What is The Difference Between Photoshop vs Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop Vs Illustrator What is The Difference

If you want to learn graphic design and you are having the question which software is better photoshop vs illustrator, and is a completely normal question as these two programs are most popular among graphic designers all over the worlds and don’t worry, on this post I will show you the main difference between illustrator and photoshop.


Before start to talk about these two programs and choosing between photoshop or adobe illustrator it’s important to note that there is no better software, as they are both excellent for their specific functions, the main question in this talk is to know what are your necessities and which of both software suits better your design projects.


What is Adobe illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is an advanced graphic design software born in 1985, Illustrator is a vector-based editing software and is used to create a logo design, graphics, illustration design, cartoons and font typography development using a mathematical construct to create vector graphics.


Vector graphics in illustrator that are composed of lines and curves defined by mathematical algorithms called vectors instead of being formed by pixels as it happens with raster images, as vector graphics are formed by mathematical objects they can be scaled to any size without losing quality and detail.


Illustrator pros

  • As it’s vector graphics-based software it will never lose quality and clarity when scaling up or down.
  • Illustrator software will have a better print output as it’s vector-based instead of depending on the resolution.


Illustrator cons

  • Reduced amount of filters and image editing tools as it’s more focused on vector graphics, this will make not an easy task to edit or modify already created images.
What Is Adobe Illustrator Explained and difference between photoshop


What is Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most popular editing software for Adobe and one of the most popular graphic design tools for designers all over the world, the first edition of photoshop was released in 1990, and the main difference between adobe photoshop and illustrator is that the first one is an editing program based in raster images unlike Illustrator that is based in vector graphics.


Adobe Photoshop is the perfect tool if you want to modify already created images or graphics as it has tones of useful tools to modify images, adobe photoshop unlike illustrator has more choice of filters and effects that can be applied to images. 


This software is the perfect choice for photographers as it ables you a wide arrange of options to edit photos, graphic designers to create image-based designs that don’t require any scaling and lastly photoshop is a great software to create digital collage art projects thanks to the number of tools the software has.


Photoshop pros


  • Photoshop is a perfect graphic design and web design tool for a fixed-size design that wouldn’t be scaled.
  • Photoshop ables to you to have complete control from your design project as you can edit every pixel of it.


Photoshop cons


  • As adobe photoshop is a pixel-based software unlike illustrator who uses vectors, those projects created with photoshop may lose quality when scaling them.

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What Is Adobe Photoshop Explained in Graphic Design


Difference between Illustrator and Photoshop

The main difference between ai vs photoshop is that the first one is a vector-graphics based software more suitable to create logo design and scalable designs and photoshop is for working with images and edit already created designs, and if you are doubting between photoshop or adobe illustrator here are some differences between them.


  • You can work outside the work scape in AI vs photoshop as it only let your design inside the workspace.
  • In illustrator, layers contain multi objects, unlike photoshop that every layer contains a single object.
  • In adobe illustrator, you can use multiple artboards inside a single project and in photoshop you only can use a single canvas.
  • As illustrator is a vector graphic based software it allows you to design with more sharpness and clear than photoshop.
  • In photoshop you can use area selection, unlike illustrator that allows you object selection.
difference between illustrator and photoshop Infographic


When To Use Illustrator

Now that we already know the main differences between illustrator and photoshop, let’s see some cases when to use illustrator is the best choice for you.


If you need to create a design from zero and don’t need to edit already existing images, you need to use illustrator as the tools that this software have for that are better than photoshop, one of this tools only present in adobe illustrator is the ability to work simultaneously in multiple artboards in the same project, that tool is very useful for logo design projects as you can play with different variations of the logo or try different color schemes.


The main difference between illustrator vs photoshop is the ability to design using vector graphics is also one of the focal points on choosing illustrator, for example, if you need to design graphic elements that need to be scalable and showed in a multitude of sizes is better to design a logo in illustrator versus photoshop.


Another great tool in abode illustrator is the ability to modify typefaces and any kind of text converting them into shapes, that quality let you edit the text as you imagine, stretching, transforming or adjusting the anchors. Illustrator has really powerful tools for typography design and if that will be your main focus then you then need to choose adobe illustrator versus photoshop.


Illustrator best for design projects like:

When To Use Illustrator for graphic design and logo design

When To Use Photoshop

Now that we know when is best to use illustrator, the turn is to see when is best to use photoshop, as this software is pixel-based, the short answer will be that you need to use photoshop if you are planning to work with already existing images.


As Adobe Photoshop is based on pixel and due to the big amount of editing tools, you need to choose photoshop vs illustrator if your need is to edit photos, manipulate pictures, retouching or photo editing projects. 


Photoshop is also used for many graphic designers for digital collage projects before printing them in sites like wallpics and it’s the perfect tool to edit already created designs as the tools that this software has are much better for that purpose than Illustrator.


Lastly, if you need to create digital marketing imagery, banners or advertising poster that needs to have any photography you need to use photoshop, but remember that before starting any design project you need to select the correct size of the canvas as if it’s modified once the design is done it might lose quality.


Photoshop best for design projects like:

  • Photomanipulation
  • Photo Editing
  • Digital Marketing Graphics
  • Poster Design
  • Digital Collage
  • Advertising Design
When To Use Photoshop in graphic design

Photoshop vs Illustrator For Drawing

Let’s talk which of both software is the best for digital drawing and use with your drawing tablet, photoshop vs illustrator? as early mentioned both software are great on their specific tools and depending on your preferences you will be more comfortable using one or another, and let’s see which of these two programs are the best for drawing.


Let’s see first adobe photoshop for drawing is a good option if you are planning to mix illustration design with already existing photos, or want to draw over photography.


Photoshop has a great number of different types of brushes that you can use but apart of the two cases I mentioned, if you want to draw illustrations from scratch the best option is Illustrator.


As the name suggests, the main focus on Adobe Illustrator is focused on illustration design, the amount of tools and brushes allows you to draw in any art style, and if you want to draw vector illustrator is the software you need, another good function is that you can use adobe illustrator draw iPad letting you design illustrations anywhere. 

photoshop vs illustrator for drawing which is better


Using Photoshop and Illustrator Together

As we saw on this post about the difference between illustrator and photoshop, both programs are excellent depending on the preferences you are looking for and the type of design projects you will make, but there is also another option, and it is using both programs at the same time.


You can design vector graphic in illustrator or branding elements and later import them in your poster design in photoshop to mix them with photography and just play with the unique functions of photoshop and illustrator and combine them.

Using photoshop and illustrator together



I hope you find this post useful and it answers your question about photoshop or adobe illustrator, and as we saw, there is no good or bad option, the answer just depends on the type of design projects you will make and the preferences and tools that every program offers to you and which of them suits you better. If you want to discover more design tips I recommend you these posts where you will find graphic design inspiration.

What is the difference between illustrator and photoshop

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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