Hi, we've been using Illustrator CS3 here for web page mock-ups for a while now. It initially was a bit buggy, but things have gotten better. Most people don't realize it has the same slicing capabilities of Image Ready. But we really use style sheets and swatches to keep things really consistent throughout our layouts.
But our current developer is not familiar with Illustrator and would prefer Fireworks or (yikes) Photoshop to receive comps from us. As there will be very minimal images exported from these designs (most everything will be styled with CSS), we would really like to avoid using Photoshop as it is not vector/object based and makes doing full page design layouts way more complicated than it needs to be.
So that kind of leaves Fireworks. I do have experience with Fireworks, starting with v.2 or v.3 a LONG time ago. But I haven't used it in a couple years now that we've been using Illustrator. So I downloaded the latest version (CS4) to give it a try and see how things have progressed. So far I'm not too impressed.
A couple questions/concerns we have about Fireworks:
- My first reaction was how sluggish it is. Then I read a post here about it being really bad on a Mac. Are we pretty much stuck here (we're a Mac-based design studio)?
- One feature I always hated, all the way back to early Fireworks, was the silly swatches panel. Are there any extensions available (even commercially) that closer emulate Illustrator or InDesign's swatches pallettes (ie - you can see exactly what name or value a swatch is instead of guessing at a tiny square; if you select an object, it's swatch will be highlighted so you know which is being used; and you can quickly edit a swatch to change colors sitewide)?
- To keep all of our typography consistent and easy-to-update we're using paragraph styles in Illustrator. I tried making a 'style' for some selected type in FW, but it just doesn't seem to be applying when I try to style another chunk of type. And I see no easy way to see what parameters are attached to the style or how to change something on it quickly (say you wanted all your 'H3 Headlines' to be 1px larger and red for instance). Any options or extensions here??
Thanks! All our developer really needs to get from these are general sizes and spacing of objects, exact colors being used, and all typographical style information so he can build the CMS template we need. Any images needed can be done one-off in Photoshop if necessary, and there won't be too many. All layout/design will be done with CSS, which can be easily and accurately hand-coded.
I have designs sent to me that were done in Illustrator, and I just slice it
up in Fireworks, it shouldnt be a problem you working in Illustrator.