Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer or artist, the Adobe Creative Suite is a reference. This suite allows the creation of any type of design with ease and a professional result. In this article, we will talk about Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The use of these 2 softwares can be confused. On the other hand, it is important to use the right tool for the right project. So, Photoshop or Illustrator? Which tool to use and when to use it?

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator: high-performance softwares

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are two recognized and powerful graphic design applications. They have dozens of features optimized for certain types of projects. It is therefore advisable to use the right tool for the right project and this will also allow you to carry out your work in the best possible way.

Photoshop and Illustrator offer designers the possibility to complete quality projects in less time and with more options. The use of a specific tool is an asset because you get better results. This is why the design of each tool offers its user more flexibility and options for editing and moderation of his creations. To find out which of the two software packages is best suited to your project, it is essential to refer to its three axes :

  • Print or digital: this concerns projects that are intended to be printed on paper media such as business cards, packaging and stickers. It can also be digital projects that are intended for a web clientele such as social networks, banner ads, websites and e-books.
  • Text and image: these are pictorial projects. These concern photographs or illustrations as well as patterns. The text projects, on the other hand, are words. They can be as short as business cards or as long as booklets. But they can also be a combination of both.
  • Vector or raster: This is a vector project which is composed of an image produced from lines and strokes. The latter can be enlarged or shrunk to any scale, as in the case of a logo. Then a raster image is an image produced using a certain number of pixels. It is to know that its change in size also means a change in quality.
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What is Photoshop and when to use it?

As its name suggests, Photoshop is like a photo. This software was originally designed for creating, editing and retouching any type of raster images. Since then, its features have evolved. Currently, Photoshop processes images by retouching them. It also allows you to make photomontages. Artists adopt it to make sketches and drawings, but they can also use it for digital painting. Highly prized and appreciated in the photography community, Photoshop allows artists and designers to perfect their work. This translates into the adjustment or transmission of files by adjusting color or light. Finally, designers use this tool to create ready-to-use images that are often visible on the web.

Photoshop is the software best suited to create and enhance quality images. Indeed, it is the best adapted. The layer system not only makes it easy to create templates, but also to edit and rearrange them with just a few clicks. In addition, the retouching tools that this photo software has are much more powerful than those of Illustrator. What’s more, these tools allow you to make small changes in color, contrast or brightness.

However, Photoshop is not always the best option and is not always adapted to the use you need. For this reason, below is a small outline of the situation for which the use of this software would be beneficial to you.

When to use Photoshop?

  • This software is suitable for all the retouching you wish to do to your photos. It can be used to optimize the color or to adjust the photo. Also use it to remove details that are detrimental or to remove objects that are undesirable in the photo.
  • Preferably use it for editing illustrations in paper or digital versions. It can be a photo, a painting, a drawing or other. This tool is what you need to add shadows, strokes or patterns to your projects.
  • Use Photoshop if your image is intended for web use (social networks, banner ads or other).
  • For the creation of a mock-up for a website or mobile application. Layer systems allow you to easily play with the different elements of the interface, not to mention that Photoshop works with pixels. This ensures compatibility with the format of your screen.
  • Even if your cameras are of good quality, Photoshop ensures unique video editing and animation. For this you can use filters, add text, etc.
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When to prefer another software?

  • When you need to create a logo: a logo is often used on various media and therefore needs to be put at any scale. Photoshop is not the best software to create vector images. The images created by this tool are raster or bitmap and therefore the modifications that are made to an image affect its quality. The more you enlarge them, the more pixels will be visible.
  • When you want to layout a large amount of text, because Photoshop is not suitable for a large amount of text.

Photoshop therefore allows you to distort images, readjust borders, change colorimetry, create visual effects on your texts, create an animated GIF and more.

What is Illustrator and when to use it?


Adobe Illustrator is another Creative Cloud tool. Illustrator is a software that allows graphic creation, that is to say, it is composed of curves and straight lines created by mathematical shapes. This tool is therefore designed for the use of vectorial images. In addition, any images or texts that are created using Illustrator can also be enlarged or shrunk without ever losing quality or appearing pixels. A design created using this software will look the same even when printed on a t-shirt or paper for example.

In addition, this software offers tools to facilitate the management of the layout, but also the organization of the different elements of the design. Indeed, it can be typography or raster images. The particularity of Illustrator is the flexibility of its workspace. This allows users to experiment and test vast possibilities before editing them. All of these same features are included in a single software package. Moreover, even if this software is quite powerful and efficient, this does not prevent the fact that it is not adapted to certain uses.

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When to use Illustrator?

  • To create a logo, an icon or even a mock-up. Indeed, vector images can be adapted to any size. Therefore, Illustrator is the ideal tool because it allows the viewing of images in different formats.
  • If you need to create posters composed of several elements to be printed on the same page. With Illustrator you can combine text and images.
  • For the creation of a fixed typography for a logo, Illustrator has the necessary tools to vectorize text and transform it according to your needs.

When to prefer another software?

  • For image retouching: in case you want to use a raster image with Illustrator, some options allow you to edit it directly. However, this software will not be able to offer more functionalities. It is obvious that Photoshop will have much more to offer you, especially in terms of colorimetry, contrast and more.
  • For the creation of multi-page documents: Illustrator is only designed to support a single page. Turn to software such as InDesign if your project has several pages.

Illustrator allows you to create flyers, web design, create an album cover, create special effects on your images and texts.

Very often, especially for beginners, Photoshop and Illustrator can be confused. While Adobe Illustrator presents a vector image, Photoshop offers a raster or bitmap image. To answer the question of which of these 2 software programs is the best choice, it is up to the user to answer the question according to his needs. Indeed, each software is adapted to a particular type of project. Making the right choice of tool will help you complete your project in no time. Moreover, the result will be of better quality with a professional rendering. However, the use of these 2 softwares can be associated, because their formats are compatible. So, it is up to each designer, photographer or other graphic artist to choose between Photoshop or Illustrator. Each of these softwares has particular functionalities able to meet the expectations of any professional in the multimedia field.


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