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Adobe Photoshop vs Adobe Illustrator in the real world

Updated on January 14, 2011

Photoshop vs Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator - What's the difference? Both Applications are produced by Adobe, however, some people say there's very little difference between the two apps. Whereas I would disagree completely.

Abobe Photoshop is an extremely popular application used by graphic designers, web designers and photographers around the world. There are numerous photoshop tutorials and tips that'll make this a very easy program to learn and to use, but don't be fooled, Photoshop doesn't do everything FOR you, you'll need some creativity and forward, or backward thinking. Photoshop is not really a typesetting application, but more image manipulation oriented. Hence the huge following amongst photographers worldwide. You can do almost anything you can imagine doing to a picture. Browse Google images for samples, and you'll get the idea.

Abobe illustrator is completely different. Being a vector-based drawing program... it allows you to create your own unique graphics, icons, layouts and even very complicated 3D graphics...

Browsing the net, you'll find millions of photoshop and illustrator tips and tutorials. You'll find Forums, blogs and discussion groups that focus on both applications. Once you start looking, you'll find it difficult to miss even when you're not looking.

Lets be honest, whilst photoshop does have vector art and drawing tools, ( and I have seen designers using this as their complete solution... there could be various reasons for this, one being cost ) these vector and 3D tools are nothing compared to those available in Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator has it's own templates templates that will help you get started. It also has a whole set of vector drawing tools, which you will use to create your own Vector drawing or Icons. Today, Icons are a hit amongst web designers. Don't get me wrong, you can create unique graphics with photoshop, but your scalability is limited, if you don't use a Vector graphic (Done in InDesign or Illustrator). You'll also find yourself losing picture and edge quality if you scale a rasterized image to more than 250%, and often, when you create marketing collateral, you'll need to scale artwork to different sizes. For the serious graphic designer, adobe illustrator is the best program to use for illustration, hence the name. Another force to be reckoned with, is, Adobe InDesign, THE application when you're looking to do typesetting or lay out a magazine, brochure or yearbook. I remember the days when Quark was a real force to be reconed with, but come InDesign and those days are gone. I will not even mention Corel Draw. So, if your drawing or illustration needs are small, photoshop will work for you.

Photoshop forums and discussion groups mention little regarding it being a drawing or vector art tool. When you want to make your digital images look perfect, Adobe Photoshop is the perfect tool for you. Do not consider anything else. Once you've learnt how to use photoshop to perfect those images, you won't be able to stop yourself from "judging" and "fixing" every digital image that you see. You'll often find yourself staring at images, playing "fake" or "not fake".

Adobe illustrator is entirely a different application. In graphic design, Illustrator is probably the best and easiest tool you can use. One thing I can say of Adobe, their software is extremely user friendly and with tutorials to help you use illustrator to the maximum are all over the Internet. Whatever you need to learn about adobe illustrator, there's a tutorial for that. One of the most reliable Printing companies in Gauteng, Print at Cost, uses and assortment of design tools.

Of course, there's no reason you cannot work with both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to create imagery or layouts, while working on the same project. The two applications have some basic, shared components, so by mastering one you will quickly get a taste of the menu and dock system, get a feel for shortcuts and know how to use help "giggle". Because the two applications are so different, i (and almost everyone else) would suggest that you should use Photoshop for your digital photography and image creations and Illustrator for your Vector based Illustrations.


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