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Photoshop or Illustrator

I know it will generall come down to preferance - but which do people use?

I'm inclined to use Illustrator, I'm not sure why - I love the look of vector maybe, or maybe I'm just more comfortable with it...
I rarely use photoshop - do you think this hinders developing as a designer?


Active Member
It depends on what you want to achieve.
You need to use both ideally, Illustrator is best used for print and logos.
Photoshop is best for web and pictures.
I'm not a web designer at all but I can't get my head round that fact that PS is used for web design. I've always found it a bitch for laying stuff out in.


Active Member
I use photoshop, a lot use fireworks. Photoshop is the choice for me because of the layers, grouping them and making real representation of how the site would work - like when changing elements on a page.


Staff member
maybe I'm weird but I design mine with pen and paper.... then use photoshop/fireworks/illustrator/other software to create the graphics which go on it....
Yeah, i do sketch quite a bit, not least to brain storm ideas - but when I'm planning out the ideas I've come up with, I don't really see a use for Ps.
I'll have to find one I think... Get my tutorial on.
I've not used InDesign - I always that was for planning out print docs, like calendars, magazines, menus etc. . .


Senior Member
It's almost impossible to work in an agency and not use all 3.
I use Illustrator for vectors, logo designs, large format vector graphics, illustrations etc
I use Photoshop for photo retouching, designing backgrounds, textures, lighting, I add effects like grains and brush strokes, I use it for poster artwork, web banners, brochure art, almost everything.
Then InDesign is the software that knits it all together. Ive used it for huge catalogues, brochures, posters, signage, large wall graphics etc but I dont design anything in InDesign really, I mostly design in Illustrator and Photoshop then piece those elements together in InDesign as it is great for outputting to print, especially for multipage documents.

Tom Sound

Active Member
Poor Quark, a forgotten hero of a past time :(
Ah well, you snooze you loose, we hardly ever artwork in quark now, in fact powerpoint is more regular than quark :rolleyes:
I shudder at the thought of ppt.

InDesign are trying to get into anything that involves any kind of lay out on any device. "CS6 has Alternate layouts and Liquid Layout page rules, give you the flexibility to efficiently design for multiple page sizes, orientations, or aspect ratios."

Tom Sound

Active Member
Tom Sound said:
Poor Quark, a forgotten hero of a past time :(

Ah well, you snooze you loose, we hardly ever artwork in quark now, in fact powerpoint is more regular than quark :rolleyes:
Err just re read my post it meant to say we hardly ever get artwork in quark. Not artwork in! We certainly never artwork in PowerPoint! Ha! But yes, alas we do get PowerPoint files, even publisher sometimes!


Active Member
Pencil and paper is the first step for me also - I thought we were discussing software here. I wouldn't use InDesign for designing websites. You probably could, but what I know about InDesign it would make life hard.
I use InDesign when working with flyers and multi-page docs pulling in elements from Photoshop and Illustrator . My teacher at Uni absolutely hated InDesign and didn't teach us anything, we had to go out and learn it ourselves. He worked with Quark and hated InDesign, he said "InDesign is a bad rip off of Quark"

Sean Lee-Amies

I think illustration in Photoshop is absolutely fine. It's when you need to do more complex, and usually symmetrical, illustrations that Illy really comes into it's element.


Junior Member
I cheat.
I scan in my hand drawn illustrations, then I tidy up the Levels and Contrast etc in Photoshop. Then I import it into Illustrator where I Live Trace it, then open it again in Photoshop and colour it from there. If the image is visually simple (not many lines, lots of open spaces etc) and not thorough, then I'll just colour it in Illustrator. I ALWAYS finish my image in Photoshop though.
Also, pen and paper is still the most vital set of tools I own.
I think I prefer knocking up ideas in Photoshop as I've always felt more comfortable with it, but obviously where it's appropriate I then take it into Illustrator to work on the final output.
InDesign is probably the program I actually use the most due to a lot of editorial design and so on, I do love InDesign.