The most useful thing I took away from Adobe Refresh last week wasn't something new. In fact it's been there for months and I hadn't discovered it. In a nutshell; Illustrator objects (or groups of objects) can be turned into symbols. Exporting your Illustrator file to an .swf format makes those symbols available within your Flex application. For example, if we create an up state for a play button, create a symbol called play_btn_up and export our Illustrator file as assets.swf. Then we can style our play button using css :
Creating the Symbols within Illustrator is as simple as opening the Symbols panel and dragging our object onto the panel. You'll probably want to rename the symbol to something simple. But otherwise the job is done. This is ideal for us as our designers have been developing all our Flex comps in Illustrator. Until seeing this we'd been importing the relevant objects into Flash and exporting from there. Oddly enough publishing from Flash is much more work than exporting from Illustrator (because you need to setup your Library items if you want to use them as Symbols).