As both graphic designers and web designers, having great software is critical to producing a great job. Just like a carpenter needs a good quality drill and saw, us designers need the right tools too!
That said, we see lots of files coming to us being designed incorrectly, or more often than not, in the wrong design program. Using the wrong program to design something is like using a screwdriver to drill a hole. You might eventually get there in the end (maybe!), but the end result isn’t as it should be.
Try as I might, I am not the handiest person in the world. I tell my wife that getting angry is just part of the building process. Overtime I have learnt to match the right tool for the right job. Same goes for design work.
What is being created will determine the software to use. Things we commonly design are logos, brochures, business cards, booklets & company profiles. All require different tools to get the desired outcome.
What is our desired outcome? We want to create great content that helps businesses communicate their brand to their audience.
Lets take a closer look at some of these tools…
The keystone software for logo design and graphic design. Illustrator is our go to for all files that require a vector output. What is a vector output? This means your logo or graphic can be resized to any degree with no loss in quality. Need the logo as small as a postage stamp? As big as a billboard? No problem! Having your logo designed in Illustrator is integral to maintaining your company’s brand and ensure your logo is consistent.
Good For…. Logos, Graphs, Graphics
Not For…. Photo editing, multi-page brochures
Photoshop is an essential weapon in the graphic designers arsenal. Like the name suggests, Photoshop is primarily used for photo editing. Looking to touch up an old photo or remove red-eye from a family portrait? Photoshop is your best friend. It also has great special effects functions such as blurring and adding photo filters.
The most familiar to the non-designers, it is a common misconception that Photoshop can be used for logo design and designing business cards and flyers. Due to its inability to produce vector files (see above), we never use Photoshop for this purpose. Do you only have your company logo as a Photoshop file (.psd)? In all likelihood it needs to be re-done in Illustrator to maximize its use.
Good For…. Photo editing
Not For… Logos, flyers, posters, brochures
The last, but not least in the great design trilogy is InDesign. Think of InDesign as the bigger brother of Microsoft Word. Whilst Illustrator focuses on single page graphics with small amounts of text, InDesign’s main focus is text-heavy, multi-page documents. Needing a brochure designed, or a company profile? This is your baby. InDesign also lets designers put on our all-important printing marks (called Bleeds & Trim Marks) that make all the difference to delivering a great final product.
Good For… Brochures, magazines, booklets
Not For… photo editing, logo design
Putting it all together
All these software programs come together and we use them in conjunction with one another. We will often design a brochure in InDesign which logo comes from Illustrator with its photos edited in Photoshop. They are like siblings that play well together (most of the time). Without use of all three of these programs together, our design work would be severely limited.
Designing something for us to print? Take note of this article and plan ahead to make sure you are using the right tools. Or feel free to get in touch with us and we will give you some advice and pointers to get the outcome you want for your business.