I have seen quite a few great illustrations placed as headers or footers, for example, see this or this. I was wondering which tools are used to make such illustrations. Can I create this kind of images in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator? Are they made by using the pen tool?. I'm asking this because I have read some comments complaining about the difficulty to create a nice drawing in Photoshop.

I've also seen discussions related to vector drawings as opposed (I guess) to bitmaps drawings. What is the difference between each other in relation to web design?

Thanks in advance.

  • While there are some vector based web protocols, headers and footers are going to be raster images (png, jpg). Vector tools can be used to make them, but the final output is in pixels, not vectors.
    – rebusB
    Sep 29, 2017 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Vector files are files that plot out the drawing in lines and points. They can be scaled to any size without any loss of resolution. Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, AutoCAD are all popular software that create vector type files.

Raster files are files made up of individual pixels like you'd get in a photograph. PhotoShop, Fireworks, The GIMP are popular software applications for creating and editing raster images.

Note that most modern graphic design software does a bit of both. For instance, you can create vector artwork in PhotoShop if you want or export raster images from Adobe Illustrator.

As for what tools were used for those 105 different illustrations, I imagine it's pretty much anything and everything. There's no one magic piece of software that will do everything.

  • Thank you very much for your answer. Of course, I suppose many of those images cover a wide variety of tools, however, it seems to me most of them should be vector files pieced together in a raster file. Is reasonable to assume that or it can be possible to create that kind of illustrations entirely in Photoshop, Fireworks, etc?
    – r_31415
    Mar 27, 2011 at 7:19
  • It's rare that a person will sit in only one app to create artwork. When I'm creating illustrations, I'm often jumping between many different apps to take advantage of the strengths of each. COULD a person use merely one app for those illustrations? Certainly. It can be done. If you only care about web graphics (lower res RGB) then Fireworks is a really great app and is a really nice blend of raster and vector toolsets.
    – DA01
    Mar 27, 2011 at 18:12
  • DA01 is right. You could do all your work with pen and pencil on paper, scan it, save it as a header sized jpg or png and use that.
    – rebusB
    Sep 29, 2017 at 16:53

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