are their different attributes. Jpgs are very effective at compressing images in the same way that mp3 files compress audio files to make them smaller. Tiffs compress in a less effective way, but do so without throwing away any information from the image, so are often regarded as being of higher quality (which is not necessarily true). PSD files are Photoshop's native file format and enable you to use some of Photoshop's very flexible features (like Layer Masks, Smart Objects, Smart Filters). Other bitmap file formats that are primarily used for web graphics (as well as jpgs) are the .gif and the .png file format. Mostly you wouldn't need to open bitmap images, but would do so in Photoshop if you wanted to change the images (for example to make it black and white, or adjust its colours).

The other source for images that are placed within Indesign is Illustrator, which creates images not make out of pixels, but mathematically determined points called vectors. These files are much simpler than bitmap images and are perfect for things like logos, diagrams and maps. The files created from Illustrator are usually .ai files and .eps files. Again, you normally shouldn't need to open these, but you would do so in Illustrator if you wanted to adjust the colours in a logo or change the text on a diagram.

The other file type you'll have come across is the pdf, which can be created by a variety of programs for a variety of reasons. The most likely reason you'd encounter one in a design context is that it is either sent as a proof (so you can see how the job will print out) or that it's created as the final document for a printer to print from.