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  • Mikelle Drew

Why Designers Learn Illustrator for Fashion Design

Why Designers Learn Illustrator for Fashion Design
Why Designers Learn Illustrator for Fashion Design

You may have heard that designers use Adobe Illustrator but not quite sure how they use the software.

You may also have heard about 3d fashion design software and wondering if it's even worth your time learning Illustrator.

This blog will help you understand why Adobe Illustrator is important and whether you should still take the time to learn the software.

(Spoiler alert: you should!)

Why Use Illustrator?

Designers use a variety of software for design development as well as what many might deem as "old school" pen and paper. So where does Adobe Illustrator fit in?

Fashion designers use Adobe Illustrator for a variety of reasons including creating digital sketches and illustrations of their designs, refining and communicating design ideas clearly and professionally to clients and vendors, and creating technical drawings for tech packs, fashion CADs, line sheets and other presentation materials and business documents.

Here are 6 reasons to use Adobe Illustrator for fashion design:

1. Sketching and Illustration

Adobe Illustrator allows fashion designers to create digital sketches and illustrations of their designs. The software provides a range of tools for drawing or adding color and pattern, which can help designers to quickly and easily create professional-looking flat sketches, graphics and illustrations as well as documents like fashion CADs.

Illustrator flat sketch drawings of a pant on a notebook and a designer drawing a similar sketch in a notebook.
Use Adobe Illustrator to draw digital flat sketches and illustrations of your designs.

2. Technical Sketches

Adobe Illustrator allows fashion designers to create technical drawings, which are detailed illustrations that include measurements and specifications for the construction of a garment. Technical sketches are usually added to a tech pack and used by pattern makers and manufacturers to produce the final garments.

First page of a fashion tech pack displayed on a lap top screen.
Create flat sketches and technical sketches for tech packs and fashion CADs.

3. Color and Fabric Choices

Adobe Illustrator allows designers to experiment with different colors and fabrics, and to create color palettes and swatches that can be used in the design process. I remember in one of my former jobs we would, literally, create paper dolls to help narrow the merchandising assortment and those came from our flat sketches created in Adobe Illustrator, drawn and colored in different colorways and pattern options. It drastically cut down on the time it took to merc