Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign: Which is Best for Your Projects?

We define the basic functions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to find out which program to use according to your design, illustration, or digital photo retouching needs

Adobe Creative Suite offers a large selection of tools that enable creatives of all strands to add precision, interest, and effectiveness to their projects. The most popular of all Adobe programs are Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. They cover the majority of specs needed by designers, illustrators, and photographers, for analog and digital projects alike.
You can, however, get lost in such a wide range of options.
If we are aware of the best features of these three programs we can work faster and better. By understanding how each program relates to the other we are able to choose when to use the most suitable program according to our needs.

What tool should we use for a specific project? Find out below the main functions of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and decide which one is the most suitable for the job.

Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign: Which is Best for Your Projects? 2
Iris Encina

Use Photoshop if:

- You need to edit photos. Photoshop is specialized to work with pixels, not vectors. As the name suggests, Photoshop is a program for manipulating pictures. Its range of tools aimed at retouching, photomontage, and photo editing cannot compare with the other two programs.

- You need to edit illustrations or other physical art projects to share online. Photoshop lets you edit and improve, if necessary, everything you have made by hand or analog format.

- You need to design digital imagery for the Internet, such as banners or items for social media with photographic presence. What you create in Photoshop will be in the correct size and is optimized for use on the web.

Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign: Which is Best for Your Projects? 4
Aarón Martínez

Use Illustrator if:

- You need to design logos and any graphic elements that are required in a multitude of sizes and formats. Illustrator is specific to designing and treatment of vectors. The main difference between vectors and pixels is that you can enlarge or reduce vectorial objects with no loss of quality.

- You need to include some text in your project. Photoshop does not handle large quantities of text well and, as long as you don’t need a document of more than one page, Illustrator is your best ally.

- You need to work the typeface of text, such as a logo, for example. Typography tools are quite powerful in Illustrator and allow you to turn any text into an editable shape that you can stretch, modify, and transform to your fancy.

Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign: Which is Best for Your Projects? 6
Javier Alcaraz

Use InDesign if:

- You need to design or edit newspapers, magazines, or books. InDesign is the perfect tool in this case as it will enable you to manipulate text documents over many pages. The program allows you to draw templates and standardize the style of each page, which is ideal for editorial jobs.

- You need to manipulate the type font of documents of more than one page. The typography functions of InDesign are comparable to those of Illustrator but suited to design projects of more than one page. Essentially, if the text is the main focus and there is a lot of it on the page, use InDesign.

Now that it’s clear which tool is best for your design projects, you may want to start learning or consolidate your knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign with a Domestika course.

You may be interested in:

- Photoshop Tutorial: How to Flatten Your Character
- How to Vectorize an Image in Illustrator
- 10 Essential Shortcuts to Work in Adobe InDesign


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