Interview with High Road Design

Interview with High Road Design

4 minute read

This is an edited extract from a new He Shoots He Draws podcast between Jon Kutt of High Road Design and Astute Graphics' own Training Manager, Dave Clayton.

[Dave Clayton]

So how did you find us? What was your story with Astute?

[High Road Design]

Oh I found [you] because I worked in Illustrator only, like I was an icon guy. And I remember I was trying to figure out how to get variations in a poster that I had done four for a live music festival. It brought me to Phantasm [which] was my first foray into it.

And then I got addicted because, I was like, these guys shaving my time in half. I bought the first few [at] full price. But then you guys would do these sales, and I'm like “Oh my God”. I remember I bought like almost the full suite right before you switched to subscription.

Everything has a part in it. Subscribe, the [then] free [plugin] was like “This is the most useful tool that I have in Illustrator”. It was one of those things where I was upset when you guys switched to subscription. But I will honestly say that no one has handled subscription quite as well as you guys, because the value that you are bringing with constant updates to the programs, constant updates to match whatever Adobe's doing or whatever Mac is doing to their new operating system. You're so pliable and you're constantly updating. I can't think of another company that gives me more value for a yearly [subscription].

I wanted to show the workflow that you would have to take something from Procreate, bring it into Illustrator, run VectorFirstAid on it, being able to adjust your curves, be able to do all that stuff, and do it within the program and have such a clean output by the end of it. I think it's one of those things; a lot of people look at it as a design thing, but I think it has so much value for the illustration world.

I was talking to Harold Apples [as] he was showing how he was drawing his stuff. I'm [asked] “Have you ever used the Pen Tool (InkScribe) from Astute Graphics?”. And [said] “No”. I'm like, “Dude, you don't have to go outside of [InkScribe]. You can do everything [in InkScribe]!”. And he was like “That's incredible!”.

But the people don't necessarily know about it within that world. I think that's an opportunity within the illustrative community. They're like “Oh my God, this is a time saver for me. I've been I've been trying to find how to do this stuff.”.

It's knowing that the subscription is paying for and fuelling these new innovations.

When you [released AG Offset and Block Shadows, originally part of the Astui service] I thought this is incredible, this is exactly what I was looking for.

[It has] the functionality I needed in order to do the [block shadows]. I [used to] do it with blends and I'd have 8,000 iterations of the letter where everything's jagged and it just made me sick. And now I don't think I could use Illustrator without listened to. I really couldn't.

You realize how hard it is to keep up with all the updates from Adobe and with Mac [whilst] trying to create new things. I would buy every new plugin you guys would put out anyway [before subscription]. So, I'm saving money [with] a yearly subscription [at the price] what I would pay for the plugin itself. Plus, I'm getting everything fed to me and these updates that you guys are doing. They're not nothing; there’s an art that goes into them, because you're doing it better than the program that they're living in. Whenever Adobe does something like live corners, it's just not the same. It just doesn't have the same tactile nature.

There's no other plugin that has saved me as much time.

Listen to the full interview

You can listen to the full He Shoots He Draws podcast here where you can find many more interesting interviews with creatives!

A big "thank you!" to Jon Kutt and Dave Clayton for allowing Astute Graphics to reproduce snippets of the full interview as well as High Road Design's amazing artwork!

Be sure to visit High Road Design's amazing tee shirt store here:

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