There are many powerful Adobe software that is used by more than 17 million designers and developers worldwide. In this article, you will find out the programs for design documents, some of the best applications for illustrations, animation and digital marketing, the most popular graphic editors.
Adobe Illustrator is one of the most powerful applications for creating vector graphics and illustrations. The program usually attracts people who know a bit about computer graphics. The next paragraph is based on my own experience. If you like to draw, cartoon, play with graphics and pictures, Adobe Illustrator can be used as the basic tool, which everyone should master. It is suitable for beginners and advanced users.
When you’ve got a new project on your hands, one of the first questions you probably ask yourself is, “Which design product should I use to make this?” With so many different applications, how do you know if you are using the best application for what you’re trying to accomplish? What if you only have access to one product? Can you still complete your design?
Adobe is one of the leading companies offering great tools for designers. The company is known the world over for its font, image, graphic and web design software. If you are a designer, it’s natural that you have heard the name Adobe before. One of the most innovative tools that this company offers is its best (insert name of program here).
What are some free Adobe software?
Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Spark are free on all platforms. Also available for both Android and iOS are variants of Photoshop, including Adobe Photoshop Express, Photoshop Camera, and Photoshop Mix. Others include Adobe Lightroom, Adobe XD, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Premiere Rush.
First thing’s first — use what you know.
“The first thing to understand is that many of the Creative Cloud applications overlap some in their functionality,” Brian Barrus, president and creative director at Studio Element, says, “so a big part of which product you use comes down to personal preference and how familiar and comfortable you are with different apps.”
If you feel confident using one program but have never scratched the surface of another, have no fear. There’s a good chance you can use the program you already know to complete your project. And when you’re ready to broaden your horizons, the even better news is that most Adobe products share very similar design language in their interfaces. Tools tend to be found in roughly the same places from one app to the next.
That being said, there is a clear advantage to broadening your familiarity across the product set. Each app has its own strengths, and professional designers use each product accordingly — often using multiple applications on a single project. For simplicity’s sake, in this guide we’ll focus on the big three design products: Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Harness each program’s strengths.
To help you get a better feel for the general strengths of each app, let’s review them briefly.
Photoshop: Photoshop does the best work on raster images (pixel-based), like photographs. It shines doing tasks like adjusting brightness, colorizing, cutting an element from the background, or blending multiple images into a collage. Photoshop is really best as an image editor and can also be useful for video and animations.
Illustrator: Illustrator is the go-to tool for creating logos or other illustrations. Its major advantage is that it works in vector format. Rather than storing individual pixels, vector art stores points and equations, meaning that you can create an image and scale it down to a business card or up to billboard size without any pixilation (loss of graphical quality). The catch to vector art is that it tends to be less visually complex than raster art. You are unlikely to create photorealistic images with vector art, but it does work well for typography.
InDesign: InDesign is a publishing tool at its heart. It’s built around the task of page-layouts and is the perfect app for arranging elements or creating multi-page documents, like brochures or catalogs. InDesign simplifies the creation of long-form documents with tools like ‘master pages’ and text and typography styles. InDesign is excellent for organizing visual elements on a page, but it is limited in terms of image creation or editing tools.
Reference this guide.
To close out this primer, let’s spend a moment running through some of the most common projects you’ll find (in alphabetical order, for easy reference) and our recommendations for which tools will work the best. Keep in mind that most of these projects will have multiple elements, and those elements will lend themselves to different tools.
- Any of the 3 apps could be used for book cover design, so the recommendation is really to go where you’re most comfortable. The key is to consider your vision for the final product. For visually complex covers with photorealism, consider Photoshop. For covers with many elements or extensive text, go with InDesign. For more expressive covers that blend illustration with expressive typography, Illustrator is probably best.
- InDesign is the strongest tool for designing brochures, and that strength increases the longer your brochure is. InDesign’s suite of formatting and visual-arrangement tools gives it the win.
- If your brochure is primarily charts and images and reasonably short, Illustrator is a good alternative.
- InDesign is first choice thanks to its ability to streamline text styles and page layouts.
- Illustrator is again a good alternative, especially for simpler, image-heavy projects.
- Illustrator is a great choice for icons because it has tools created specifically for designing and editing simple images. Illustrator’s advantage in scaling is minimized for icons because they are designed to stay small.
- Photoshop would be a close second because it has similar image-editing tools. However, Photoshop’s power for dealing with complex images is also somewhat irrelevant as icons tend to be very simple.
- Illustrator is a wonderful resource for infographicsbecause they tend to be ‘illustrative’ in nature. It has a powerful ability to blend visuals and text, meaning you can create charts and graphs while also being very expressive with type and composition.
- Photoshop works as an alternative thanks to its visual-editing tools.
- Illustrator has a strong suite of tools for this kind of work, but an argument could be made for any of the programs. Illustrator is the most straightforward in its ability to manipulate and get expressive with type and text.
- InDesign would be a close second, especially if your invitation focuses more on type rather than stylization. InDesign’s design and formatting tools could also be very useful for fitting multiple invitations to a single, printed page.
- Illustrator is the clear choice here. The simple advantage of working in vectors instead of pixels is huge, since you don’t need to worry about pixelation when expanding the logo. and Illustrator has all the tools you’ll need to design,create, and manipulate a logo.
- InDesign is the best tool for magazine layout — or the interior layout of nearly any long-form document. It has tools to streamline and automate many of the otherwise-repetitive tasks inherent in longer documents, and its typography and style tools can ensure consistency throughout the project. It also supports templated master pages to expedite formatting and layout.
Photo Editing and Compositing:
- Photoshop is the go-to product for any kind of photo editing — it’s right in the name. When editing photos or creating advanced effects (such as combining images together with double-exposure or making collages), Photoshop has everything you need. It’s an incredibly robust tool with so many functions that even professional designers rarely utilize all the tools available. Photoshop makes it easy to do common tasks like colorizing an image or adjusting brightness.
- Illustrator is the winner here, making it easy to get very expressive with typography and images on any scale.
- Photoshop is a good alternative — especially if you are more interested in the visuals rather than text or typography — but make sure you have adequate resolution in the final product. You need at least 300dpi for printing to avoid pixelation.
Social Media Graphics:
- Photoshop allows users to manipulate raster-based or photographic imagery. It also makes it simple to blend multiple images together. The nature of social media graphics lends itself well to Photoshop’s platform.
- InDesign lends itself best to the quiet, reserved, clean style typically found in a resume. Its strength in working with multiple typography styles and producing grid-based layouts makes it the first choice.
- Illustrator is a suitable alternative but lends itself better to more expressive projects.
- Illustrator enables very creative designs while still producing artwork and text that can be scaled to the large sizes often seen in signage.
- InDesign can also produce basic vector art and would be a good option for simple or smaller signs.
Website Framework or Template:
- Illustrator is a great tool for designing the structure of a website. It allows designers to create grids for the different parts of the content and develop navigation button styles.
- Photoshop is another effective tool for creating the elements of website structure, and some designers prefer it to Illustrator. It really comes down to what tool you are most comfortable with.
Graphic Images, Headers, and Banners for Websites:
- Photoshop is the tool of choice for creating images and art elements that go in a web layout. With this application, you can edit and design photo-based images or illustrations and blend multiple images into creative collages.
- Illustrator is another solid option if your graphics are more based in charts than images.
Videos and Simple Animations:
- Photoshop is the easiest tool for creating GIFs and cinemagraph images. Its tools are specifically geared to creating these designs.
Adobe Software List: The Complete Guide for Creatives
Here’s an overview of the Adobe software list we will walk you through, so you understand what all the Adobe programs do.
- Photoshop — Photo editing software
- Illustrator — Industry-standard vector graphics software
- Acrobat Pro — Collaborative PDF creating and editing tool
- InDesign — Layout and page design software
- Premiere Pro — Leading video editing software
- After Effects — Motion graphics and visual effects animation software
- Lightroom — Cloud-based photo editing software
- Premiere Rush — Simpler video editing app
- Adobe XD — All-in-one UI/UX design tool
- Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Formerly Adobe Spark) — Social media graphics creation app
- Adobe Animate — 2D animation software
- Adobe Dreamweaver — Responsive website design software
- Adobe Stock — Royalty-free photos, illustrations and videos
- Adobe Substance – (3D Stager, Painter, Sampler, Designer) — The ultimate 3D design tool to build real-time scenes
- Adobe Audition — All-in-one audio workstation
- Adobe Fonts — Unlimited fonts for personal and commercial use
- Adobe Aero — Augmented reality software
- Adobe InCopy — Collaborative word processor for copywriters and editors
- Adobe Document Cloud — The world’s leading PDF and electronic signature solutions
- Adobe Experience Cloud – Personalized customer experience solutions from content to campaign management
- Adobe Fresco — Digital art app for iPhone and iPad
- Adobe Dimension — Create photorealistic scenes
When most people think of Adobe, they either think of Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat Reader. But the company has a plethora of other useful software packages that most people know nothing about.
We’ll take you through many of these, each of which can be downloaded separately, or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription package. This is a suite of powerful applications for photographers, graphic designers, and video and audio professionals. There are lots of different pricing models available, which can be seen on their website (MakeUseOf readers enjoy 15% off, limited time offer).
Everyone has the need to have a good quality image in order to create attractive document. There is a lot of importance for an image either for printing purpose or web purpose. If you want to use a graphics software application that is advanced, you must analyze the power of Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and XD are graphics programs used by professional designers and illustrators to create artwork, logos, posters and other images. Illustrator offers tools for creating intricate vector art and photorealistic designs. It’s best for those who have a strong artistic background or a keen interest in designing logos or branding materials for businesses.