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Choosing the Right Adobe Tool for beginners

As a new designer things can be quite overwhelming. There’s so much to learn and you have no idea where to even start! Well, luckily there are many free online forums that can help steer away that doubt and make things easier for you. Here we’re going to touch upon the 3 major programs used as a graphic designer and when to use each of these programs; Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.

Illustrator

This is the greatest tool of all time for designing literally anything! Typically you’d want to use Illustrator when you’re designing logos and other vector graphics such as icons, illustrations, infographics, character development etc. The reason why Illustrator is so crucial to a designer is because once the graphic is created and saved, this file can be zoomed in indefinitely without pixelating! I can enlarge a logo the size of my fingernail to fit the side of a 50ft wide building and it will still be as crisp as can be. How is this achieved? Well, Illustrator uses a concept called “Vector” artwork. Vectors are a series of defined lines and shapes that have finite boundaries. The opposite of a vector is a raster file. Raster files or images are made of hundreds and thousands of pixels. This creates the effect of pixilation the more you zoom into it.

InDesign

If you’re getting into print design, InDesign is your go-to. From your flyers, brochures, pamphlet to your business cards, interior book design and invitations are best created on InDesign. One can also draw and create vector graphics on InDesign but these tools are often overlooked because of programs like Illustrator and CorelDRAW which are much more specialized, intuitive and flexible while making vectors. InDesign works best for marketing and branding material that has multiple pages or something that will be printed many times over and over again, like a book, invitation, flyers, brochures etc.

Photoshop

We have all either tried our hand at editing a photo using Photoshop or at least heard of it. Photoshop is a great program to edit images but remember it works strictly with “raster” files. You can open vector files on photoshop but it automatically pixelates and would save out as a raster file. Photoshop has amazing capabilities to change colors, effects, backgrounds, erasing and much more. Do not use this to create logos and graphics, which is often a mistake that beginner graphic designers make.

Interaction between Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop

While each of these programs specialize in something different, the best thing about using them is their ability to interact with one another seamlessly. Adobe CC has a library where you can save files on one program and open the same in another program without going through the hassle of saving it out to your computer. Even if you do choose to save out any files to your computer (which I always do), there is never a problem with opening a file in another program. In fact, most times when creating an InDesign file, say a brochure, you would require importing a logo and some image files which are created on Illustrator and Photoshop respectively. Ultimately while each program is unique, many of their functions overlap and you can find yourself more comfortable using one program over another while there might be some pros and cons you should consider beforehand.

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