I recently discovered a game changer in the world of designing for t-shirts. It’s a third party plugin bundle for Adobe Illustrator-the Astute Graphics set- and if you love half tone as much as I do, this set includes the holy grail of adding clever dots to your work.
The website boasts that its product saves their clients time- after testing it for a week (you can get a free 14 day trial of the entire suite), my conclusion is: absolutely.
Now, I’m normally using three very different methods to make new work, and one in particular is NOT going to be fast no matter how I approach it. But in terms of the rest of what I do, here’s how using the plugins broke down:
Method 1- average 1 design per day. With plugin: 3 designs per day.
Method 2- average 1 design every 3 days. With plugin: 1 design per day.
As I said, game changer. Also, the look these plugins help me achieve is finally approaching my goal aesthetics. It’s like they reached into my brain and grabbed everything I wanted to produce.
I still have a lot to learn in terms of designing. I’ve been working on art consistently since my youth, but I tend to be lazy about learning new things (until the past year). I need to keep at it. But sometimes when you see another person’s work that really strikes you it’s easy to forget that they may have tools, like these plugins, that you aren’t using- and a little homework might save you years of time.
If you live in Illustrator, but like me you “grew up” in Photoshop, trust me- visit their site and download the set for the free trial. It helps AI feel and function like PS. Marvelous stuff.