I would assume that the answer would be Photoshop PSD, But It would just be a biased opinion. What are your thoughts? I recently find illustrator to be fast in position stuff, at the same time my elements are in vector (crisp and sharp). while in Photoshop, as my images/elements grows, my layers also grows and the memory usage grows, Photoshop will then slow down. Making my overall workflow slowdown. So the idea for this is If I have some raster images that needs some Photoshop effect, I will just switch to Photoshop and finish that effect. then switch to illustrator and import that image to my whole design. Maybe it's just my workflow in Photoshop that isn't optimize thats why I find it very inefficient.

I think this also goes with fireworks. I've used these 3 application for web design. I've had long relationship with Photoshop in terms of web design.

Back to my question, what do you usually use for Web Design? and does it affect Designer,Developer and Client in your project?

  • 1
    This is pretty off-topic for Pro Webmasters. If my close wasn't final, I'd vote to close. You may get better results on a design-specific Q&A site like doctype.com
    – JasonBirch
    Aug 23, 2010 at 17:24
  • This is better asked at doctype.com, sorry to bounce your question :)
    – Tim Post
    Aug 23, 2010 at 20:55

3 Answers 3


Do you mean for images, or for web design and wireframing?

For wireframing, i would choose none of the above. There's good software out now which is actually built for creating website designs/wireframes. There was a question on stack overflow about it, along with a good blogpost on website mockup tools.

I've used Axure to great affect, but it's an expensive solution (yet it does have a trial period.) The newest versions of Fireworks also contain some powerful mockup features, so i'd recommend that if you're dealing with people who already have the adobe suite. That's what Adobe's really tailoring it to do these days.

If you're just talking about what to save individual images as, I'd say either the purest source you have, so PSD for bitmaps and AI for vectors, if you're using adobe suite. Let the developer handle formatting the image into its final version (which will be flattened PNG, JPG, GIF. AI and PSDs are never part of a webpage.) If the dev can't open PSD and AI files, you can just export to PNG (not flattened) and SVG respectively.


As a developer (HTML/CSS for the purposes of this discussion) who does not manipulate or otherwise alter the original artwork provided by the designer, my preference is for a Photoshop PSD file. The issues with file size and Photoshop slowing down don't apply to me since I will not be doing any actual work on the file. I just need a file that makes extracting portions of the art easy to do. Photoshop PSD files do just that.

I think of all of the formats you mentioned a PSD file is the most ubiquitous. I have yet to hear of any designers or developers (or other types shops that handle digital artwork) not having Photoshop available.

PNG would be less useful then formats that have layers. Once a PNG is flattened out you can't go back and extract a portion of the image either then cropping that PNG. That may mean having to go back and edit the PNG to remove unwanted elements.

  • I actually do know a few companies, where the dev team doesn't have Photoshop, because it isn't available on Linux... Aug 23, 2010 at 17:28
  • GIMP can open PSD files just fine Aug 23, 2010 at 20:55
  • @Tim: I must admit, that I've never tried that. Probably I'm overcautious, but I'm always worried, that it may not be 100% accurate, including color profiles etc. Aug 23, 2010 at 21:43

As a developer half of what I want from the designer is plain text. I want the static picture to be conveyed as if it were the dynamic site I am going to have to build. What happens when the text in that box is too big?

I also want the fonts, the expected sizes and the colors all spelled out in text. Obviously the designed knows what these are supposed to be as part of the design, why must I risk error by having to re-discover this information out of the PSD?

Pictures are nice, layered files are necessary for visual item extractions, but a design specification is too often overlooked. A picture does not a design make.

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