One Brush to Rule Them All

We're working on a new site for our college ministry which is launching in the fall. Zak's been doing the design for the site and after several years I've finally convinced him that Fireworks is a great tool for web design. He did a template redesign for the Youth section of our site last week and has become a new Fireworks convert.

This week however, neither of us is a big fan. We wanted to use some design elements that can be easily handled by a Photoshop brush. The problem is that the workflow for using those brushes in Fireworks is horrible. We would LOVE to use Photoshop .abr brushes in Fireworks, other apps too.

Here's the current workflow:

  1. Start a design for a web page in Fireworks
  2. Realize your banner would be better if you used a couple of Photoshop brushes
  3. Discover that FW doesn't support add-in brushes
  4. Open PS, design a banner graphic in Photoshop using brushes
  5. Import the banner into Fireworks
  6. Update the page layout for the new banner
  7. Realize the banner needs an update
  8. Go back to PS, update the graphic
  9. Reimport into FW – basically starting over with the banner in FW
  10. Repeat as needed
  11. Slice up your design to convert to HTML
  12. Go back and make tweaks based on feedback – leaping back to step 8

Here's what I'd like (either of these would work). Easy solution might be for editing capability in a similar fashion to what Illustrator will allow for a linked/embedded image. Ideal solution would be for .ABR brushes to be supported in as many Adobe apps as possible. Who wouldn't love to have PS brushes available in Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, and maybe even After Effects in addition to Photoshohp?

This ideal solution has prompted this graphic and shirt designs.