The Digi-Cult

A New Religion for a Digital Age

Photoshop vs. Illustrator

Posted by Matt Harbottle on September 24, 2008

When it comes to the leading design programs by Adobe Systems, everyone has their own opinion on which  is better, Photoshop or Illustrator.  Most amateur designers tend to lean towards the use of Photoshop, usually because of its popularity and its navigation is easier to get a grasp of, whereas Illustrator is a little more complex.  When a designer becomes a little more advanced with graphic design, the decision would be left up to them, but for most, they would make that decision based on what they want to create.  Which program do you prefer?

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing program which is the leader of all programs alike.  First released in 1990, it is usually used for modifying digital images, that being photos or existing images elsewhere.  The difference from Photoshop and Illustrator is that Photoshop manipulates individual pixels within a bitmap, using layers.  The problem with Photoshop is that when images are scaled, they can often lose image quality.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector based postscript drawing program which is in the same suite as Photoshop.  Originally released in 1987 for the Mac, this program is usually used to create drawings, manipulate text, and for its tracing capabilities.  Since Illustrator is vector based (uses paths that have a start and end point), it makes it a better choice to use when creating logos, unique designs, etc.  When the final image is scaled in size, it does not lose image quality like when using Photoshop.

For myself, I find it hard to pick a favorite.  I use both programs on a regular basis for different reasons.  Even though both programs are starting to incorporate some of the same features, each program is better and unique in their own way.  By the way these programs have been evolving over the years, they are becoming more alike.  Maybe Adobe plans to combine both the programs into one, to create one universal mega design program.  Time will tell.


Next week – Adobe CS4 (Stonhedge)


4 Responses to “Photoshop vs. Illustrator”

  1. I think Adobe will actually do the opposite and create even more programs rather than combine the offerings it has now.

    With the recent advancements in Lightroom, it looks as though Adobe wants to separate photographers and graphic artists with the workflows they use.

  2. jaron said

    Jeff is right (as he usually is).

    Adobe could have combined ImageReady and PS 10 years ago but still hasn’t. Most consumers have no idea why they would ever want to use ImageReady, but it still has it’s uses. I’d expect a “jump to” feature to toggle between AI and PS once processing speeds and RAM capacity catch up.

  3. Matt said

    I agree with you two there. It just seems to me that each program is slowly incorporating the other programs features. I’m really interested to see the newest features that the new creative suite has to offer.

  4. createmo said

    Thank you for your site 😉
    I made with photoshop backgrounds for myspace or youtube and even more
    my backgrounds:
    take care and thank you again!

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