What is the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator?
- 6th June 2016
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Web Design
On the surface, Illustrator and Photoshop, both developed by Adobe, seem to be identical types of software. This is however a misconception and here we will take a closer look at each to distinguish the differences between the two.
Both Photoshop and Illustrator are used extensively by Graphic Designers and Digital Photographers on a daily basis as they are used to alter (Photoshop) and create (Illustrator) images and graphics in ways that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Having Photoshop and Illustrator to work with has completely changed the face of graphic design and has opened new doors to artistic expression and creativity.
Standing head and shoulders above it’s competitors, Adobe Photoshop has become the most popular photo editing software on the planet, not only among graphic design and photographic professionals, but among people from all walks of life.
Photoshop is a raster graphics application, meaning that the alterations that are made to an image affect the actual pixels that the image is made up of. This is used to alter the image in virtually any imaginable manner from retouching colours and textures, adding borders, applying different types of effects or giving the image a more polished, professional look and feel.
One drawback to using Photoshop is that, because it is a pixel-based alteration tool, images that have been modified are not easily scalable. When an image is resized, it can become distorted or pixelated and, hence, Photoshop is best utilised on images that will be used in the size that they were originally created in.
Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphics program. When using Illustrator, a line is created by connecting two dots via a computer algorithm. These dots can be relocated and modified at will and the end result is a sharp and clear image that can be used virtually anywhere.
Images that are created using Illustrator can be resized without the fear of blurring or pixilation and it is, therefore, perfect to use on logos, text or repeating graphics of different sizes. It is essentially a tool for the creation, rather than the alteration of graphics and images.
Photoshop vs Illustrator
It is a question that crops up very often: “should I use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator?” The simple answer is that they each serve a different purpose. Although there are some overlapping features, Photoshop is not ideal for creating images from scratch, just like Illustrator isn’t ideal to alter existing images.
Photographers that make use of photo editors, for example, will find Photoshop more useful as they work with and alter media that already exists. Marketing Developers and Designers who create logos will prefer to use Illustrator as they gain the ability to create graphics from scratch and to resize and print their text and images at will, while still retaining image quality.
Graphic Designers, however, will find a wealth of use from both programs. Illustrator is ideal for the creation of web graphics and special effects whereas Photoshop gives them the ability to change their images into eye-catching lures to their work.
Both Illustrator and Photoshop are amazing programs to use once you get to grips with their functions and features. There are many tutorials, tips and tricks available on the internet that can help novices understand how to use them but the quickest way to become adept at both Illustrator and Photoshop is, of course, to become certified.
If you are interested in becoming skilled at either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, or both, take a look at the Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Illustrator CS6 courses on offer from ITonlinelearning.