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Blog January 29, 2015

When to you use Photoshop and Illustrator in Design

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Writen by nitin.jha

Viewed 3 min read

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator were launched in 1988 and 1987 respectively, each for a different purpose. Photoshop has served designers well with its huge array of tools that make it much more than a simple photo editor. Illustrator on the other hand started off as a tool for the logo and type setting part of graphic designing, but has evolved into a tool for both graphic and digital artists. So where does a designer use what?

When to use Adobe Photoshop:

Photoshop is a pixel-based program used to create and edit photos and raster or pixel based art. Apart from being used as a tool to simply enhance pictures, it can now be used to create web pages, video graphics, banner advertisements and user interface designs.

It can also be used to add filters and special effects and it contains an exhaustive library of effects to add that extra flair to a piece of work.  It is most commonly used to manipulate photos without distorting the quality. It can be effectively used for motion graphics, special effects, photo enhancement and color correction and for web, software or mobile UI design.

Photoshop is a very comprehensive tool and hence is often misused. Certain things that cannot be done, or rather should not be done on Photoshop include the creation of logos that need to be enlarged. A vector-based program like Illustrator would work better here because then the logo would be infinitely scalable, which is not possible on a pixel based program like Photoshop.

When to use Adobe Illustrator:

Illustrator used to create and edit vector-based illustrations like brand marks, logos and other elements of design. Graphics created on a vector based program are scalable and can be enlarged or down sized infinitely, without compromising on the clarity and resolution of the image. The comprehensive type setting system available in Illustrator is one of its greatest strengths.  It is most commonly used for web graphics, motion graphics, vector paintings and illustrations, type setting for print campaigns and stationary systems and for logos, insignia designs, monograms.

The drawbacks of Illustrator include the fact that it does not allow a user to automate page numbers in multi-page documents. It is also not a very bright idea to use Illustrator to create UI designs and other graphical elements. This program also does not support animation in the form of flash animation; the easiest bet is to create graphics in Illustrator followed by bringing them in to Flash to create the principle animation.

Lastly, the filters in Illustrator are not the same as the ones in Photoshop, and they can make all the difference if used incorrectly.

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