Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. Indesign: What’s the Difference? | BEC Digital

Digital Digest

Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. Indesign: What’s the Difference?

Posted in: Web Design & Development by on Sep. 9, 2012


Adobe Photoshop is the most popular of the three design software in this Adobe trio, making it the most likely to be misused. Because Photoshop is a pixel-based software, it is best suited to editing projects that will stay at a fixed size. This includes photographs, web graphics, motion graphics, and software/Web/mobile UI Designs.

Photoshop is often used to edit or include text on preexisting images, however, it is best to edit images in Photoshop and then transfer the file to Illustrator for any text design. Text tends to distort itself in Photoshop, since Photoshop is pixel-based whereas Illustrator is vector-based. It is important not to use Photoshop for print projects because of its pixel-based output. If the project in question is heavily text based, like a magazine page or book excerpt, try using Indesign.


Adobe Illustrator is not as heavily used as Photoshop despite the advantages it presents to people designing graphics. If you are designing a piece that will need to be resized for varying use (such as a logo or type setting), Illustrator is the way to go. Illustrator is also suitable for vector paintings,  illustrations, business cards, and card design.

In Photoshop, people often notice that the lines drawn may seem jagged and pixellated. This is because Photoshop is a pixel-based program whereas Illustrator is vector-based. This means that Illustrator uses mathematical formulas to create lines and images so that, no matter what size, your image will retain its qualities without becoming distorted or pixellated.

Despite its advantages in the logo design realm, Illustrator is not equipped to edit photos and lacks the capability to crop. In this scenario, it is better to use Photoshop. If you are attempting a multi-page layout or text wrapping, try your project in Indesign instead of Illustrator.


Adobe Indesign is the much-neglected powerhouse in the Adobe trio. Indesign has superior capabilities when it comes to multi-page layouts with lots of written content, such as books, magazines, reports, and PDF documents. If your project consists of a master layout or lots of pages, Indesign is your best option.

While Indesign is great for any large written projects you may have, it is best to stick to either Photoshop or Illustrator when it comes to graphics because these two programs are much more straightforward in that respect. Keep in mind you can always export graphics from Photoshop and Illustrator into Indesign to create a masterful page for your journal, book, or magazine.

4 responses to “Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. Indesign: What’s the Difference?”

  1. […] It is because; it encourages designers to make distinctive designs of custom stickers. In contrary, adobe photoshop or adobe illustrator helps making attractive custom designs with the help of internet only. These tools work as a guide […]

  2. […] the three Adobe design software products, Photoshop is the most popular. However, Business Empire Consulting points out that this also makes Photoshop the product most likely to be […]

  3. […] listed here, Illustrator is best for files that will be constantly resized as Photoshop is pixel based and […]

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