What is the difference between Illustrator vs Photoshop

If you are new to graphic design, the difference between Illustrator vs Photoshop and when to use which one may be confusing.

This is totally understandable because they have a striking resemblance when it comes to the overall look and tools.

However, once you interact with both of them you will notice that they are totally different and made to perform totally different functions. In this article, you will learn the difference between the two and which one to use for which type of task. 

After a long graphic design career working with both of them, I find Photoshop ideal for working with Photos. You will mainly use it to retouch and edit photos plus of course other tasks.

Illustrator on the other hand is useful when you are drawing or creating vector-based work. This may include logos illustrations and drawings.

Illustrator vs Photoshop

What is Adobe Illustrator

As mentioned above, Adobe Illustrator is used to edit and create vector-based artwork. A vector file is the opposite of a raster file.

A vector file differs from a raster in that when blown up to whatever size, it does not lose its image quality. It is the best file for printing.

You can use Illustrator to create logos, vector-based illustrations, banners, business cards stationery, and many more.

What is Photoshop

Photoshop works best with raster images. Unlike vector images, when you blow up raster images, they lose quality. 

You can use Photoshop to design Posters, Edit Photos, Upscale image sizes to increase resolution, and many other tasks depending on how much you master the software.

Adobe Illustrator is the best for logo design. You have a lot of unique tools to create and edit shapes and vectors in Illustrator. It is not totally impossible to create a logo in Photoshop. 

However, when making a logo, you need a vector final file over a raster. This is because your final files should be able to be expanded without losing clarity.

Illustrator vs. Photoshop: Which one is better for design?

The best one between the 2 totally depends on what you want your final product to be. Each of them is made for specific functions so it is difficult to compare.

Are there Illustrator and Photoshop alternatives in the Market?

Yes there are. Corel Draw and Inkscape are the best Illustrator alternatives while GIMP is the best Photoshop alternative available. Both Illustrator and Photoshop have been developed under Adobe. If you want alternatives from one parent brand for both functions, check out Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer.

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denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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