Comparing Adobe Software- Photoshop and Illustrator

If you are an experienced professional photographer or a graphic designer or industry personnel, you are probably going to ignore this blog! 
In this article, we are going to compare the two giants of photo editing and graphic designing- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, two software that you use more than your refrigerator!  

However, if you are new to Graphic designing and similar kinds of stuff, you must have encountered these two names, and must have wondered what the purpose is! OR simply curious about different tools available which designers use daily. 

We will discuss both similarities and differences. The differences may seem a bit complicated at first, but you don’t have to worry, everything eventually would fit in your mind. 

Adobe has always maintained its product quality and never failed a single one of their customer. It is a bit cost heavy but trusts me it’s worth it. It is a premier company for any inventive digital artist. 

The Adobe premium suite covers all the leading media subjects including, audio engineering, animations, print style, photo editing, and the list goes on. In this article, we are going to throw light on the photo editing and graphics part. 

Photoshop and Illustrator


I am going to list down the similarities that you will find in both of these apps –


If you look at the interface of both the software, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between them. Both the apps seem to be twin brothers! Jokes apart, the overall look is very similar having a tool palette, color palette, menu bar, alignment tools, etc. 


Both applications have layer panels. While in Photoshop, people do most of the work using layers panel but, in Illustrator, the use of layers is limited, and you can only use only a few layers.

Clipping Mask

Making of layers can be done in both the applications. The clipping mask is such an effective way to insert the image in any shape. You can clip any layer as you want. 

Colour Correction

Colour correction is an extremely handy feature for graphics as well as or videos. Some images must adjust their Hue, saturation, or contrast. Mainly, people do color correction for changing the look of the graphics. So, both the software are good at it but Adobe Photoshop is better. We will discuss why it is so!

User Friendly

Adobe is always known for its user-friendly nature. Both applications are available at Windows and Mac. Though they have a high learning curve, once you learn it properly, you can rock the industry. 

Photoshop and Illustrator


Photoshop’s primary use is correction, manipulation, and composting of photographic images. In simple words, it is a photo editing software. It is best for the following purposes:-

  • Photo Retouching
  • Photo editing
  • Color correction
  • Composting of Photos
  • Creating Artworks for Books, Covers, Posters, etc. 
  • Matte Painting
  • Web Design

In Photoshop, a designer can achieve very fluid and natural-looking illustrations, even going that far too real-life paintings using brushes. Because of it’s a digital-analog for painting and drawing, 

Photoshop and Illustrator


Illustrator’s primary use is creating, manipulating, and compositing vector illustrations. It includes some essential tools like the Pen tool, Selection tool, Move tool, Magic wand tool, Lasso tool, Text tool, Eyedropper tool, Brush tool, Eraser tool, Hand tool, Zoom tool.

Listing down the primary use of Illustrator:-

  • Logo Design
  • Icon Design
  • Typographic Art
  • Vector Illustrations
  • Digital Painting

Illustrators can be used for the designs and artworks which are less natural but extremely precise. You should use them for the works which need to look perfect rather than natural. 

Key Differences

Raster and Vector

First and foremost, the illustration techniques employed in these programs are inherently totally different. Photoshop is what’s commonly known as a raster-editor. This depicts that the program virtually radiates colored pixels that cannot be modified while not somehow distorting this initial image. It’s getting complex? Wait! 

For example, if you were to inflate a picture of Photoshop, it’ll eventually begin to pixelate, as its set at a set size. 

What’s known as a vector editor implies that the program uses mathematical equations to form different shapes and forms. As a result, of all of those pictures square measure, technically speaking, formulas, they will be blown up, shrunk, moved, warped, etc. with no considerations. The program can mechanically resize them. 

A very common way to differentiate between them is when you zoom in, in the raster image you will find it getting pixelated or getting hazy. But in vector form, it will be the same when you zoom in because the shapes are formed using mathematical equations.

Natural and Precision

As I mentioned earlier, a logo needs to be vectored, that way it can be blown up or shrunk to meet the needs of the client without disturbing the quality of the image. A gig poster or a photoshoot, on the other hand, is best created in Photoshop, that way it can achieve a more natural dynamics. There is nothing hard and fast rule as such, but if you don’t follow these rules, the ends are really in your hands to meet.


While Photoshop does have some Photoshop drawing and vector art tools, the tools are what is available in adobe illustrator. Whereas when it comes to photo editing effects, there is hardly anything you can do with Adobe Illustrator. It all depends on your purpose and your initial and final product. Choose the one that suits you the best and enjoy it!

Happy Editing!

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