Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign

3 Choices, But Which is the Right One?

You know Adobe has been the name to trust for a very long time. They pretty much have a software option for everything. But which one do you really need? Unfortunately there’s no simple answer to that question because the answer is…it depends. It depends on what you want to do and what you are doing with what you create. Here’s the quick down and dirty on Adobe’s top three programs used by Graphic Artists: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.


Photoshop has long been the “goto” for photo image processing. This was the first Adobe produce I learned to use. But as with everything, it has an Achilles heal…raster. Images created using Photoshop are raster, or pixel-based, images. You’ll see this when you try to zoom in on picture and you begin to see the square pixels that make up the image. For this reason, Graphic Designers use Photoshop mainly for image editing and creating small graphics, such as icons.


The yang to Photoshop’s yin is Illustrator. The more I use it, the more I know I should have used it more. Illustrator creates vector images which can be re-sized to any size with no loss of integrity. For this reason, it is well adept at creating documents for web and print needs.


You’re probably thinking, what could be left that I would need from another Adobe product. InDesign doesn’t create images but what it does do, it does very well. Multipage documents are its specialty, and the more the merrier. Whether you’re wanting an informative pamphlet or a creating a “War and Peace” style novel, InDesign is more than up to the task.


So I suppose there WAS some rhyme or reason for Adobe’s long list of software. Graphic Designers truly have a goldmine of tools available to them to get the job done…and get it done well.

Will Denney

Will Denney

He is the Creative Director of Desert Designs AZ in Phoenix, Arizona
and a retired Air Force Veteran with a BS in Computer Studies.


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