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Friday, 02 March 2018 10:01

Adobe Creative Cloud for Graphic Designers

Written by Shelly Kamanitz, Director of Marketing and Creative Services

Adobe Creative Cloud for Graphic Designers

Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign are the three essential Adobe programs for graphic designers. I’ve been using Illustrator and Photoshop for years (InDesign more recently) and they have introduced many new features since then. I still tend to use each program for its core specialty, as I find it to be faster and more productive.

Each program can be used separately, but they are most effective when they are used together. I will explain the basics of each program and what its specialty is, and then describe how they can integrate with each other to create a final project.



This program is best for logo design, business cards, letterheads and simple flyers.

illustratorIt’s also great for creating vector art, which is a shape with points that can be manipulated and edited. You can convert text to vector art by outlining it. Once you do that, you can edit a single letter, which can be helpful for logo design if you want to customize a font. You can also draw or paint with Illustrator. I’ve seen some amazing work created in this program, and the brush tools have gotten a lot more sophisticated for artists. Illustrator allows you to enlarge your graphic infinitely without loss of quality. If you are preparing final artwork for a printer, it’s very easy to set up a document with bleeds and crop marks.

I don’t recommend Illustrator if you have a lot of text and photos for a brochure or a more complicated flyer with blended imagery. It does allow you to place photos in layouts, but it’s a much more involved process than it is in InDesign, which I’ll explain later. You can also use layers as you do in Photoshop, but I prefer not to, as it makes the workflow easier and faster when working with typography and shapes.



photoshopPhotoshop is best for retouching photos and blending graphics, photos and text. It allows you to select a layer or layers and apply filters, blurs and effects to enhance the imagery. Illustrator has this ability, but it is much more limited and you cannot retouch a photo. I’ve used Photoshop mostly for on-air still graphics and storyboards for motion graphics. The layered files can be imported into After Effects and animated for show opens, logo animations, lower thirds, etc.

It’s also great for creating masks, which allow you to select part of an image and extract it from its background. For example, you can cut a person out of a background and use a different background, similar to shooting on green screen.

Images that are edited in Photoshop can be easily placed into Illustrator or InDesign at full resolution.

Photoshop can be used for print work, but I don’t recommend it. The dpi (resolution) needs to be at least 150. You can’t enlarge objects infinitely, as the images are not vector art and will lose quality or pixelate. You can copy/paste Illustrator art into Photoshop layers and then work with them. I definitely don’t recommend it for a larger print project like a book, newsletter or brochure. It’s not great for prepping a final file for print, as you can’t easily create crop marks or indicate a bleed. You would have to create those manually, which is more time consuming than in Illustrator or InDesign.



indesignThis program is best for laying out print projects, especially those that contain a lot of photos and text. It’s especially useful for books, manuals, newsletters and brochures. You can set a style for your pages and then simply copy/paste your text from Word or another type of text document. InDesign allows you to easily import (or place) files from Illustrator and Photoshop. You simply draw a box or shape, select Command + D and then choose the file and scale it within the shape.

You can create vector art from within the program, but it’s not as easy as Illustrator. You can’t edit photos within the program, but you can access the linked file from either Illustrator or Photoshop to edit it, then it automatically replaces the old image with the edited one. I don’t recommend InDesign for logo design or blended graphics.



Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one program anymore if you have access to Creative Cloud. By working with 2-3 of these programs, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently create the artwork you need for any given project.


Read 2944 times Last modified on Monday, 05 March 2018 11:30

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