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Should I Use Photoshop Or Illustrator?

Stock Image of businessman decision with a drawing of balance

Before we go any further, firstly we have to ask ourselves:

What do we intend to create?

Now, picture these two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Photographer shoots a vivacious bunch of salsa dancers and would like to give it a polished look for a book cover.

Scenario 2: Designer given a brief for a magazine comic strip that requires cartoon-like illustrations.

Which Adobe software would you use for each of these scenarios? Photoshop for scenario 1 and Illustrator for scenario 2? That’s just about right!

Simply put, Photoshop needs existing images to start with and that is how photographers remove “photo bombs” and those fine wrinkle lines using a pixel-based (dots) drawing style. Illustrator, on the other hand, gives you – the designer –  the freedom to expand your creativity using vector-based (lines, curves, shapes) drawings. Think logos, illustrations, business cards.

Just because Illustrator allows you to create graphics from scratch does not necessarily mean they are the best. It is still not fully equipped for editing and cropping work. That’s where Photoshop will come in handy!

The table below shows an overview of both softwares: PHOTOSHOPILLUSTRATORText Quality, Layout, CreationLess SuperiorMore SuperiorDrawing StylePixelsVector, Line-DrawnEase Of UseMinimal PracticeNeeds PracticeMain usageEditingDrawingNeed Existing Image?YesNo, creates brand new imagesText friendly?No, distortedYes

But being a true Photo Chick, I prefer using both to give my images a little finesse. So while we’re on this topic, there is no reason why Photoshop and Illustrator shouldn’t work hand in hand as  both have some basic, shared components, whether it is to create brand new images or spruce up old ones.

So whether you’re a digital photographer or graphic designer, I will encourage you to explore both options! After all, it’s always fun to test the waters and see your creative ideas come alive!

So what do YOU intend to CREATE?

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