Graphic DesignWhen to Use Photoshop and When to Go for Illustrator?

When to Use Photoshop and When to Go for Illustrator?

The beacon of art is largely attested to the European Renaissance that overwhelmed the continent within a very short period of time. Lavish investments by the religious and secular authorities gave rise to majestic cathedrals, palaces, and art movements. From the intricate Baroque period to Romanticism; each movement brought with it a wave of social change. The infamous and bloody revolution in France was filled with a sentiment of reluctance for the monarchy and it was symbolized famously with the ‘Liberty Leading the People’ painting.

We have come a long way since then. Today, with technological behemoths being used in every aspect of modern life, the world of art and design isn’t marginalized to that either. Unlike the previous ages, a single motif on the computer can fill a whole piece of cloth. With the decrease of manual labor and much of the work being done by machines, people are freer to explore their creativity and experiment with different tools and software.

When it comes to designing on a computer, two software usually beam in the spotlight; Photoshop and Illustrator. Both are products of the same institution (Adobe) but both are used for completely contrary scenarios. Before we jump right into their differences, let us go through their brief summaries.

Adobe Photoshop

Latest Photoshop CC 19 Features

Released on February 19th, 1988, this raster graphics editor has gained major momentum in terms of usage. Developed by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS, the software has become a revolutionary tool in digital arts. So much has its popularity exploded that the noun has become much like a verb as well. “Photoshopped” and “Photoshopping” are words that are thrown around a lot these days. But the parent company strongly discourages the use of these terminologies for legal reasons.

The file extension of any Photoshop document is PSD and the software can be used on numerous operating systems such as iPad, iPhone, Windows, and Android. It is available in English, Swedish, Russian and Dutch. The software is also fairly easy to learn, and there are many resources that allow you to learn Photoshop. Also, there are many other online tutorials that explain the workings of the software in a brilliant way.

If you are a beginner and lack the basic fundamentals of Photoshop, you can try out the “Learn Designing Using Adobe Photoshop from Scratch” online tutorial absolutely FREE! The course comes with 8 hours of video that covers 6 important sections, all to help you get your basics cleared.

And if you are already familiarized with the basics of Photoshop and want to step into the more advanced tricks, I’d recommend the “Advanced Photoshop Techniques for Designers” course. The course comes with 5 hours of video that covers 18 lectures. Taught by a subject expert, this course is designed to make you thorough at many of the tricks of Photoshop.

Some Features of Photoshop

• Brushes from Kyle T. Webster and stroke smoothing
• Depth Map Import from High-Efficiency Image File or HEIF as an abbreviation
• Copy-paste layers and paint symmetry
• Tooltips
• Properties panel and 360-panorama workflow
• Curvature pen tool and customer color path and width
• Quick share creations and menu
• Variable fonts
• Better brush organization

Knowing When to Use Photoshop?

It is not recommended to create logos with it. Logos usually are better if they have a vector form so that they can be enlarged without being pixilated. Any design that needs to be expanded without being pixilated should never be done on Photoshop as it is usually for image editing.

Adobe Illustrator


Slightly older than Photoshop, Illustrator is an equally popular tool in the digital design community. Being a powerful vector graphics editor, it has made equal advancement in the heart of many graphic designers. Though, unlike Photoshop, no one really uses the terms “illustrating”, at least not in a way that directly responds to the application itself. The verb has its own meaning, but that is not a contested point to measure the equality of popularity between the two. Though originally designed for Macintosh alone, today it is used in many operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac and more.

The software is available in English, Polish, Turkish, Swedish and Dutch.

If you are a beginner and would want to know more about Adobe Illustrator, try the “Learn Adobe Illustrator Course From Scratch” online tutorial absolutely FREE!

Some Features of Adobe Illustrator

• SVG export option
• Pixel-perfect design and snap to pixel capabilities
• Built-in design templates and presents
• CSS Extractor tool
• Color synchronization and file packaging
• Free transform option and images in brushes
• Import and export of settings and touch workspace
• Path segment re-shaping options
• Dynamic symbols and perspective drawing enhancements
• Anchor point enhancement options and live shapes capability
• Custom design options
• Magnification options and synchronized updating capability

Knowing When to Go for Adobe Illustrator

Illustrator can be used for anything pertaining to non-pixel images, ergo, vector ones. So, to create logos and other vector based designs, this application is perfect. However, you cannot edit any image on this application. Any image created on an illustrator can be edited and changed.

Photoshop Vs Illustrator

Let us look at a few more differences between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Photoshop Illustrator

• Illustrator is an object-based editing tool and therefore, you have a collection of objects with their own attributes. Whenever you select an object in Illustrator and apply any effect on that, it affects the entire object. Whereas, in Photoshop, you select it on a few chunks of pixels instead of the whole object. This is one of the fundamental and one of the imperative differences between them both.
• Even though Photoshop can handle vector images, it is not recommended because the result is still as good as that taken from Adobe Illustrator.
• When making a digital painting it is recommended not to use Illustrator because of the Brush icon in Photoshop that allows you to mix pixels up to give it a new color.
• Images edited previously in Photoshop can always be re-edited in the same software. However, this luxury lacks severely in Adobe Illustrator. Once an image, be it a logo or an icon, is created on Illustrator and is saved as a normal image, it cannot be edited on the same software. It is because, once an image is saved, it develops pixels which don’t work on Illustrator but that image can be edited on Photoshop.

Also, check out the differences between Photoshop and CorelDraw.


If you have already seen the differences, now you can choose either of the softwares according to your requirements. Both are extremely amazing tools designed for graphic design and with every new version, new features are being added into them both. Maybe one day, these two will cease to be separate softwares even.

We would love to hear from you if you can think of some other key differences between them both. Let us know in the comments section.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Exclusive content

- Advertisement -

Latest article


More article

- Advertisement -