Blog: Secrets from the Chef

Tools: Introduction

Dmitri JoukovAuthor: Dmitri Joukov
2 June 2006

Once upon a time we received a letter from Mr. Anton Tretyakov (Internet). He asked the following (we retain the original spelling and punctuation):

“Hello! Tell please in what programs I can bigin making icons. I am a designer and know basic graphic programs. I am interested in the steps of drawing.”

That’s one strange question, isn’t it? One should have looked a bit deeper and read our wonderful blog. It would have become clear that we are using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Of course, we didn’t get upset with Anton’s paying little attention to our work: his letter let us furnish our blog with a series of articles about the tools we are using.

The following text therefore may be regarded as an answer to all the like questions. Those interested in discussing the pros and cons of CorelDRAW and Xara are also welcome to read them, just to broaden the outlook. Starting from now, we can just give a link to this article in reply to all questions and arguments thus saving loads of time and money. Isn’t it cool!

Getting down to brass tacks, the process of icon development can be conventionally divided into 2 stages:

  1. Vector-based,
  2. Raster-based.

Our regular readers (unlike Anton) have long known that our main vector-based tool is Adobe Illustrator. A casual observer might think we haven’t seen anything except Illustrator, and that we are reluctant to see anything else. Well, we have gone through both CorelDRAW and that underdone Xara. Yegor is famous for making icons in Macromedia Fireworks, I still envy him for that. Illustrator can be not the best choice, but it was not by accident that we made it. One more substantial argument against Xara and CorelDRAW is their ignoring the Adobe platform.

Ideally we would like to save the icons directly from Adobe Illustrator (moreover, it has a special tool for that, Slices), however, some operations require inclusion of raster-based drawing programs in the process. Programs like Adobe Photoshop. Specialized programs for making the final icon files in Windows and MacOS formats, like IconBuilder and Axialis IconWorkshop, are also notable.

In the articles coming up later we’ll give a more detailed overview of the vector-based and of the raster-based stages of icon development. Stay tuned! Remember keeping an eye on our work. We are simply the best!

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