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Mac Illustration Software

Vector Drawing Programs for Use in Desktop Publishing


Illustration or drawing programs produce scalable vector artwork making them ideal as the all-around graphics creation and logo design tool. For commercial printing, scalable EPS graphics are the format of choice and import easily into most major page layout programs for creating letterhead, business cards, and other documents. Illustration programs often double as page layout applications as well.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator CS5 Box shot © Adobe, Inc.
Adobe Illustrator CS5 Box shot © Adobe, Inc.

Widely-accepted industry standard for illustration, it integrates well with other Adobe products. On the downside, it does have a steep learning curve. It's acceptance by service bureaus and printers keeps it as a top choice for professional designers.Illustrator can also be used for some page layout tasks including business cards and ads. It is available as part of some of the Adobe Creative Suites or as a standalone application.

Illustrator CS5 for Windowsand Mac

It is part of the Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium, and Master Collection editions ofAdobe Creative Suite5.

Inkscape (inkscape.org)

Inkscape screenshot from Inkscape.org
Inkscape screenshot from Inkscape.org

A popular free,open sourcevector drawing program, Inkscapeuses theScalable Vector Graphics(SVG) file format. Use Inkscape for creating text and graphics compositions including business cards, book covers, fliers, and ads.Inkscapeis similar in capabilities to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. Inkscape is also being used to create fonts.

Inkscape 0.48 forLinux,Windows, Mac, and will run on FreeBSD, Unix-like systems

Bohemian Coding: DrawIt

DrawIt Screenshot provided by Bohemian Coding
DrawIt Screenshot provided by Bohemian Coding

This is a Mac only program for vector drawing with bitmap filter support. It's offers non-destructive editing even after bitmap filters are applied. Features: vector editing, layers, groups, & masks, CoreImage filters, stacking effects. And it's under $40 too.

DrawIt version 3.10.3 for Mac (OS X 10.6 required)

TweakerSoft: VectorDesigner

TweakerSoft VectorDesigner Web site screen snip
TweakerSoft VectorDesigner Web site screen snip

Some of the specs for this vector drawing program include: smart shapes, text on a path, text in a shape, Boolean operations, iSight integration, layers, and raster to vector conversions. Apply non-destructive filters and effects, create logos and Web graphics, and compose brochures, brochures, and other documents. Download a trial version.

VectorDesigner 1.5.2 for Mac (OS X 14 or higher)

Purgatory Design: Intaglio

Intaglio Screenshot; © Purgatory Design
Intaglio Screenshot; © Purgatory Design

Also available as iPhone and iPad apps, Intaglio is a Mac OS X drawing program. If you have a bunch of oldClarisDraw and MacDraw II/Pro drawings, you can import them right into Intaglio and bring them up-to-date. It can export as SVG, includes pre-defined patterns, does full-screen slideshows, and has a drag-and-drop library for reusing graphic elements. Download a free demo.

Intaglio 3.1.2 for Mac OS X

Dekorra Optics: EazyDraw

EazyDraw screenshot provided by Dekorra Optics
EazyDraw screenshot provided by Dekorra Optics

This vector-based drawing program is for technical illustration and diagrams, creating logos, and doing simple page layout tasks including brochures, CD labels, and fliers. You can download a demo that will save and print up to 30 graphics.

EazyDraw version 3.2 for Mac OS X

Related Video
Basic Drawing in Illustrator

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