ADOBE DESIGN SOFTWARE:
What should you use?
Out of the three main Adobe Creative Suite products; Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign, Photoshop is the most popular. Unfortunately, it's actually also the most misused. Photoshop should be used primarily for editing and enhancing photos but it has somehow turned into the do-it-all program (including logo design), which it is not meant to be. It can, however, also be used to create web graphics, interface graphics and motion graphics.
With Photoshop, you can edit images pixel-by-pixel, which allows you to edit every pixel (square when you zoom in) of the image in close detail, but also means that using Photoshop for certain things, such as logo creation and type-setting, has the potential to pixelate your work and lower its quality. Photoshop supports the most file formats out of the three programs; including, but not limited to, .PSD, .PDF, .JPEG, .PNG, .TIFF, .AVI, .GIF, .BMP, .FLV, and much more. For more info on file formats, check out this past blog post.
Illustrator is a program used primarily to create vector-based designs for web and print, and should pretty much always be used to create logos. Always. Unlike pixel-based raster images in Photoshop, vector illustrations are resizable to both bigger and smaller variations while still being able to maintain the resolution and quality. Check out this past blog post that describes vector graphics in more detail and how you want to use vector graphics for signs, banners, promotional items, etc.
Illustrator is perfect for logo design, web graphics, layout designs, and more. Because you can link images and photos, as well as add type, it has the capability of creating more than just logos - things like brochures, postcards, banners, signage, and so much more. However, it does not have book templates or master pages like InDesign, which makes it less practical to use for multi-page layout purposes. It supports file formats such as .AI, JPEG, .PDF, .TIFF, .PCX, .BMP, .EPS, and more.
I use Illustrator more than any other program in the entire Adobe Creative Suite. I would say that I use Illustrator 85% of the time. I love being able to create custom illustrations, drawings, import photos, add text, colour, and fonts. If it's something you'd be interested in learning, check out my upcoming workshop on November 3rd in Ottawa.
InDesign is a program specifically made for making layouts for print-related designs. InDesign, much like Illustrator, is a vector-based program, and shares quite a few similarities with it (such as the text wrap use, which allows you to form text around an image, though it is more functional when used in InDesign), but is mainly used for the purpose of allowing you to design multi-page layouts, master layouts, books, etc.
Putting a layout together in InDesign, as opposed to Photoshop or Illustrator, is much more convenient as it keeps all of your fonts and images together so that it can be printed efficiently in the way you designed the document. It's perfect for brochures, newsletters, flyers, books, PDF presentations, templates, and much more. It supports other file formats such as .INDD, .IDML, .INDL, and more.
If you're interested in taking any of the Adobe products listed above for a test drive, they currently offer a FREE 30-Day Trial. No credit card required. Why not give it a whirl?
*If I could create design software myself, I would. Since I am not that technically adept (at all), the next best thing is the Adobe Creative Suite. So I have no problem recommending it to you (and using my affiliate link).
With design always in mind,
ps. Want to jazz up your design skills? Feel free to sign up for the FREE 10-Day Design Challenge and/or the FREE mini course here: http://www.butterandhoney.net/design-school/