If you are new to the design biz you might be overwhelmed by all the software out there and not sure which is the best option for your project. I know I won’t cover everything on the market, there is just too much out there but I will touch on the industry standards in this four part series.
You might see where professional design software is going; basically Adobe has the market on applications with line drawings being typically done in Adobe Illustrator. There are some sign printers that use Corel Draw, but ad agencies and designers in general work in Adobe Illustrator. Like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator was created in collaboration with Apple and made to work only on Macs. After the first decade or so it started becoming available on PCs as well.
This program is great for setting and manipulating type, line drawings, and things like logo design. Illustrator uses Post Script programming, and is a vector based program. What this means is you can render creative in any resolution and still have a crisp final output. This is perfect for tasks like building logos because logos will be used at a variety of sizes and we need our branding to be legible at any size since it is our identity.
In addition to the vector format of Adobe Illustrator it has always had a variety of drawing tools like the Benzie Pen which makes drawing just a matter of pointing and clicking around the page to develop an image. As versions have been developed features like Live Trace have been added and enhanced allowing a user to scan in an image and convert it to an editable image. There are many more features like creating charts, filters, and path type tools to name a few things that allow full document creation possible. In more present versions Adobe has made Illustrator interchangeable with other products like Photoshop, with a range of output formats even Flash symbols can be created and used seamlessly.