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As a school project, I am graphically designing my own mobile OS. I already have hundreds of hand drawings of each aspect of the OSs design and I need to make the step to digital mockups.

As the designs that I will be concepting are not "usual" iOS or Android elements, I am going to need to make a lot of the elements from scratch.

I am fairly proficient in Photoshop but I hear that Illustrator might be a better tool to accomplish my goals.

Which software do you think I should use?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Michael

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It doesn't matter. Most folks will use both to some extent. –  DA01 Apr 19 '13 at 3:52
    
Don't forget Fireworks. It's very useful for doing screen-design (supports different "states" in one document, master-pages etc.) –  bummzack Apr 19 '13 at 6:27
    
you could also use a wireframe tool like balsamiq –  John Apr 22 '13 at 17:46
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It depends. If you are planning on using or creating textures, complex gradients and other "pixel heavy" elements, go for Photoshop. If your elements can be done with illustrator I would go for that as you can make many screens next to each other as well as slices (using art boards for example).

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This can be a rather polarizing issue, kinda like vim vs. emacs (but maybe a little more tame). You could most likely accomplish what you're after using both applications. My suggestion would be to use the opportunity to learn Illustrator just to give yourself a taste.

If you're not already privy to building vectors from scratch, translating your sketches to vector shapes is probably going to be very uncomfortable at first. If you stick with it, I guarantee it will be worth it.

My personal workflow would be to do as much as I can in Illustrator, then finish it up with Photoshop if needed.

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Illustrator is a vector based program and photoshop is a pixel base program. Illustration is wonderful for tracing really accurate and photoshop for images.

These programs were initially created for print and not for web and even thought they have added some features like "artworks",I find that illustrator and photoshop sometimes give you mock ups that are not possible to write code for and when it goes into development the design changes no matter how hard the developer tries.

I recommend that you can use a program called "Sketch".It is a wonderful little program that is like a merge of illustrator and photoshop.

If you need any standard elements, you can use some templates that other designers have created that will save you some time. i.e.

https://github.com/nvk/sketch-ios?utm_source=iOS+Dev+Weekly&utm_campaign=75c2d6c937-iOS_Dev_Weekly_Issue_90&utm_medium=email

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