I was initially going to give this article a fancy name, like design hacks or something of the sorts, but this changed last minute. This article and subsequent ones would spotlight little things that I have used to optimise my workflow, and I think would also help you.
I’m a self-taught designer, so most of my learning has been self-directed. I taught myself most of what I know by trial, error and lots of tears, and this year has formed a greater part of that learning. So far, I have picked up a lot of hacks. A lot of times I learn these things in the heat of the moment, but I later forget them. To ensure that this didn’t happen again, I started dumping them in a notion page.
During my last session with my manager, I realised that other people may be struggling with the same things and so I thought I’d share.
Here is the first thing I want to tell you about:
Dimensioning objects in Adobe Illustrator with Specify
Specify is an illustrator script that helps designers dimension items within the app. Before I get too far though, let me tell you what a script is.
A script is a series of commands that tells Illustrator to perform one or more tasks. These tasks can be simple- affecting only one object in the current document, or complex- affecting objects in all your Illustrator documents.
The tasks might even involve other applications, like word processors, spreadsheets, and database management programs.
This script is particularly useful when sending out files to printers/production partners to ensure that you get accurate results. To get started, download the zip file here and follow the installation instructions.
One more thing: When dimensioning between two objects, you need to first create shapes around those objects so that the dimension lines have a reference. Afterwards, the reference shapes can be deleted.