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InDesign or Illustrator?

So I'm trying to teach myself some of the Adobe programs.

As a part of my studies I'm wanting to create some A1 sized revision posters for my modules and I wanted to know which software I should be using to try and do this?

I used MS Publisher years ago at school, but I'm guessing one of these two would be better?

Can anyone advise which would be best for stuff like this before I start investing some learning hours in Lynda.com videos please?

It'll mainly be text laid out in sections, with some images etc. all laid out in a nice easy to read scan and revise style summarising the content of the module.

I saw my mate working on some graphic design stuff and I see that Illustrator has some cool positioning buttons that could be useful for laying things out precisely and evenly which seemed helpful, but after reading about both products it seems InDesign might be better suited?


Tony Hardy

Well-Known Member
For posters, it depends whether you're having a fair amount of text on the poster. If you were, I'd go for InDesign but I normally use InDesign for things such as magazine/brochures/layout designs.

For me, Illustrator is the best programme for anything like posters (providing the content is more vector than photographic) as it allows for unlimited scalability options and possibilities.

If I was to invest huge amounts of hours into only one of the two above programmes, it'd definitely be Illustrator. Also, you're right in assuming MS Publisher isn't too great for the job.


Active Member
I learned ID first, and would strongly recommend doing it the other way about. Indesign is really simple to use, while Illustrator can be incredibly frustrating and counter-intuitive in my experience. Pretty much looks to me that if you work out how to use Illustrator then you'll be able to pick Indesign in no time at all.
Thanks for the replies so far guys!

After having a quick browse of a vs thread on another forum it seems Illustrator might be more suited as it's single page documents I'm looking to create.

However some say that ID is better for layout than Illustrator?

Whilst there won't be lots of photos, I do want to include some raster images to break the monotony and make it easier to browse and scan. They won't be vector images though, probably quite low quality stuff nicked from PDF lecture notes or google image search.

It seems the consensus from both of you so far though is that if I'm going to invest some learning hours then Illustrator would be the best start anyway?

Tony Hardy

Well-Known Member
It's worth investing the time in learning both to be honest.
InDesign is a powerful tool, and like it's already been stated, easier to get to grips with than Illustrator.
I think I'm going to get cracking on the InDesign vids today as I need to get this work done ASAP and then I'll progress onto Illustrator when I've got more time to play. Thanks for the help guys :icon_smile:

Paul Murray

Staff member
Anything with a lot of typography, I use InDesign, since you can create text columns much easier.

Anything that involves elaborate shapes, I use illustrator Illustrator, though you can use smart objects created in Illustrator in InDesign, and vice versa I'd imagine (though I've never needed to).

Most of the tools are quite similar so skills should transcribe across both programs quite easily.
Indesign is for layouts, illustrator is for logos. If you want to make shapes and vector stuff, make it in Illustrator and import it into Indesign. Printers will hate you if you supply artwork in Illustrator.
If you have lots of graphics on your poster, it is best to use Illustrator for the gfx side of things, and InDesign for the placement of the gfx inside the poster


Staff member
Don't use illustrator to make a poster. Use it to create vector elements, use photoshop to work on bitmap elements then use indesign to pull it all together. Doing it right first time will benefit you in the long run!