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Design and Adobe Illustrator program

In the thread about filagree there is mention of the Illustrator
program. I looked it up on Google and found 2 versions. One is Adobe
10 Illustrator…which looks like it must be the all-out version
of Adobe with all the bells and whistles for graphics, digital
photography and drawing? Then there is Adobe Illustrator CS in an
upgrade or full version. Is this focused on drawing only?

I have Adobe Photoshop 2 for digital camera use. I use Microsoft
Publish It! [the platinum version] for graphics but it has only the
very, very basic drawing tools. I would love to hear about
Illustrator…which version do you use, why do you like it? What
are the benefits? Why not just draw by hand?

Would it allow me to create patterns for beadwork? I’ve looked at
available programs for designing beadwork but no program has
everything that I want. Is Illustrator flexible enough for me to
create bead sizes and/or bead graphs? How about for the ndebele
stitch in which the beads sit at a slight angle? Could I print the
pattern in actual bead scale?

Thanks so much
Highland Goldsmith
NW Oregon

Dear Jennifer,

Adobe is changing their whole lineup of wonderful products – for
the better. Illustrator CS is part of their repackaged “Creative
Suite”, which is all their products in one package – they work fully
integrated with each other (you can still buy them separately but the
pricing is really intended to get you to buy the whole suite). It’s
fantastic: the full-on versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design
(the improved and new Pagemaker, which is going to be phased out),
GoLive (for websites), and Acrobat. I am about to order the full
Creative Suite (they offer good pricing incentives if you already own
Photoshop, for example, and are upgrading). You should be able to do
you bead designs in Illustrator fantastically if you create a grid
template and save it. Use Pagemaker to create your brochures, point
of purchase signs, etc. I highly recommend a Wacom pen / tablet for
any photoshopping, illustrating, etc. IMO, Adobe’s stuff is highly
intuitive and easy to use – I have a congenital defect that make it
impossible for me to read instruction manuals so it works great for


I love Adobe Illustrator.

Thats because of my 20 years in Graphics and I`m also doing art for
living. IIllustrator (or Photoshop which is mentione) is not easy to
learn at first sight, but when you learn it, it does feel almost
like what you can do with your pencil…and more. The tools are
flexible and easy to understand. And it is SO controlled by points,
you can decide thickness and work with the design in scale many
times original.

I am sure you can use it for bead design, and print it perfect to
scale, as the rulers and help lines and how you set preferences in
mm, inches or points is your choice and your own control. And it
draws perfect. Sure its for grafhic designers and design, and I
have even drawn my new house with it. The architect was quite
impressed. It was natural for me to grab those programs when I
started silver again. ( Im so sorry my digital camera is out of order and I cannot make new websites that explains this until its
back. grrr…things take time! )

I use version 10 for PC and 7 for Mac, but the the program is
getting bigger and bigger, it’s almost getting too big. CS is the
last version. I

think it flows a bit easier on the Mac btw, more smooth… even
though its the same thing.

Macromedia Freeehand is almost as good, I used it earlier, easier to
learn, but that one is also growing and does lots of things one
seldom need. Photoshop 2 is much too old! It has nothing to do with
the program today. There are trials to download at Adobe, and there
are lots of tutorials on the web. You can export images from
Illustrator and work further on with it in Photoshop, as I did on my
scetches at All of those
are snaps from screen in Illustrator, during the drawing process.
The main tool is to make own pattern for lines and understand
vectoring the lines. Copy, paste, reflect, group and align, its
there… Evrything is in the menues and in the toolboxes behind
clicks or to open boxes for details. The ones with color is
manipulated in Photoshop, I made a gold and silver background, and
changed colors, put on highlights…all done in no time.

WHY use computers to draw? Because it is so much faster, and you can
change so fast, reflect, scale, change curves, thickness in lines,
scale, color in no time. AND you can regret a couple of hundred
times backwards, or save a copy on a design half way, and work in
different directions on the same image… I used about 90 minutes
for my first slangesolje with the computer, if I had drawn it by
hand with a rotring or so, I had used at least 6 hours. And its
perfect. I can measure wire and count all the pieces and that saves
lots of time whien I build it up in silver. It saves materials.

Check for the programs. (this is
acvertising…arrggh…) You cannot save from the trials, but
scale it to fit the screen, snap the screen and paste the image into
something you can crop it and print, That works till you know if
you`ll buy it.



I wouldn’t be without the Adobe suite, but keep in mind that
Illustrator is strictly for 2-D drawings (so, you can rotate in 2
dimensions, but not in 3-D). Also Illustrator is vector-based
(drawings made up of drawing elements such a lines, arcs, circles,
etc.); whereas, Photoshop is bit-mapped (like a digitized
photograph). You need both to do much design work. And they work
together (digitized pictures plus drawn elements combined usually in

John Palmer
Mackinac Designs

In the thread about filagree there is mention of the Illustrator
program. I looked it up on Google and found 2 versions. 


Adobe recently (a few months ago) released the latest editions of
its suite of graphics programs. So we now have "Illustrator CS,“
PhotoShop CS,” etc. Whether to upgrade to CS depends on what your
needs are. I use PhotoShop 7 for graphics work and photo
restorations and have not yet felt the need to upgrade to CS. If you
don’t need all the bells and whistles of the latest edition, you can
often get good deals on older editions. The full suite of Adobe
graphics programs pretty much covers the waterfront. I doubt there
is anything that can’t be done with one or more of the programs,
since they all can stand alone or link up with the others. As to
platforms, Adobe originally wrote only for Mac (the standard of the
graphics industry), but its current programs are virtually identical
in operation on both platforms. HOWEVER, you must get
platform-specific software. They do NOT make a version that works on
both Mac and PC.

Dr. H. D. (Del) Pearson

Designs of Eagle Creek
91 Eagle Creek Ranch Blvd
Floresville, Texas 78114

Fax 830-393-6115

Adobe CS programs are part of the adobe line of programs…the main
ones used for graphic production. The CS stands for creative suite
and replaces the current upgrade number versions (ie photoshop 8,
Illustrator 11 and so on). Adobe’s policy, as I understand it is that
in the future, it will upgrade all the programs in the packages
simultaneously. For those of you who use Mac, I think they are mostly
if not entirely system 10 compatible only…at least acrobat is, so
I assume they’ve gone that way will all in the suite. I’m sure that
you don’t need the newest versions to do what Lise has set up…I
remember setting up something similar in MacDraw when I first began
in the early 90’s…and that was as simple a program as you could
get. If you don’t have Illustrator and don’t need the newest version,
or freehand, try Ebay…I’m sure someone is getting rid of their old
software somewhere.

Jeanne Rhodes Moen
Kristiansand, Norway

There is a less costly aternative to these programs although it is
not cheap. It is Mac based but I am pretty sure that there is a pc
version. It’s Canvas and you can check it out at

Marilyn Smith

Don’t forget The GIMP
It’s open source, free and powerful.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry