Adobe: What is the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator?

Adobe developed Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for photo editing purposes. Both software is unique in functionality, but are even used for the same purpose.

Released in 1988, Photoshop has become the best graphic design software. It was originally conceived as a tool for photographers to edit and manage their photos and for many people, that remains the case. However, due to the wide range of tools available, Photoshop has many other tools.

Illustrator began life a little before Photoshop in 1987 and was created primarily for the areas of composition and graphic design logo. Illustrator is now a tool for graphic designers and digital artists, very useful for creating different digital products. Both are part of Adobe’s powerful Creative Cloud suite.

But which is best for specific tasks and which is better in general? Obviously, the answer will depend on the specific situation, but here we will see an overview of which tool generally works best for each case. If your experience differs, share your opinions in the comments!

Adobe Photoshop Vs Illustrator

Which is better for logo design?

Using Illustrator means your logo will be a vector object, which is not part of a bitmap. While both programs here “may” create a logo, you need to think about the maintainability and use of your logo. Although your initial sizes can be predefined, a logo needs to be resized and reshaped accordingly, since it is likely to be used many times in many different materials.

A bitmap graphic created in Photoshop cannot be resized without loss of quality. With this in mind, using Illustrator means your logo will be a vector object, which is not part of a bitmap. Which means it can be remodeled and resized, maintaining all its quality. Photoshop has a place in logo design, but for the most part, Illustrator should always be your first choice.

  • WINNER: Illustrator

Which is better for web design?

For many designers, Photoshop is usually the first choice that comes in mind. Because the graphics in Photoshop are in a pixel-based bitmap, it seems to be the only option for designing on-screen media.

However, when designing user interfaces, Illustrator can offer many advantages that Photoshop can not offer. Firstly, using Illustrator here makes the job much faster – there are obvious resizing points. Illustrator is also great for creating reusable components. Using the symbols panel in Illustrator, you can create a library of icons and form elements, which you can reuse and manipulate several times.

More consistent

This not only speeds up the workflow but also makes the design more consistent. In addition, as we move to a more responsive and agile web, we’ll see the need for more scalable graphics (ie, SVG and pixel fonts).

In most cases, Photoshop is still the winner, but do not discard Illustrator completely. Illustrator is often a part of the workflow in creating user interfaces, but most of the work is done in Photoshop.

  • WINNER: Photoshop

Which tool is best for digital art?

Illustrator is best for clean graphic illustrations, while Photoshop is best for photo-based illustrations. Although Illustrator may seem like the obvious choice, it all depends on the type of illustration. Illustrations usually begin their life on paper, the drawings are then scanned and brought to a graphics program, to gain color.

As mentioned earlier, with Illustrator you can create clean and extensible graphics, many of which can be easily reused. Illustrator is recommended for clean graphic illustrations. Photoshop is recommended for photo-based illustrations, which require more detail and manipulation. For many cases, most illustrators would use a mixture of both, all depends on the kind of illustration you are creating.

  • WINNER: Illustrator

Which tool is best for sketches?

Illustrator is much easier to use to create sketches quickly. Typically, a pen and paper are the starting point for an idea, but many digital designers prefer to go directly into the editing software and start drawing there.

Effectively, you could do this in any program, but with Illustrator it is much faster and easier to use for this task. The ability to resize, manipulate, and reuse elements quickly is crucial when creating sketches.

  • WINNER: Illustrator


There is no winner! It all depends on what you are trying to create and how you work. Having a solid understanding of Photoshop and Illustrator is essential for most designers, be it a web designer, graphic designer, fashion designer, illustrator or any other type of digital creator.

Knowing these software well will ensure that you choose the best tool for the task. Many designers will have a preference for one of them, whether in terms of usability or aesthetics. But, the most important thing is that you take responsibility, as a designer, for knowing both programs know what you can do with each.

If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!

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