This is me shaving a yak. Shaving the yak, if you don't know, is what you do when a seemingly simple task necessitates many recursive and unforeseen sub-tasks in order to be carried out.
SVG definitely is an increasingly interesting skill, especially as it's making its way into HTML 5 as an officially allowed grammar inside of HTML documents. Most SVG is authored through some kind of tool, and it's absolutely the way to go for artistic drawings. I used Inkscape (open source) and Expression Design in the past for that (I can't afford Illustrator), and I've been happy with the results (to your right and left).
In Orchard, the UI gets composed from many independent parts. We wrote a lot of code to handle that fact without friction. It is easy to add a new part or remove an existing one without breaking anything. One ingredient in this is the placement.info file.