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What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is the leading vector graphics software used by designers and artists around the world. With its robust tools for creating digital illustrations, logos, fonts, and more, Illustrator has become an essential part of any creative’s toolkit. However, like any sophisticated design software, Illustrator does have a learning curve and certain disadvantages that are worth considering before diving in. 

Whether you’re a novice designer just getting started or a veteran Illustrator user, it’s good to understand the pros and cons of adobe illustrator- your primary design tool.

Overview of Adobe Illustrator 

Adobe Illustrator is a popular vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Adobe Systems. It is designed primarily for creating logos, designs, drawings, fonts, and illustrations. Unlike Photoshop, which is a raster graphics editor, Illustrator utilizes vector graphics to create clean lines and scalable images. Some of the main tools in Illustrator include:

  • The selection tool for selecting and manipulating objects  
  • The pen tool for creating vector paths and shapes  
  • Type tools for adding and editing text  
  • Shape tools for adding simple shapes like rectangles, ellipses, polygons, etc.  
  • Brush tools for creating calligraphic and scatter brushes  
  • Color tools for selecting and modifying colors  

Advantages of Using Adobe Illustrator  


Vector graphics are scalable, so you can resize them to any size without loss of quality. This makes Illustrator perfect for creating logos, print materials, and web graphics. You can create an image and then scale it up for a billboard or down for a business card without worrying about pixelation.  


The pen tool and shape tools allow you to create very precise lines, curves, and shapes. This precision is important for many design tasks like creating logos, typography, and line art. The direct selection tool also gives you complete control over manipulating the anchor points and vectors that make up each shape.  

Also Read: Best Way to Draw Anime Characters for Beginners

Clean, Crisp Lines  

Similar to the scalability benefit, vector lines always remain crisp since they are based on mathematical calculations instead of a fixed pixel grid. This is useful for creating a clean, minimalistic style with sharp edges and flat, solid colors.  

Easy to Modify 

Vector graphics are easy to edit and modify. You can select any shape or line and readjust it by dragging the anchor points or vector lines. You can also easily change the color or add effects like gradients or patterns to any shape. Layers and grouping also help keep your artwork organized and editable.  

Professional Design Tool 

Illustrator is an industry-standard design tool used by professionals. Mastery of Illustrator is a valuable skill that can open up job opportunities in graphic design, web design, UI/UX design, and illustration. Illustrator’s features like blend modes, clipping masks, grids, and alignment tools allow you to create complex professional designs.

Integration with Creative Cloud

Illustrator is seamlessly integrated with the Adobe Creative Cloud, so you can easily open and edit PS files, AI files, PDFs, and more. You can also save files directly to the cloud and access them from any device.

Extensive Font Library

Adobe Fonts offers a huge library of high-quality fonts that are free to use with an Illustrator subscription. You have access to thousands of fonts for print, web, and mobile apps.

Time-Saving Templates

Illustrator offers templates to help speed up your workflow. You can start with templates for print materials, web graphics, product packaging, icon sets, and more. Then customize the templates to suit your needs.

Efficiency with Keyboard Shortcuts

Like most Adobe software, Illustrator has a huge set of keyboard shortcuts that can drastically improve your efficiency with the product. Once you memorize many of the shortcuts, you’ll find yourself working faster than possible with just a mouse and menu selections.

pros and cons of adobe illustrator
pros and cons of adobe illustrator

Disadvantages of Using Adobe Illustrator

Steep Learning Curve

Illustrator has a steep learning curve due to its huge range of tools, panels, and features. It can be overwhelming for beginners to figure out how to accomplish what they want. The pen tool, in particular, is difficult to master and requires patience and practice.


Illustrator requires a paid subscription to Creative Cloud which can be expensive for amateur designers or hobbyists. The full Creative Cloud plan is over $50 USD per month, although discounts are sometimes available for students. 

Not the Best for Raster Graphics  

While Illustrator excels at vector graphics, it is not the best tool for working with raster images like photos. For any raster image editing, Photoshop is superior with its wider range of photo manipulation tools and filters. Although you can place and edit raster images in Illustrator, the editing capabilities are basic. 

Also Read: When was the first camera invented?

File Compatibility Issues   

Illustrator files use the .ai file format which can sometimes cause compatibility issues when transferring files to other design tools. The .ai format does not support transparency in older versions of design tools. Exporting to universal file formats like .png, .jpg or .svg can fix some compatibility issues but may require re-editing.

Hardware Intensive

Illustrator requires advanced hardware like a fast processor, dedicated graphics card, and ample memory to run efficiently. On underpowered devices, Illustrator can run slowly and previewing complex designs may lag or stutter.

Additional Costs

In addition to the subscription cost, Illustrator may require additional investments in hardware, software add-ons, fonts, templates, and stock images or textures. The costs can add up significantly over time for professional users.

Default Settings Need Adjusting

Illustrator’s default settings are geared more toward print design, so for web design work, you’ll need to adjust settings like the color mode, preview mode, raster effects settings, and save options for the web. This can require digging into Illustrator’s preferences to optimize the settings for web and UI design.

Difficulty with Animation or Interaction

While Illustrator works well for static graphics, it lacks good tools for creating interactive or animated designs. For web banners, UI interactions, and micro-interactions, a tool like Photoshop or Adobe XD may be better suited. Illustrator can create the visuals, but the animation and coding would need to be done outside of the program.

The Takeaway

Is Adobe Illustrator worth it? Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard vector graphics editor and has significant advantages for scalable logos, icons, typography, and line art design.

However, the learning curve can be steep, the costs add up over time, it is not ideal for editing raster graphics, and file compatibility with other tools can be problematic. For most designers and digital artists though, the benefits of Illustrator outweigh these potential disadvantages.


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