Want to get creative with Adobe software but not sure where to start?
Here at Platform 39, we train people from all walks of life. Professional designers, architects, marketers, photographers… For those just starting out we offer introductory level training in Adobe Creative applications. One question that we are often asked is: ‘which application should I learn first?’.
There is no easy answer to this. But each application has its own strengths and weaknesses. So I’m afraid to say that usually we answer that question with more questions: What do you want to create? And how are you going to use that? For instance, you can create page layouts and text-based logos using Photoshop, but actually you’d be better using InDesign to create the page layout and Illustrator to create your logo. Once you are familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each application, you’ll understand why.
Photoshop strengths: Photoshop is an image and photo manipulation tool. It is ideal for enhancing your photos and offers some amazing tools to help you do this. Whether it is sharpening, brightening, removing unwanted background features (the lamppost sprouting from the groom’s shoulder) or “airbrushing” away the odd pimple, then Photoshop gives even beginners the tools to make your picture perfect. As you get confident using Photoshop’s tools , you can produce some amazing effects. Many web designers will use Photoshop for designing web pages before handing over to the developers to translate the images into code, or before coding themselves. The Photoshop file format (.psd) is standard currency for many working in this sphere.
Illustrator Strengths: As its name suggests, Illustrator is great for Illustration. If you’re going to be drawing or designing logos and graphics then this is the application to use. Illustrator allows you to easily create vector-based graphics (as opposed to Photoshop, where images are rasterised or pixel-based). This is vital for scalability; the quality of the image is not affected when it is resized. This is especially important for logo design or text-based images where you want your text to display correctly no matter what fonts are installed or which browser, operating system or printing house you are using.
InDesign Strengths: While you could in theory use Photoshop to create a flyer or poster, InDesign offers a much more comprehensive way of creating and managing the creation of documents and page-based layouts. With a few basic tools , you can create truly professional-looking brochures and flyers. Tools to manage colours, gradients, paragraphs and fonts help you to create a consistent style across pages and documents.