Adobe Illustrator CC Reviews

Adobe Illustrator CC

Industry-standard vector graphics editor

4.8/5 (5280 reviews)
Suzanne S.

Industry Standard For Good Reason

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/06/13
Review Source: Capterra

I consider Illustrator to be an essential program for anyone who works in vector graphics.

Pros

Overall, this is a wonderful program that has well earned its reputation as industry standard. When working with a lot of precise calculations, perspectives, exact distances, and/or alignments, Illustrator does most of the heavy lifting so I can focus on just creating great art. Working with vectors is a great way to create very polished and clean designs that are infinity scalable.

Small file sizes are also especially handy because it makes it easy to make backup-copies of your layers at different stages in case you ever need access to an earlier version. Even if I've worked with huge dimensions or had hundreds of objects in a single file, I've generally only experienced serious lag if I incorporate non-vector elements to my file, such as placed photographs or special effects like drop shadows.

Illustrator is extremely handy to use in conjunction with other Adobe products. I've especially frequently created a vector in Illustrator then copied it over to Photoshop or InDesign. When pasting things into Photoshop, I can create a Smart Object so that I can still edit it in Illustrator and it will then automatically update in Photoshop.

Cons

Some of the keyboard shortcuts, such as select/deselect all, are different between different Adobe products like Illustrator and Photoshop. While this can be customized by users, that isn't always possible in situations like one of my old jobs where I shared a computer with another designer and we constantly went back and forth between Illustrator and Photoshop. Improving consistency between Adobe products would allow for smoother workflow.

The perspective tools can also be rather clunky to use sometimes. One of the most frustrating aspects has been if I need to use any shape-building tools on an object already in perspective - after I've used the shape building tools, I can no longer use the perspective move tool because Illustrator tries to reapply the perspective onto an object already in perspective. Another example is that the 3D tools don't automatically have options in the drop-down menu to work with the perspective grid in place. If you, for instance, want to extrude an object and place it into alignment with your perspective grid, you have to either do the math yourself to create a custom extrude, or you have to manually rotate and extrude the object without the use of the 3D tool.

On occasion, I have also had issues with art dimension size limitations and had to copy to Photoshop to enlarge to the size I needed to print.

I also dislike that this program is currently only available through subscription.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Samuel T.

Best Graphic Design Software for Creating Vector Graphics

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/05/08
Review Source: Capterra

Illustrator is great, perfect for Vector design, Logo creation, drawing Cartoons etc and it gets the job done and even do more. For a graphic designer, the software is recommended since there isn’t any better alternative. Once it’s features are mastered, one can easily play with the software and create something out of it.

Pros

Adobe illustrator is a great software for Graphic Designers to add to their collection. The software is made for creating a vector graphics and it so good at it. Over the years, I have learnt to use Adobe Illustrator to create project like Cartoon and Logo designs. It is a great software and it gets the job done easily.

One of the best option for using the illustrator is the vector-graphic which makes design a perfect still quality, no matter how the design’s size is adjusted, the resolution stay the same.

With Adobe illustrator users can easily draw a design from scratch by mastering the Pen Tool and with tons of other tools like the Pathfinder Tool, the software made it very easy to design almost anything and even beautify it with the color guide.

Cons

Adobe illustrator is great, no doubt one of the best drawing software out there, however the best can be too best.. if that makes sense. For beginners, Illustrator has so many complex features which are not easy to learn at all, even with knowledge of other Adobe softwares.

The software is also heavy while operating, it requires a very strong PC to properly use without slowing down your operations or hang the PC while at it.

Illustrator is just good for drawing, editing image isn’t recommended on the software, it lacks some basic features to edit image and working with layers on this software can be very frustrating.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Liam S.

Vector Art for the win

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/04/29
Review Source: Capterra

I use Illustrator every day, opening it up is reflexive when I get to work. I've also taken advantage of the additional functionality available using it with a Wacom tablet and pen which opens up a whole new range of possibilities. My design skills have grown, just as Adobe has continued to grow the functionality fo the program over the years.

Pros

Illustrator is my go-to for graphic design, and it's getting better all the time. You can be super precise compared to editing raster images with Photoshop. In Illustrator, you can make cuttingly straight lines and big bold designs. The only limit is your imagination! Best of all, Adobe is rolling out new features all the time. The Puppet mode, trim view, and new gradient tool, just to name a few, are awesome innovations. You can tell they are not content with doing what they've always done, Adobe is learning and changing right along with us, and I appreciate that. The new layouts have also been a big improvement, as it's always been a challenge to have your perfect tool set up when there are so many to choose from.

Cons

Learning the many tools can be a big learning curve, not to mention all the new ones that are becoming available with every update. You can't fully appreciate the new gradient tool unless you've been stuck with the limitations of the old one for years. And even when you do master the controls, it's not a guarantee you will be pumping out amazing designs. At the end of the day, the tool is limited to the creativity of the user. But Adobe is doing what it can to make this software as versatile and powerful as it can be.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Burhan K.

Best Industry Standard Vector Designing Software, Period

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/04/24
Review Source: Capterra

I've been using Adobe Illustrator since I stepped into the software industry—almost 4 years now. The tool has no comparison to other tools currently available in the market. I mostly use Illustrator for designing illustrations, icons for mobile and websites, wireframes for mobiles, and print documents like brochures, business cards, etc. I now use Sketch for designing UI, but it's really hard to design icons there. So I design icons in Illustrator and copy those icons to sketch. This is the best tool and it's an industry standard.

Pros

Work on Windows, Mac, iPad, and even on iPhone with limited features.
You can have multiple artboards when designing in Illustrator.
A lot of tools to make your workflow easier. For building shapes, it has tools like pen tool, Pathfinder and shape builder.
It has a dynamic gradient feature, which means your gradient is not limited to a linear or radial gradient. You can create a gradient with as many colors and as many points as you like and you can change the position of those color points too. Now our gradient colors can go into multiple directions. So no need to create multiple gradient layers and blend those.
Advanced features to round the corners of sharp corners. You can make rounded corner by putting value as well as you can drag a small icon near points with mouse.
One of the reason to use Adobe Creative Cloud softwares is their Echo System. You can use your work designed in Illustrator and directly Import in After Effects.
You can also copy elements from Illustrator (Ctrl+C) and directly paste it in Photoshop (Ctrl+V). And this also works in Sketch for Mac.
There are a lot of features like perspective tool, If you wanna create an illustration in a single or multiple point perspective. Blend tool, Mesh tool, 3d Effects and many more.
You can also create symbols and changing in one place will change it everywhere.
Exporting Assets are just one click away.
Tons of shortcuts to speed up your workflow.

Cons

The long learning curve, especially when you have no previous design background. So expect to invest at least 6-12 months to fully master it.

You have to fully grasp the core concepts of it when playing with paths and shapes. Joining paths perfectly using the grid may take time If you have not much experience with it.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

Perfect for quick sketching & complex projects

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2019/04/04
Review Source: Capterra

My work is layout-centric and Illustrator is perfect for drawing up sketches for me. I can only recommend it to anyone working with Adobe products, given that the integration is completely seamless. My warm recommendations!

Pros

- Standard in the Creativity Industry, supports a broad variety of file types
I've been in the industry since last year and am still yet to discover someone who doesn't have Illustrator. Illustrator (together with other Adobe products) is the de-facto standard for creating graphics which means that file-sharing and cooperating on files won't be a problem. What's really important is that it supports many filetypes: for example svg and eps.

- Creative cloud: Updates are free, all older versions are easily accessible
Illustrator (CC) is a recurring subscription which means that you'll get new updates without having to pay extra for them. As part of the CC application, you will also get access to all older versions of Illustrator CC, which can be useful for compatibility reasons.

- Stable
Only once have I experienced a crash with Illustrator and it was the fault of my graphics card driver. I can vouch that Illustrator is extremely stable and provided that your computer's specifications meet the minimum requirements, you shouldn't have any problems with it.

-Integrated with InDesign and other Adobe Suite Products
This, to me, is the distinction between Illustrator and other software types. I use InDesign heavily and the intercompatibility of Adobe has left me wanting anytime I have to use something else. My favorite example of this is editing with Illustrator in InDesign-it lets you adjust certain already layouted elements in InDesign without relayouting everything.

Cons

- Subscription Payment
This is a double-edged sword. For private users this is problematic because it ends up being expensive down the road. However, for companies and organizations this means that you get tech support and updates included into the price.

- Steep learning curve
The premises of the program are basic. However, for advanced tasks, you will need to consult manuals/tutorials if you've never used the software before. Even if it is intuitive, the sheer amount of features can be overwhelming for beginners.

- High System Requirements
I believe this one explains itself. For advanced projects, you will need a beefier machine

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

Lack of Major Function

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/03/20
Review Source: Capterra

No software is perfect for all users. With the functionality and versatility which are so powerful for the creation of your imagination, it's worthwhile to go for it.

Pros

Illustrator is one of the very powerful software for vector images. I used to start with some few different vector creation software like Corel Draw, Handsfree etc, but eventually, I stayed with Illustrator till now for over 10 years.
The built-in functions are versatile and honestly, I am not able to utilize all of them for my daily works. The hardest part of using Illustrator is the manipulation of the Pen Tool. Once you are familiar with it, you are almost there for a world of unlimited creativity.
One good thing for Illustrator is that it is part of Adobe, so it's 100% compatible with Photoshop. You can easily import/place an image from Photoshop into Illustrator for further enhancement of your vector artwork.
One of the functions I like is the Action Tool which helps to perform repetitive works automatically. And more important is that the building an Action is easy in Illustrator.

Cons

However, when it comes to a stage where you want to build some artworks with dimension/measurement indications, you come to a nightmare.
Illustrator doesn't come with any dimension tool, you have to purchase and install third-party software (which is always costly) if you want to make your life easier.
On the other hand, Adobe upgrades Illustrator on an annual basis. The dimension software installed 2 years ago may not be compatible with the latest version of Illustrator. This is to mean you will have to upgrade the dimension software at the same time. This is costly and created some kind of inconvenience to users.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Tawanda M.

Illustrator is An extension of my hand

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2019/02/13
Review Source: Capterra

Illustrator is the most professional and flexible vector graphic software out there on the market. My creativity suddenly increased as i transitioned to Illustrator because the powerful features it offers allow me to fell like I'm using my freehand. Sometimes it even allows me the odd accidental design inspiration. I like the fact that you can connect it to Adobe Bridge for further functionality and automation of repetitive tasks.

Pros

I mostly love the path finder, shape builder and expand functionality as it allows me to create unlimited complex shapes which can be single units as opposed to grouped elements. I'm a fan of monograms so this features allow me to create monograms easily no matter how complex my graphic starts out as. I like the fact that it handles scale-able vector formats exceptionally well (svg, vector, pdf). I like the arrange and distribute functions which afford me the luxury of unprecedented precision while aligning and positioning my graphics on the artboard. I especially love illustrators ability to create custom strokes and fills over graphics and be able to expand them into shapes for further manipulation. This flexibility is everything i ever wnated in a vector graphic software. The way Illustrator implements this is just right for me. I enjoy the various workspaces which suit different design professionals and their preferences. The various effects that it offers for example the arch effect allow me manipulation capabilities that extend my creativity to insane levels. Illustrator is my got to software for everything graphic even for projects that are in the bitmap domain as it handles those equally well compared to traditional raster/bitmap applications. The artboard system is another one of my favourite features espeially when exporting or alinging items based on artboard.

Cons

It can be a put off the fact that Illustrator as a relatively steeper learning curve. The multitude of features that it offers and its workflows can be difficult to comprehend at first.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
David P.

Long-time Adobe User

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/01/17
Review Source: Capterra

My overall experience with Adobe Illustrator, and other Adobe products, has generally been good. However, since they moved to a subscription model, I have run into several glitches that required re-authorizing the software on my computer, and in at least once instance I was unable to connect to Adobe's server, couldn't authorize my software, and lost a day of work time when I was on a deadline.

Pros

Having worked in graphic design for 25 years, I have used many iterations of Adobe Illustrator, and currently use Illustrator CC on a daily basis. I also used to teach an Illustrator course at a local community college. What I like most is that the core functions have remained largely the same over time, and the software is mature and stable. It's actually the only program I've ever used for creating vector graphics, so I don't have anything else to compare it to, but I find Illustrator to be intuitive, and the learning curve for competence is average for a design program. I typically use Illustrator for logos and infographics, and it is ideally suited to those tasks.

Cons

My main complaint with Adobe Illustrator is that certain tools which share similar functions across programs in the Adobe line-up - most notably, Photoshop and InDesign - don't operate consistently. For instance, the resize tool in Illustrator works differently than it does in Photoshop, and it works differently in Indesign, compared to the other two. My other main complaint is that Adobe has changed the icons for several of the tools in the tool bar, and changed the arrangement of tools, for no apparent reason. This creates a lot of unnecessary confusion, particularly for long-time users who have grown accustomed to the old tool bar that remained relatively unchanged for many years. The new icons are no more intuitive than the old ones, and in some cases they are less. Now that Adobe has gone to a subscription model, and doesn't need feature updates to drive software sales, most professional Illustrator users (and Adobe Creative Cloud users) would prefer the company focus on security updates and stop fixing things that aren't broken.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Brian S.

Great once you get over the learning curve

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/01/15
Review Source: Capterra

I have used Illustrator for over a decade, and it is the best vector graphic software on the market, and the industry standard. While it has a steep learning curve, with its litany of features and capabilities, Adobe and third party sites provide a lot of resources for just-in-time training and tutorials for most features.

While it may be cost prohibitive if you are not using it for business purposes, I wouldn't say the application is overpriced because of its capability, quality, and industry-standard reputation that has been built over the years.

Pros

I use illustrator for my job on a regular basis, and it is unmatched in terms of its capability for creating and editing vector graphics. There are so many features and capabilities within the software, I doubt that I have even scratched the surface of Illustrator's capability.

What I really love about Illustrator is how versatile your graphics can be if you create everything in an organized manner. For example, if I create a graphic with flower pots in the background, for example, and later I need an image with flower pots as the focus, it's very easy to grab those layers or objects from the original image and use them for my new graphic. Because everything is vector, I don't need to worry about resolutions, backgrounds, etc. So time up front to create well organized work will help you build a versatile library over time.

Additionally, the internet provides a vast amount of resources and sites where you can download other AI files and use parts of them to create graphics that meet your needs.

Cons

Illustrator has a steep learning curve that might not make it the best resource for casual users. While Adobe provides a lot of learning resources through their site, other third party sites provide a lot of training, and Youtube always has videos that can just-in-time train you on about anything, there's always more features and capabilities to discover within the application. My first experience with Illustrator was way back in college, around 2005, and I've used it pretty consistently in my career ever since. I still feel like I have a lot to learn before I could be considered an Illustrator "expert".

The other "con" about this application is the cost. With the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service, the cost is now annual subscription, so you don't have to buy and update a version every year, but the cost may be prohibitive if you're not using Illustrator for business. However, given its capabilities, I wouldn't say it is overpriced.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

6.0/10
Steve C.

Illustrator is a Professional Program and the Learning Curve and Cost Will Reflect That

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/28
Review Source: Capterra

When working with vectors, I go to Illustrator and have for many years and will continue to. In my estimation, it far exceeded the competitors at the time I started, such as Corel Draw (20 years ago). It continues to serve me well. For those who work with Web Design primarily, there are other vector tools that have edged their way into the market and at a fraction of the price and they do some pretty cool things. If I was was just starting our and/or had a tighter budget, I might consider them as alternatives. Illustrator is no longer the young, cool kid on the block and some of these other software packages have found supporters in younger designers, but I still think its the best overall if you have the time and resources to learn it.

Pros

I'm a professional graphic designer, so Illustrator has been my go-to program for working with vector art for many years. Pretty much whatever you want to do in this program, you can do if you know how. It's nice that they have been able to keep up with a lot of the crossover to web needs, like the ability to export SVG files and such.

Cons

This is a difficult question to answer because what constitutes a "con" might not actually be a con at all. It depends on your needs. I could say that it's gotten a little bloated with features I don't need, but someone else may need them and, surely, I use a lot of features that others don't need. But it does make the learning curve a bit steeper, both for newbies getting their feet wet, or experienced users using newer features. But, again, with a powerful tool comes some investment of time in learning to use it right. Similarly, cost: Adobe has sort of priced themselves out of "consumer" and into "pro-sumer" with their Ccreative Cloud. For someone like me, the price for all that great software they offer, including Illustrator, it's a good deal! For someone who doesn't need all that software (or this one in particular) as much as I do, then it might seem pricey.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Pamela G.

One of the best vector graphic design software available. Useful and highly versatile!

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/09/28
Review Source: Capterra

I like all its features. I cannot work without Illustrator anymore. All my graphic design projects, once sketched, take their shape in Illustrator.

Through its vector tools, you might be able to create almost every design you need. Texts, geometrical shapes or custom ones, Béziers curves and many other tools could be employed to create logos, flyers, posters, web designs, brochures and many more.

Illustrator is also easy to learn, even if you will always find new features while working with it. If you have any doubt, you can just contact the support or browse on the internet to find millions of tips, tutorials, how to, and so on.

Its scaleable results are perfect both for web and printing. No pixelation anymore! A very professional software for professional works.

Pros

Easy-to-use and easy-to-learn. Its menus and toolbar are intuitive and offer a wide range of action or tools to create your artwork. Starting from simple shapes till really complex projects.

You may contact the Adobe support at any time if needed. There are also a lot of helpful resources online, so you only have to ask to figure out any issue.

It allows creating vector projects that are completely scalable and so perfect for any use.

It works on almost any OS. It is the most complete vector graphic design software at the moment, even if Affinity Designer is becoming very competitive and is turning out to be a good alternative to Illustrator.

Cons

You might encounter some bug while working on Illustrator. It may happen that the software will crash while using it so pay attention to activate the recovery option and to compulsively save your work to avoid the loss of the work done.

It's a little bit expensive, considering that Affinity Designer is increasing its features at an unbeatable price.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
I. adrian A.

Creativity through illustration is the maximum strength of this software

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/09/05
Review Source: Capterra

Those designers and companies that need to improve their designs and the performance of their designers, should have this software as a priority among their next acquisitions, as it happened with me, I'm sure that those who start using the software will discover a new world in design thanks to Adobe Illustrator.

Pros

Adobe Illustrator is simply impressive software, since I started using it I have gone into great depth with my designs. On the one hand, it has a powerful graphic engine defined as vector drawing, which is none other than the mathematical constitution of image design, making the task of designing more precise and visually attractive than the well-known "bitmap".

Among the most outstanding benefits I can mention are the following:

The software is not so heavy, taking up little space on the hard disk. But even though it seems to be more incomplete because of this, on the contrary, it is the software that offers more tools for design.

This is a great advantage as we can see images with a lot of design content on any computer, with acceptable features in your system.

Some of the formats are susceptible to the addition of animations, this has allowed me to make designs much more interesting and attractive for the client who requests it.

Vector drawing is an excellent methodology because it simply improves the quality of the design, lines, colors, shapes, layers and other characteristics of the design being undertaken.

Cons

One of the limitations or cons that I can place on this software is that it is not easy to use. When I discovered it, it took me a while to learn how to use most of its tools. So I recommend doing courses and training while using the software, because what makes this software interesting is to use it to its maximum capacity.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10

Scaleable results

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/08/03
Review Source: Capterra

I have been using Illustrator for approximately three years now as a student and freelance graphic designer. I still learn new tips and tricks today that allow me to advance my skillset. Whatever issues I had or commands I couldn't figure out on my own, a simple search online has always resulted in numerous answers to the same question that others already had. Problem solving has always been easy with the software as it has become my go-to tool for graphics.

Pros

Easy to use after some practice. The commands are approachable for a firsttime user and varied enough to fulfill the needs of a very experienced user. It is quite practically a blank canvas for vectors with which you can do anything you might need in static graphics and manipulate to your desire with a drag to copy command. After mastering the pen tool, you might find illustrator to be an alluring alternative to sketching or prototyping by hand because of how quickly things can be drawn out while still be very precise with aid of snapping/ grids. The combination of the shape tool with pathfinder allow the user to reach complexity of forms in few simple steps. It grants any user a higher level of craft without much effort. The more you use it, the more you discover. It becomes an essential tool for anyone who learns how to use it. Essentially anyone can find a reason to use Illustrator and pretty much anyone can get a hold of it within half an hour. Since it uses the same language and ecosystem, the Illustrator environment will be very familiar for anyone who has had the pleasure of playing around with Photoshop. An illustrator document also communicates well across other software for example, motion graphic, 3D modeling & printing, laser cutting, etc. It's a standard that will afford a user plenty of flexibility. If I had to choose only one design tool to depend on for the rest of my career, I would choose Illustrator.

Cons

Some commands / tools are hard to discover until you are in dire need of them and are forced to do an online search for a solution. There are a few commands that do not match up with other software in the Adobe ecosystem which can get confusing. (i.e Indesign / Photoshop / XD). Based on your computer's GPU performance, you may get strange glitches in the rendering of a graphic when the file gets large which can make working with that file a hassle- this however does not happen very often and there still are many workarounds. Adding effects can make the file sluggish as well. Managing groups and different appearances within a group can become cumbersome as things become nested within the layers. To some degree, the user has to learn the Adobe way of doing things which may not be entirely intuitive at first but makes a lot of sense once you figure it out. For those who are new to Adobe they will have to learn to organize their filling system as assets such as a linked image can otherwise disappear from a file and must be retrieved. Unfortunately, you cannot make sweeping changes across multiple artboards, but instead must individually edit each item.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Darla B.

Not too difficult for a non-designer to figure out

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/08/01
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

I was thrown into using this software when I started at my current company four years ago. I had only ever used PhotoShop, and then only on very basic terms. For someone who is not a designer, Illustrator was daunting at first, but it is actually a fun program to work in, and I have enjoyed learning more about it as I've worked in it as a Content Strategist.

Our designers use it to create a broad spectrum of marketing pieces from logos to single-page print pieces to full website designs, and they are all stunning. The ability to combine design and content is perfect for marketing creatives as it allows us to collaborate on our work without having to work in separate software and then combine elements at the end.

The learning curve with Illustrator is easily overcome by Adobe's plethora of online tutorialsvideo and printas well as the wealth of knowledge from other creatives willing to help you learn your way around the program. Trial and error is also a great way to learn the program. Click around and see what happens because you never know what great effect you might figure out!

Cons

There is definitely a learning curve with this program, as there is with any program similar to this. If you want to create an effect or illustrate something, you'll need to look up some tutorials if you've not worked in Illustrator before. Luckily, Adobe is great with these kinds of tutorials. And if you're still struggling, ask the internet because someone out there probably knows and can help.

It also won't do everything you're looking to do. For instance, it just isn't PhotoShop. If you need to edit a photo before you place it, you're still going to want to do that in a program like PS because that is what that software is for. Illustrator just isn't for that. Adobe has compartmentalized its programs a bit, and this one is no exception.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Illustrator is the king of vector graphics

Used Monthly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/07/16
Review Source: Capterra

Illustrator has a tough learning curve, but once scaled, it unlocks a whole new world of layout and design methods that cannot be matched with other software packages.

Pros

For years, Illustrator has been the ugly brother to Photoshop, (And it still largely is) - designers everywhere would get frustrated with Illustrators 'alternative' work flow when doing the simplest of tasks that would take seconds in Photoshop. - but in the last few years, Adobe have worked hard to make the unique abilities of Illustrator come to the fore.

It's not the ubiquitous image editing powerhouse that is Photoshop, and it's not trying to be. What Illustrator has become is the designers best friend. It has a layer of accuracy that isn't in Photoshop, you can design logos, layouts, text, fonts, anything using Illustrators methods and produce things that can be rendered at any resolution because of it's mathematical vector output.

As software developers, the world is becoming more and more resolution agnostic, every bit of software we make must work on multiple different display resolutions. From tiny mobile phones to gigantic televisions.

If we were to create our user interfaces using photoshops rasterised bitmap output, we would be forever making different resolution sized files. But with illustrator, (when you know what you're doing) - you simply need one file and the use of it's amazing exporting abilities.

Cons

The learning curve (pun intended) of Illustrator is steep. Much more steep if you've come from Adobes other amazing image manipulation software Adobe Photoshop.

For years, the layout of Illustrator, and the subtle UX interface differences has alienated its use for the beginning user, but once you get over the learning curve and the hurdles of "simply finding the right button" - it all starts to click, layers, and masks, and paths all become normal and then a world of accurate design is opened up. Making things that would take a long time in Photoshop a simple task in Illustrator (circular paths, for example, or pattern making are done so much easier in Illustrator than could ever be achieved in Photoshop) -

The best of both worlds (bitmap and vector) is to become proficient in both, but one area Adobe could look at is making Illustrator more uniform with Photoshop in it's way of presenting its user interface. There are *so many* inconsistencies between the two brother software packages.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Niraj J.

Adobe Illustrator is hands down the best illustration software that is available in the market.

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/07/09
Review Source: Capterra

This software gave me the opportunity to express my imagination into the form of artwork. The best thing was that it didn't take much time to get a hold of this beautiful yet very complex software.

The fact that there is not a single better alternative to Adobe Illustrator says everything about the work they have put in to create it.

I was able to learn this software very quickly and got good in few weeks. I earn living with the use of this tool.

I'm glad that I came across this software.

Pros

Amazing interface.
They crafted it so perfectly that no other competitor can match it.

Easy to learn.
What is the best thing about any software? It should be easy to learn for a complete new person. Adobe Illustrator nails it. A person with artistic skills will learn this software in no time.

Quick support.
Are you stuck at any step or you have a bug that is stopping your project? Just contact Adobe and you will get support before you finish closing the software. Seriously, I have never seen such a swift support from any other company.

Vast amount of resources.
You don't need to worry about the help here. Millions of people use and post helpful resources on daily basis over the Internet forums. You will get many helpful professionals helping you when you are stuck at any of your progress. The best thing about this is that they will like to help you.

Multi OS support.
If you have a latest version of Adobe Illustrator, you can use it across many different OS. Be it Windows. Be it Ubuntu. Just connect your create cloud account and you don't have two worry about your operating system.

No pixelation!
So, most of the people struggle with one thing in the graphics industry and that is pixelation. But with the vector technology of Adobe Illustrator, you don't have to worry about the pixels anymore. You can zoom your art in a microscopic level and it'll still be crisp and clear.

Cons

Hight system resources.
So, it's very safe to assume that you're going to need a good computer to properly use Adobe Illustrator. It's a very advanced software with countless features that will use up your system resources.

Can't handle digital images very well.
As the purpose of Adobe Illustrator is to create vector art, it's not coded very well to be compatible with digital images that contains pixels. Pixels cannot be converted into vector so don't confuse photo editing softwares with illustrations softwares.

Very complex interface from other Adobe products.
Since it's a very powerful software, Adobe couldn't compromise on the complexion of its user interface. Artist will have to get used to the interface before starting to work on complex projects.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Krishan K.

Whenever I thought to create any vector, Adobe illustrator is my priority tool to develop any vector

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/06/29
Review Source: Capterra

I learnt a lot from adobe illustrator. It has become part of my life. I have created numerous designs using adobe illustratror. It give me idea of perspective. It gave me knowledge to enhance my graphics. It is the best software I have ever used for the purpose of graphic designing. I am earning my bread and butter using adobe illustratror. Thank you very much for adobe to develop such a nice software. I am using adobe illustrator in my organisation to create each design like logo design, pamphlet design, advertising design, card design etc. Everyone appreciate my work to create such nice designs, but I appreciate to illustrator to provide such nice functionality and tools to create these kind of designs.

Pros

Adobe illustrator is a fine software with Rich set of tools and functionality. It is best suited to develop 2d vector images, 3d vector images, logos, icons with very sharp and deep edges. Due to producing finest quality of vector, Adobe illustrator has become my first choice to make any 2d or 3d vector design.
There is variety of tools with ease of use them, which makes illustratror more adaptable to a user. I strongly recommend Adobe illustrator to web and print purpose graphics design. There are many other graphics tool available in the market but illustrator is something else it convert your imagination to reality in terms of graphics designing.

Cons

If I thought for CONS, then it will be really very difficult for me. But I would definitely say that there should be a training forum started from adobe who will teach to others, and there should be some kind of contents also be organised.
I know this is not a CONS for illustrator.
But this is what I thought to be done, otherwise everything is fine.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Badshah B.

The perfect tool for vector illustration and professional designing

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/06/29
Review Source: Capterra

A must-have tool for designing department in any organization. The software is not resolution dependent which gives guaranteed best print output every time. Affinity Designer is a close call but our team will go with Adobe Illustrator any day.

Pros

We have been using the original licensed version of the software in our organization for a pretty long time. The creative dept. uses the software for designing icons for web and app, logos, print materials and business cards. Can be virtually used for almost any type of designing. Expertise in Photoshop and InDesign will be very much helpful in using this software. A wide set of tools, filters and effects are available which makes sketches, designing and illustration an easy task. The paid version has a bundle of stock arts, high-quality vector artwork and fonts that can be used extensively. It also supports files from other external software such as PSD files from Adobe Photoshop, PDF, vector formats such as EPS, and CDR files from Corel Draw. Adobe cloud is an added advantage that makes sharing of creative data easy with others users.

Cons

1. Even though tutorials are useful, only a professionally trained designer can take full advantage of the software. The learning curve is steep. 1-2 year is required for attaining proficiency.
2. Quite expensive. This may be due to the monopoly Adobe has over this space.
3. Updates are very rare. For fixing minor to major bugs and errors, we have to wait a long time.
4. For editing objects with multiple nodes and for complex designing, the system resources are consumed very quickly and cause the system to hang or crash at many times.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

Adobe Illustrator a great tool to handle vector design

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/05/14
Review Source: Capterra

I use Adobe Illustrator in the process of postproduction of thematic maps, where the modules of improvement and adjustment of colors guarantee that the message is transmitted with a professional finish. In the configuration of the logo, the proportionality of the forms that are sometimes impossible to modify in the programs that generate the cartography, the final product that I obtain with Illustrator is excellent, it improves the image exponentially.
There are textures, shadow effects and shapes that I only get in Illustrator. I needed many hours of driving to get the experience necessary to extract the best performance from the menus I use, although I certainly do not handle all the options, since my work is aimed at cartographic editing and not graphic design, I feel satisfied with the improvements and development that the tool carries today.
In relation to the investment made to obtain the software, I believe that the institution has recovered that investment, both in terms of product quality, the consumption of man hours per finished product and the benefit of the contracts.
The possibility of interacting through the cloud with other users, is a very good trend, although we have not yet used it frequently, because our web servers have connection problems.

Pros

You can improve your drawings by freehand with the effects tools that allow you to modify the strokes in a natural way, without modifying the anchor points, it honestly helps a lot by keeping the composition of the surroundings close to the modified area.
It works with the Mac and Windows platforms, as well as an APP to start ideas from the phone and then improve them on the computer. The work modules are more intuitive than the previous versions.
It allows us to easily export the final image to PDF, JPG, PNG as well as XML and CSV formats, this version facilitates much more the exchange of products, to manipulate them as we want or as the others involved in the project want.
The tools of form and selection are splendid, the palette of colors very complete and the option of downloading from the cloud any complex color not defined in the palette is presented and even basic designs can be downloaded by other users.
The new guides allow you to move objects and play with the proportions and alignments of the other objects present.

Cons

A high performance team is required to take full advantage of the program, it is recommended to use a graphic card.
It has no option under the Linux operating system.
In some situations, other adobe programs are required to provide the most accurate and fastest solution, especially for users who do not have much experience in the program, the learning curve is very long and very fruitful.
Editing objects with many nodes becomes a heavy task that consumes a large amount of computing resources.
The cost of the license is high, but there are many payment options, as well as help for students, universities and foundations, which make their acquisition possible in the short term.
If you do not take care with the handling of the objects, the result can occupy many MB, complicating the printing, diffusion and handling

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Steve B.

Quite simply, I could not design software without Adobe Illustrator.

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/05/10
Review Source: Capterra

I need the ability to create high-fidelity mockups in my job as a UX designer. Without Illustrator, I couldn't do my job.

Pros

Adobe Illustrator has been an evolving tool for so long that its checkered history is sometimes hard to remember. I was a die-hard Freehand user when Adobe acquired Macromedia, and I missed artboards to the point that I refused to use Illustrator. When they were added to the product in the CS3 or CS4 release, I reevaluated the tool, and I've used it almost daily since then. While nearly all of the Creative Suite/Creative Cloud applications have a steep learning curve, there is a multitude of videos and blogs and groups that can help you accomplish what you're trying to do in Illustrator. Because files are vectors, they're not nearly as large as Photoshop, making them ideal for use with high-res systems. Import of EPS, SVG, and other vectors is fantastic. Export to them and PDF is also great. Export for Screens is a great addition, making icon generation for iOS and Android excellent. The recent integration with Adobe XD gets me closer to a fantastic workflow in static wireframing to interactive prototyping than possible using other tools.

Cons

The sheer complexity of Illustrator is only exceeded by Photoshop or Premier in the Creative Cloud suite. There are so many different ways of accomplishing nearly the same thing that the results can be meaningfully different at scale or when other effects are applied. Adobe Illustrator files can be imported into Sketch, but Illustrator cannot import Sketch files, which is problematic as I do not use a Mac and often receive Sketch assets, requiring me to find someone with a Mac to download a Sketch trial to convert to EPS or PDF so I can use the assets in Sketch. Adobe was late to getting its UI to support high-density displays on Windows, so older version were nearly impossible to use as the menu and toolbars were so tiny that they were almost illegible. While Adobe has made great strides in solving this, it still doesn't feel like the tool is ready for touch displays, rather ironic for a product named "Illustrator." Feature integration with the Microsoft Surface line of tools is nice, but not easily explained by the product. When I want to know what things it can do with my Surface Book, for example, I always have to hit up YouTube to find someone to explain it to me.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Tom O.

I could not do my job without Adobe Illustrator

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2017/06/12
Review Source: Capterra

Better synergy between colleagues and suppliers. Hugely improved design capabilities. Incredible integrations with other key Creative Suite programs.

Pros

Adobe Illustrator is an industry staple for graphic design and rightly so. The vector capabilities, typographic options, and artboard flexibility make Illustrator tough to rival. Integrating well with other staples such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe After Effects mean that the full Adobe Creative Suite are vital to my every day work as a graphic, web & motion designer.

Specific strengths of Adobe Illustrator are the clever 'anchor point' mechanics that make all shapes wonderfully flexible and the simplicity & flexibility of the UI. Options familiar from the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite such as blend modes, layers, distortion tools etc are all available making it quick to adopt for users of other Creative Suite tools.

It's hard to find fault with Illustrator at all as a tool. I have been using it for well over a decade through various different versions and iterations and for several different purposes. each version improves on the functionality without upsetting the classic benefits of the system. A recent update included the incredibly useful 'Asset Export' tool which has helped streamline my web development process hugely.

Cons

The two drawbacks that spring to mind with Illustrator are the cost and the size. As a powerful solution, Illustrator is naturally a large program. As a result, load times, even on higher end computers can be slow. Larger documents with multiple effects and raster graphics exacerbate this further but it's par of the course for the functionality required.

Cost wise, I can't comment on Illustrator alone as it is usually retailed as part of the larger 'Creative Suite' or "Creative Cloud' packages. for the full suite (which is justifiably vast), the cost is on the higher side for subscription-based software. Illustrator can be purchased alone for but I can think of few users who would use Illustrator as a stand-alone product.

All that said, Illustrator is an essential design tool and justifies both it's size and cost comfortably.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Javiera M.

An absolute must for graphic designers

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/05/02
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

Adobe Illustrator is one of the three basic tools for graphic designers –along with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. It is in my opinion the one with the most accessible learning curve of the three. You can really go a long way with very little training. However, this software is so powerful that even after 10 years of daily use I am still learning new functionalities that make my work easier and faster.

Illustrator excels at vector image creation but is versatile enough to allow you to incorporate raster images into its files as well. It borrows some filter functionality from Photoshop and allows for perspective designs as well –although admittedly I have not explored that aspect to its full extent. Some people even use it to build more complex, text-centric documents and it does very well even though it is not intended for that purpose.

Cons

When it comes to larger-sized print documents, such as billboards, Adobe Illustrator might not be your best bet. The canvas allows for a maximum of about 18-19 feet.

Although I appreciate the graph tool, the way that it has been set up makes it more difficult than necessary to adjust the aspect and I sometimes feel my creativity gets locked in as the data presentation settings are not malleable enough.

The other aspect that may be considered a con but it's really not is based on its text-handling abilities. It does not allow for such in-depth control over text as does Adobe InDesign because it is not intended to do so.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

Powerful vector graphics builder!

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/14
Review Source: Capterra

I work full-time as a designer plus do some freelance side jobs. Illustrator is my go-to for creating custom logos and vector graphics.

Pros

My favorite aspects of this software are it's pen (bezier) and shape building tools. When creating vector paths/shapes, the pen tool is able to be adjusted using shortcuts while in use - allowing you to both adjust the location of the anchor point AND the shape of the path at the same time. This control is extremely user-friendly as you don't need to commit to creating a point where you click, but can move it around to the exact location you want before finalizing. It sounds small, but it's an amazing feature. In addition, the shape building tool is fantastic. It lets me create complex, custom objects by combining/overlapping basic shapes together. Then I can highlight all the shapes and use the builder tool to quickly merge or remove the overlapped bits. It might sound confusing, but once you get in there, it's really easy to do and lets you create professional work even if your drawing ability is lacking.

Cons

Like most Adobe Programs, it's bloated with tools and interfaces. This was recently improved significantly in their 2019 update.. as now they have one panel that detects what tools you may want/need based on what is selected. However there's still a ton to learn before you can access it's full potential. That being said - the potential available is one of the exciting aspects of the program, so the extra learning required pays off.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

Illustrator has no competitors.

Used Monthly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/08/01
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

Illustrator does everything a vector drawing program needs to do, plus a ton of other stuff I would never have thought of (and some I still haven't had occasion to try, in 15+ years of using it). Once you get the hang of the interface, the workflow is exquisite. It's full of well-thought-out keyboard shortcuts that make it possible to complete complex procedures rapidly, and workspace presets that display only the most relevant tools for the type of task at hand.

What I love most about all of Adobe's creation software is that with the endless keyboard shortcuts and combinations, using it well becomes like playing a musical instrument you develop skills that can be stored as motor memory, allowing your conscious mind to focus on creative decisions while your hands do all the work.

Illustrator can read and export just about every format relevant to vector work (and then some), so when you're working with a variety of clients and can't predict what kind of files they'll be bringing to you, it's a pretty safe bet you'll be able to open anything. Of course, chances are their files were created in Illustrator anyway, because it's pretty much the industry standard. When it comes to all the different file types you might need to export for web, 2D presses, 3D printers, laser cutters, screen printing, etc., Illustrator has always had me covered.

Cons

It takes some time to fully train yourself on the many, many aspects of using Illustrator effectively. That said, even a novice can open it up and get SOMETHING done. It'll just take a lot longer, and they likely won't make use of many of the available features until some experience has been gained. Since it's been around so long and is so widely used, any questions that come up can always be answered with a quick Google search, which will bring up tutorials published by Adobe and others, as well as forums where the trickier questions have already been discussed.

Being such a feature-rich program, it's also a bulky program to run. That's fine as long as you're working with state-of-the-art hardware, but could start to get tricky if you're stuck on an old machine.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

Great for vector graphics if already in the Adobe ecosystem, but other software can do it better

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/04/23
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

As with any Adobe software, once you know one program you can pretty much pick up the rest quite easily. So, if you are already familiar with Photoshop and Indesign, then this will be a piece of cake to learn. However, if you don't have any experience in these programs the learning curve can be rather steep. What's great about this program is that there are very few limitations. Basically whatever you see in your minds eye, you can create. There are a plethora of tools that can meet any of your illustration needs (and plenty of plugins that can be found online that will expand your tool set as well)

Cons

A major downside is that because Adobe's software is developed by different teams, it can sometimes be frustrating that a tool that works so well in one program is incredibly underdeveloped in another. For example, the transform tools in Photoshop are fantastic; you can warp an image to anyway you see fit. The transform tools in Illustrator however, for a very long time, lacked a lot to be desired (and while I know that this has been fixed in recent updates, it's still a point of contention for me). In a lot of ways, the competing software "Affinity Designer" has expanded upon and surpassed the capabilities of Illustrator. It's masking tools, the way it handles layers, and pathfinder functionality far exceed Illustrator's. If I wasn't already so deep in Adobe's world, I would consider using that program more frequently.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support