Photoshop and Illustrator both are of Adobe’s most popular graphics programs.To answer this question: what to use, Photoshop or Illustrator, all it will take a brief look at some scenario where both of these are used.
Photoshop was originally created in 1988 by Thomas and John Knoll, Photoshop has become the most used program for web and Graphics designers today. The basic purpose of its creation was to create a tool for editing and managing photos– and for many people, this remains its primary use even today when we have vast array of programs available.
But it is true worthy to say that Photoshop is still the best rated tool in Web and Graphics industry to start with. Different tools have covered the surface now, so Photoshop is now much more than just a photo editing software used by photographers only.
Illustrator started its life a little earlier than Photoshop in 1987 and was primarily focused for the typesetting and logo areas of graphics design. Illustrator is now used as a tool for both graphic designers and digital artists to create many different types of digital products ranging from typesetting to complicated sketches.
Both of these are now part of Adobe’s powerful cloud.
But which one is best for which type of task is totally dependent on different situations.
Pixel based vs Vector Based
Raster images are stored as a series of tiny dots called pixels each pixel is actually a very small square that is assigned a color, and this small unit combines with other units to make an image. Photoshop is tool that is pixel based.
Vector images are not based on small squares making a pattern, but instead use mathematical formulas to draw lines and curves that can then be combined to create an image from objects such as lines, circles and polygons. Vector images are edited by manipulating the lines and curves that make up the image, and Illustrator is the tool that is vector based.
Wide Color Range
Raster formats are best for images that need to have a wide range of
colorvariations like we have in our personal photographs. On the other hand vector
format is better for those images which have clear areas for solid colors, like logos with solid colors and fills.
Now here are different situations where one is better than the other.
Which is better for logos/cards/brochure design?
We can create logos, business cards, letterheads and brochures using both of these, but when we need to think about maintainability especially in case of logo. While it’s initial sizes may be predefined but it can be re-sized afterwards, to be used on different materials like stationary or on vehicles moving for advertisement.
A bitmap graphic created in Photoshop cannot be re-sized without losing quality. With that in mind, logo in Illustrator means our logo will be a vector object. Meaning it can be reshaped and re-sized while retaining all of its quality. Photoshop could be used to create logos and people use this tool to create, but when we talk about quality and re-size considerations then Illustrator will be our final choice. Other materials could be left out of the context when we talk about re sizing them because there is rare chance when we enlarge cards or letterheads after designing them.
Which is better in web design?
Fortunately for designers from all over the world, Photoshop is usually the first choice here. Because it synchronizes all the possibilities those could be needed for web template mock-up in a defined amount of time.
Photoshop is more consistent when we have to put images/photos in our design, as editing photographs in illustrator is not possible because most of them are raster images as they take wide range of colors that is not to be hailed by illustrator.
We’re moving into a more responsive and agile web, we’ll be seeing the need for resizable graphics more like ‘SVG’. If we’re making considerations for our websites to be consistent across many different sizes, our websites’ graphics should surely follow suit. For this Illustrator will definitely be the choice.
For the most part, Photoshop is still the winner here. I wouldn’t rule Illustrator out completely. Quite often Illustrator is always a part of my workflow specially designing UIs but most of the work is done in Photoshop.
Which tool is better for digital art?
While Illustrator may seem like the obvious choice here as term illustration born from this, it all depends on the type of illustration. Illustrations usually start their life on paper; the drawings are then scanned and brought into a graphics program to color. As mentioned earlier, with Illustrator we can create clean, scalable graphics, many of which can be easily reused.
So it is sure that illustrator is a choice of “Artists”
Photoshop or Illustrator | Illustrator will be the choice for clean extendable drawings where Photoshop will be the choice where through details and photo manipulations will be needed.
Which tool is better for sketching and wireframing?
In a website wire frame we create a screen blue print that is in real a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of website. Wire frames are created for the purpose of arranging elements on the screen for any design mock up.
We could do this with different tools but to me using Illustrator for this is very effective as resuablity and scalebality of the graphic components are the things that made Illustrator a suitable choice here
Photoshop or Illustrator |Conclusion
There is no winner! While we talk about the fight between these. The bottom line is it all depends on what you’re trying to create and what is the situation in which you are working. When you are working on logos and other stuff like, where solid colors are to work with then go for Illustrator and when you need more details and manipulation in photos and images then go for Photoshop.
Having a solid understanding of both Photoshop and Illustrator is essential for most designers, whether a web designer, graphic designer, fashion designer, illustrator or any other type of digital creative. Knowing these programs well is going to ensure you choose the best program for the task and create the best possible output.
All designers have preference in using these tools, but the thing that matters here is to work with the best suited tool regarding aesthetics and quality. Final word for designers is to learn both of these leading tools and learn them well.