Illustrator and Photoshop are both incredibly popular graphics programs created by Adobe, but they do have their differences. Each program has its own strengths and it’s important to determine which will work best for your project before you get started. We have a few simple ways to identify the differences between Photoshop and Illustrator.
More About Photoshop
Photoshop is ideal for modifying and changing images or photos that are already created. Bitmap and raster graphics are made in Photoshop and may sometimes look jagged because they are made up of pixels, or individual colored squares. In Photoshop, everything is created with a series of pixels. Because of that, images that need to be scaled up or down may lose their quality quickly in this program.
Photoshop is often used for photo editing and designs and web graphics, because those projects don’t need to be scaled and usually stay at their fixed size. Photoshop offers many unique special effects tools and filters that make it ideal for editing stock photos like those from Shutterstock. Photoshop also gives you complete control over your projects because you can edit at the pixel level.
In Photoshop, illustrations also appear very natural looking and fluid because of the various real-world brushes and media available. Photoshop is essentially the same as painting or drawing on paper, only it’s done through a software program.
More About Illustrator
A vector-based software, Illustrator creates vector graphics with mathematical constructs rather than on a pixel-based format. A computer algorithm connects two dots to create line in Illustrator, rather than a line that is made strictly from pixels. When projects are scaled up or down in Illustrator, they maintain their quality, and printouts are higher quality because Illustrator does not depend on resolution.
Illustrator’s downside is that is limited when it comes to image editing tools and filters, which makes it harder to manipulate and edit an already created photo. The benefit of Illustrator is that even the tiniest detail can be made perfect, for things like logos that need to be shrunk or blown up for printing.
The Ideal Choice
Ideally, designers will use both programs to get the effects they need for specific products. If you have an image that needs to be edited and you need to add some text or a watermark over it, you may need both programs. Since Photoshop can distort, text is best applied in Illustrator, so it’s helpful to transfer the edited photo to Illustrator to add text.
These programs are simply different, and one is not better than the other. Before you start with either program, we encourage you to find the perfect stock photo image for your project by browsing our huge selection at Shutterstock.