Using the Correct Software for Printing
There are several printing software options available and it’s important to know which one to use to achieve your desired outcome. The Adobe Creative Suite provides just about every tool needed to create professional results for any design project. Adobe’s app solutions include Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator – each has its own features that can be optimised for specific projects.
Most graphic design jobs can be divided into three types:
- Print or digital
A print project is one that’s printed onto various forms of media such as flyers, business cards, t-shirts, stickers or packaging. Digital projects are viewed on a screen and include banner adverts, social media graphics, websites, presentations or e-books.
- Image or text
Image projects have visual elements such as illustrations, photos, patterns and shapes, while text projects centre on words such as on brochures and business cards or in booklets.
- Vector or raster
A vector project comprises an image based on curves and lines that can be reduced or enlarged to any size, such as a logo. A raster project is an image created with a set number of pixels, with the quality changing if the size is altered.
When should Photoshop be used?
Originally, Photoshop was designed to create and edit any kind of raster image, primarily photos. It has now evolved into many tools that can be used for so much more.
- Artists can use it to sketch, draw and paint digitally
- It can transform photographs with colour and lighting
- Production designers can use it to create digital images that are ready for the web
Photoshop is the most powerful app to create and enhance images – its adjustment tools allow you to tweak colour, brightness and contrast and it’s easy to develop templates that can be edited with just a click.
Photoshop is considered to be the best app for:
- Retouching photos, such as colour-correction
- Editing image content for print or digital formats
- Making sure shadow, texture and every line is perfect so that artwork can be used anywhere
- Creating and optimising digital images for the web such as banner ads, social media images or email headers
- Creating a website or app mock-up
- Editing animation and video, cutting together simple video clips and adding filters, graphics, text or animation
When should Illustrator be used?
Illustrator is ideal for vector projects, as the size of any design created in Illustrator can be altered to anything from small thumbnails to billboards without compromising quality or becoming pixelated – they will look identical, whether used on a business card or an advert on the side of a bus. For this reason, it’s ideal for logos.
Illustrator’s tools are best for:
- Designing layouts
- Setting type
- Creating design elements
- Experimenting before finalising your ideas
Illustrator is a powerful app that is ideal for the following type of projects:
- Creating a logo, brand mascot or icon, as every vector line and shape can be enlarged to any size, thus making it perfect for images being used in different ways
- Creating a one-page print piece such as flyers, posters or business cards
- Setting type for a logo. Any text can be transformed into an editable shape that can be transformed in every way imaginable
When should InDesign be used?
InDesign was created for the desktop publishing market and is mainly used to lay out books, magazines, newspapers, flyers and posters. It enables the user to create master page templates to instantly unify pages throughout the document, with pages being numbered automatically.
InDesign is ideal for:
- Laying out a text-heavy, multi-page piece for either print or digital format
- Designing a brochure, magazine or booklet
- Creating interactive digital publications such as e-books and magazines
InDesign can create some shapes but when you require a logo, it’s best to design it in Illustrator before importing it.
It’s also possible to combine features of all three apps to create some amazing designs!