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Design, Product Management and Project Management

When To Use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop

Whether you're new to design , or have been around awhile, it can be confusing trying to decide which Adobe product to use for your task at hand. Let’s take a quick look at what each has to offer a designer:

Let's start with InDesign, which is used for laying out printed materials, like brochures or magazines.  Basically, InDesign accepts elements that you create in Illustrator and Photoshop, and puts them together the way you tell it to. It allows you to wrap text around images and create multi-page and master documents.  Finally, InDesign optimizes documents for commercial printing.

Using Illustrator, you create vector images that you can put into an InDesign document. It’s also used for text creation and layout. When you want to create logos, or icons, or other line-drawn artwork that can be sized, use Illustrator. 

Photoshop is the tool you use to create rasterized graphics. If you want to precisely manage the pixels of a photograph or image, Photoshop is the tool you should be using. 

So, use InDesign for laying out a printed project. Use Illustrator to create and manage vector images, and Photoshop for all your rasterized graphics.