Photoshop vs Illustrator: Which Is a Better Graphic Designing Tool

Photoshop vs Illustrator: Which Is a Better Graphic Designing Tool-feature image
May 10, 2023 7 Min read

Photoshop and Illustrator are amongst the most popular graphic designing tools available in the market. But which one is better for you?

Should you design your brand logo, merchandise, or other designs in Photoshop or Illustrator?

Well, we have a detailed Photoshop vs Illustrator comparison to help you find what is the difference between Photoshop and Illustrator. We will discuss their features, differences, when to use them, and what they are for.

This will help you find which is better, Photoshop or Illustrator.

What is Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is raster-based graphic editing software that uses pixels to make images. These pixels are a million squares arranged together, and this arrangement is memorized and used by the computer every time it displays the picture.

All the Photoshop files are saved in the .psd extension, but you can also save them in .png and .jpg file formats.

What is Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphic editing software that uses vectors to create images. These images are completely scalable and can be used as small or large as the quality, clarity, or resolution will not be compromised.

Adobe Illustrator also gives the best quality output when it comes to giving a print. Some of the common vector file extensions that graphic designers use include .eps, .svg, and .ai.

Photoshop vs Illustrator: Comparison Table

BasisAdobe IllustratorAdobe Photoshop
PurposeImage CreationImage Editing
Graphics TypeVector- BasedRaster- Based
Price₹1675.60 per month₹1675.60 per month
Free Trial30-day free trial30-day free trial
File Formats.eps, .svg, .ai.psd, .jpg, .png
Graphic ScalabilityUnlimitedLimited, depending on image resolution
Used forLogos, hand drawing, sketching, comics, etc.Photo editing and retouching

Adobe Illustrator Vs Photoshop: Key Differences

The key difference between Illustrator and Photoshop is that Illustrator is an image creation tool, whereas Photoshop is an image editing tool. Illustrator is used for creating logos, hand drawings, custom typographies, and more, without any limitation of scalability. However, Photoshop is a great graphic designing tool for image editing, retouching, and manipulation.

In this article, let’s understand the differences between Photoshop vs Illustrator in detail.

Photoshop Vs Illustrator: In Terms of Features

Let’s draw a comparison of Photoshop vs Illustrator based on their features and graphic designing tools.

Photoshop is majorly used for editing images. However, Illustrator is widely preferred for image creation purposes. Photoshop allows designers to perform image editing functions like cropping, image masking, adjusting image lighting, color grading, adding or removing backgrounds, blemishes, and more. Also, when we talk about Adobe Illustrator vs Photoshop, you need to consider Photoshop add-ons such as external plug-ins, filters, etc.

All these image editing tools are available in Adobe Illustrator. But, when comparing Photoshop vs Illustrator for drawing, Illustrator has an upper hand. It is an ideal image creation software that allows designers to create free-hand drawings, sketches, and logos. It also offers other important features such as line drawing, typography, coloring options, etc.

You can use Illustrator’s vector images on Photoshop as well, but it is not recommended because it loses its scalability and quality. Working on Photoshop gives you the freedom of working on the same image again, but with Illustrator you cannot work on the same project once it is saved as a normal image.

Suggested Read: 10 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives With Similar Features (Updated List) 2022

Photoshop Vs Illustrator: Pros & Cons

Further, let’s understand the difference between Photoshop and illustrator through the pros and cons that come with both those graphic design software.


Pros of Photoshop

  • Ideal for photo retouching
  • Works great with raw photos
  • Photo color grading
  • Multiple image editing tools are available
  • You can take complete control of your project, edit pixel by pixel
  • Editing tools available for image manipulation
  • Additional plugins, textures, and filters available
  • Free trial available

Cons of Photoshop

  • Scaling limitations while working with raster images
  • Not an ideal choice for creating logos from scratch
  • A complex tool with endless editing tools
  • It is a bit expensive. Therefore, look into photoshop alternatives for more options.

In addition to this, any changes you make to the vector logo in illustrator will be reflected directly on your Photoshop file because of the project file import.


Pros of Adobe Illustrator

  • Great for creating scalable graphics
  • Offers a comparatively better print quality compared to Photoshop
  • Ideal for creating vector-based graphics
  • Does not depend on the resolution of the project
  • You can create graphics, web designs, and text documents
  • Ideal for free-hand drawing

Cons of Adobe Illustrator

  • Difficulty in working with existing graphics
  • Limited image editing tools
  • Consumes a lot of storage on the system’s disk space

Photoshop Vs Illustrator: Which is Better

On comparing the difference between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, we can conclude that Illustrator is an image-creating tool, whereas Photoshop is an image editing tool. Illustrator is great for web designing, freehand drawing, creating logos, etc. However, Photoshop is good when it comes to image editing for social media posts, digital painting, photo retouching, etc.

Both Photoshop and Illustrator have their own pros and cons, but to get the best results, designers must try using both software together.

When to Use Illustrator

Graphic designers can use Adobe Illustrator when they want to create something that can be printed on large canvas like billboards, or even walls, or small canvases like pocket business cards. Illustrator graphics can be easily scaled up and down without losing quality and clarity.

Using Adobe Illustrator is also great if you want to create:

  • Logos & icons
  • Freehand drawing
  • Line drawing
  • Custom fonts
  • Scalable graphics

When to Use Photoshop

Photoshop is great to use when you want to make changes to an existing image or graphic because they will stay in the same image size. In fact, you can also have complete control over the graphic by working pixel by pixel on the image.

Photoshop is best for:

  • Photo editing/ retouching
  • Making changes in a graphic
  • Correct lighting
  • 3D painting

When to Use Illustrator and Photoshop Simultaneously

llustrator and Photoshop Simultaneously

Let’s understand how you can use Illustrator and Photoshop together to take your creative projects to the next level.

Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop come in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and can be used together. You can import vector graphics created in Adobe Illustrator to Photoshop and turn that into a raster file and work further on it. At the same time, a Photoshop file can be added in Illustrator. Creators can link these files so that the changes made in one file will reflect in another file in real-time.

For example, you want to launch merchandise for a brand. You can create a vector logo for the brand on Adobe Illustrator, that can be imported to Photoshop. Now, in Photoshop, you can use this vector file as an image on mugs, t-shirts, pens, and other merchandise materials.

Find Out the Difference Between Vector and Raster

Difference Between Vector and Raster

Before discovering the difference Photoshop and Illustrator, let’s have a clear understanding of the difference between vector and raster graphics.

What are Raster Graphics?

Raster graphics are the ones where you use pixels to create different images. Pixels are millions of different colored tiny squares that combine together to create an image. You can clearly see these tiny squares when zoom in on an image, especially at the corners. However, you will not be able to see them from afar.

What are Vector Graphics?

Vector graphics are created by using mathematical constructs. Images created using vectors are created by connecting two dots using a computer algorithm. Individually these connections are called vector paths, and together they create a vector object. They appear clear no matter how much you zoom in or zoom out on the graphic.

Now, let’s check how raster and vector graphics are used in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Suggested Read: Best Graphic Design Software for Beginners


  1. Which is better Photoshop or Illustrator?

    After comparing Photoshop vs Illustrator, we would recommend Photoshop if you want to edit images, and Illustrator if you have to create images. Also, the graphics created on Illustrator are scalable, which means they can be scaled as per your requirement. But with Photoshop, you might lose the quality.

  2. Is Illustrator harder than Photoshop?

    Yes, Illustrator is more difficult to learn than Photoshop, because in Illustrator you have to create everything from scratch. To master Illustrator, you can start by working on Photoshop because their interface is quite similar.

  3. Why do people use Illustrator instead of Photoshop?

    Some people use Illustrator instead of Photoshop when they want to create a graphic that involves sketching, hand drawing, and custom typography. Also, it is used when you want scalable graphics with good print output quality.

  4. What is the difference between Illustrator and Photoshop?

    The major difference between Illustrator and Photoshop is that Illustrator is used for creating images and graphics. However, Photoshop is used for editing images or graphics.

  5. Should I learn Illustrator or Photoshop first?

    You should learn Photoshop first because Photoshop has simpler editing tools, and you can work on an existing image or graphic. Also, it will help you get used to the user interface of both the software.

  6. What can Illustrator do that Photoshop can’t?

    Adobe Illustrator can produce vector-based images, that are scalable to any extent. You can print them on billboards and business cards in the same resolution. But this thing is not possible in Photoshop because it produces pixel-based graphics.

Related Categories: Photo Editing Software | 3D Design Software | Graphic Design Software

Written by Isha Lamba

Isha’s writing journey started way back in 2018 when she graduated in the field of Journalism & Mass Communication. Since then, she has been writing for all digital and print marketing assets including blogs, editorial reviews, landing pages, emailers, and more. She has contributed her writings to genres... Read more

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