Clear Contrast Between Popular Adobe Creative Suites: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign …!

By | June 15, 2017

 Difference between Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

Are you a digital art and design lover? If yes, then this post will surely workflow for you.

As in this tutorial we have covered the three most popular softwares for digital art and design that are, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. With the passage of time more and more features get added from version upgrades and update patches. So, it is very much important to understand which software is the best solution to reach the optimal results.

You must be familiar with the fact that Adobe creative suite comprises of different piece of software, the big three for all designers is Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. However you may not a strong grasp on the details of when to use each one and what each of these programs is capable off.

Clear contrast between these software is key to create better work. Otherwise wrong selection of application, mean an unusable logo, text or a blurry end product. Catch the complete difference between these three so that you use all three together to produce your very best work.


Differences Between Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign

Here are three programs, broken down by their basic functions, so have a look to them to get clear knowledge on what these applications are best for.

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign

Adobe Photoshop:

Adobe Photoshop is that it is pixel based program. Primarily the program was created as a photograph enhancing tool. Adobe has recognized that many users were starting to use Photoshop to create elaborate UI designs, web page graphics, text effects etc. but later when it is rolled out designers get more enhanced features like create images for print, web motion pictures and so on. The problem is that there are certain times when Photoshop is not needed to create certain projects.

Adobe Photoshop

Main Uses of photoshop:

  • Motion graphics
  • Photo enhancement/Photo color correction
  • Software/Web/Mobile UI design
  • Web graphics
  • Special effects

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When you should NOT use Photoshop?

Don’t use Photoshop to set type in your print projects. It doesn’t mean you can’t use type tool in Photoshop, it actually only means that it’s not a good idea to use it in a print projects.

If your requirement is to create logo then don’t use Photoshop for this. The reason is that, pixel data can’t be enlarged without distortion. If you create the logo in vector format, your logo will be scalable to any size forever.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a versatile tool to produce anything whether it is web designs and graphics or the text document. This vector based software uses lines to work and doesn’t pixelate nor loses any detailing. Therefore it is really intended for scalable design elements like brand marks and logo making purpose.

One plus point of using illustrator is that even the repeated resizing of objects in this won’t get distorted as they get in Photoshop. Using illustrator for making web graphics, full page design and documents is good option but never choose it for working on photographs and straight images or for large multi page documents.

Use Illustrator for:

  • For creation of website designs
  • creating images with text
  • Creating documents for print or for web but not if they are very large multipage documents.

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When To Use Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator uses

  • As it is already mentioned that Illustrator is an excellent tool for logo design, logotype, type settings, trademark design, type setting stationary systems, creation of wedding or greeting cards.
  • After the arrival of illustrator CS4, it is now became too easy to create simple to complex brochures, annual reports and even books etc. in this and it’s upper versions.
  • The only demerit with this application is that it doesn’t have master page utility nor supports book templates and page number.
  • Although illustrator CS4 and its newer version supports for multiple artborads to create pages.
  • Illustrator has cross platform compatibility with Aftereffects. Importing .eps files that contain text drawn in illustrator is better option than importing.


Adobe InDesign

adobe indesign

Whereas Adobe InDesign is designed for lying out printed materials and is frequently used for complex book layouts. Well it’s a good option to design newsletter, pdf presentation, ads and anything that needs master pages and multiple pages.

Just like illustrator, InDesign is also a vector based program but the only difference is that the power is focused on the master and multiple page capabilities such as photo editing. InDesign is created to allow users to take elements produced in both adobe Photoshop and illustrator and keep them together elegantly in one place.

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However with the InDesign you can customize each page also at the time of creating master view containing page numbers, a logo etc. the text wrap option in InDesign is much simpler as in illustrator. Other than this the layout created in illustrator t ends to be needlessly large and fail in the commercial printer optimization category.

Main Uses of InDesign:

  • For creating a book layout
  • While creating a PDF presentation
  • While creating newsletters, brochures, ads, pdf presentations and in anything that needs master pages and multiple pages.

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign

Illustrator vs. InDesign

Illustrator vs. Indesign

  • In illustrator there is no such option of defining page numbers.
  • InDesign can’t draw objects as well as illustrator.
  • Illustrator doesn’t contain master pages.
  • Illustrator have filters where as InDesign doesn’t have such.
  • InDesign is a superior type wrapping tool whereas it is a bit complicated in case of Illustrator.

Indesign vs. Photoshop

Indesign vs. Photoshop

  • InDesign has a option of creating page layouts whereas Photoshop doesn’t.
  • InDesign design objects or link elements from various locations in your hard drive but Photoshop can’t.
  • InDesign supports multi-pages for PDF and print. Photoshop is all one document.
  • Photoshop has so many filter effects while InDesign is limited in this case.
  • InDesign supports XML whereas Photoshop doesn’t.
  • InDesign supports imports .AI and .EPS with vector data encoded. While in Photoshop this gets converted to paths or pseudo vector. The final output is still pixel based.

Illustrator vs. Photoshop

Illustrator vs. Photoshop

  • Illustrator supports superior vector but Photoshop is limited in this.
  • Illustrator has better page layout than Photoshop.
  • Illustrator doesn’t supports pixel art just the same as Photoshop does in term of effects.
  • For photo enhancing Photoshop is the best option.
  • Photoshop makes pixel based UI design compared to illustrator.
  • Illustrator supports multi-pages output for PDF while Photoshop doesn’t
  • Layers of Photoshop is much straight forward than illustrator.
  • Illustrator supports “place” command through dynamic file linking while Photoshop Creative Cloud now supports linked images using “place” command
  • Illustrator exports .EPS file formats much better than Photoshop.


To be a well rounded digital designer you need to be using all three pieces of software to as per their full potential. After knowing the purposes, strength and weaknesses of each Adobe Creative application you must now be able to choose the right tool for each task.