By Chris Costidakis, Associate Art Director
Photoshop vs. Illustrator vs. InDesign
From photo editing to typography tools to sound design, the industry-standard Adobe Creative Suite gives creators of all kinds everything they need to create professional work fast – for literally any type of design project.
Before I dive in, here are some vocab words so you’ll know what I’m talking about:
Raster Image – Raster images are made of pixels. A pixel is a single point or the smallest single element in a display. If you zoom in on a raster image, you may start to see a lot of little tiny squares.
Vector Image – Vector images are mathematical calculations from one point to another that form lines and shapes. If you zoom in on a vector graphic, it will always look the same.
So how do you know which app to use? Here is the breakdown:
When should I use Photoshop?
Well, it’s in the name … photos! The app was originally designed as a comprehensive solution for creating, editing and retouching any type of raster image.
When should I use Illustrator?
Illustrator is used to create vector images. Anything created in Illustrator can be scaled to teeny-tiny favicon thumbnails or ginormous Times Square billboards – all without losing any quality or adding any weird pixelation. A design created in Illustrator will look identical on a business card or a bus wrap.
When should I use InDesign?
Adobe developed InDesign for the desktop publishing market, and it’s primarily used to lay out newspapers, magazines, books, posters and fliers. Pretty much anything with large amounts of text should go straight into InDesign.
What makes the Adobe Creative Suite superior is that all of these programs work together seamlessly! For instance, if I was designing a pamphlet, I would edit the photos in Photoshop, design the logo and icons in Illustrator, then bring them all in and finish up the text in InDesign! Cool, huh?