I have personally learned that depending on the project—I will start the design in a particular program—then later bring the others to act together to produce the final piece.
In my opinion, all three are important in graphic design. Not one is better than the other. All three complement each other perfectly.
For example, if I’m designing a poster that is going to be displayed on a TV screen, then I will design it in Photoshop. Large at 150 dpi at least and in dimensions larger and proportional to a TV screen size (1920px x 1080px). Then later—if a flyer or other collateral is needed—I will easily adjust the artwork within my layers in Photoshop to modify. Any graphics that will be displayed on the web or on a TV, I will design them in Photoshop. Command Option Shift S and voila. Thank goodness for Photoshop!
Now, if I’m designing a business card or a form, I will start in InDesign. Then later bring images or symbols either from Photoshop, Illustrator and put it all together in InDesign.
Say I’m designing a website and/or a website banner. I will start in Photoshop and give this any look my client desires. Bring everything into Adobe Muse—then continue the journey afterward.
This is a banner for the web, designed entirely in Photoshop:
If I’m designing a logotype—a symbol—I will design it in Illustrator.
If I’m designing a magazine. I will start an awesome multi-layered design for the cover which will easily become the base design for the whole magazine. Then InDesign will allow me to put the pages together using template elements that will transform the initial cover artwork into a repeating theme throughout the entire magazine, making all the pages consistent with one another and the cover, achieving harmony and uniformity throughout the entire publication.
These below are magazine spreads that were designed in Photoshop, then brought the text along in InDesign to complete:
If I’m designing a brochure, or maybe a postcard, same thing—Photoshop, Illustrator elements, InDesign elements, then InDesign to finalize.
InDesign to me is the program that wraps it all together. It also produces the perfect output for either a professional press or digital printer.
Adobe Photoshop is my most beloved software program. It gives me the freedom to design absolutely anything and everything with infinite possibilities. It has transformed my career as a designer and profoundly influenced the development of my career and greatly improved the quality of my artwork. Everything I dreamed of as an artist, I have been able to achieve with Photoshop. I have been using Photoshop ever since one of its first versions. Thank god for all its developers and software gurus who created and collaborated to make Photoshop what it is today.
With Photoshop, the sky is the limit!
The Sky is the Limit when designing in Photoshop. I can’t say that enough. Mastering Photoshop is the one element in my career that has made a real difference. Photoshop allows me to create beauty.
See the poster above? Photoshop can pretty much do anything.
Illustrator on the other hand, gives me the freedom to produce anything. Any kind of artwork, symbol or graphic with virtually endless possibilities. Illustrator is an amazing program that sometimes has me staring at my screen with my jaw dropped on my desk, eyes peeled in awe of what it’s doing right then.
This globe image above was done in Illustrator in its entirety. Illustrator is an amazing program.
InDesign is the ultimate publishing software. It has improved so much since its inception. I utilize InDesign as my wrapping tool. High res graphics can be designed with it too. But I use InDesign mostly to bring all my art together into one piece. InDesign acts as the wrapper. It organizes everything into one beautiful final document.
This poster above was to be shown on a computer monitor to begin with, so I designed it in Photoshop in its entirety. Later this design will probably be adjusted and become a flyer. And who knows what else after that: email design, magazine spread, etc. I’ve got high res layers, so I will quickly transform this artwork into anything needed—flawlessly.
In conclusion—and in my opinion—all three programs are really amazing and I use them all interchangeably. Each is very useful in their own unique way.
If you are learning graphic design, you’re an artist and you really want to become a graphic designer, I would highly recommend learning these three programs thoroughly. And practice, practice, practice. 😊