Alright, there have always been questions of what are the differences between Photoshop and Illustrator. Back in the day, I also have these questions. Well, do not worry because once you have read this, I can guarantee that you will know the difference.

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editing programme which handles raster files while Adobe Illustrator, which is also another graphics editing programme with the difference of handling vector files.

Now you are probably asking this, “what are raster files and vector files?”

Well, Raster files are made up of pixels, which are the very same tiny blocks that make up the display on your computer. Most images found on the web and any shots photographed out of a camera are raster files.


Vector files are based on lines and not pixels, which means no matter how much you resize your file, be it for printing or web publishing, the quality will remain the same as Illustrator creates your image based on lines and curves. Your computer will render your image exactly the same when you resize it to be larger or smaller depending on what you want to do with your end product

The reason why Photoshop is great for Raster files as it offers flexibility to the artist. Not only can you blend your image or get smooth gradients with raster files, it is easier to work with in Photoshop as you are dealing with pixels. There is a natural blending point which occurs when you pass your tool over multiple pixel points, letting you manipulate photos easily.

On the other hand, when you wish to create either a sophisticated artwork or your own logo or text, in Illustrator, you are creating vector images which are made of thin lines and curve, something that is ideal of your work projects.

A downside to Raster files would be the fact that they are not scalable as being made of pixels, when you try to resize your image you will only end up losing the quality of the image while you are at it. Many print shops have requirements for the DPI (dots per inch) of the images they use. Usually they require 300 DPI and above which is akin to a high-resolution image File format types of Raster files include JPEGs, RAW and PNGs but note that file size can also be a concern if storage or server space is limited or if files have to be transmitted electronically.

The strong advantage Vector files have compared to Raster files is the ability to be scaled without losing its initial quality. A vector file can be infinitely resized either larger or smaller with no resulting problems in quality and pixilation.

The downside to vector files is trying to create photorealistic vector images. It is possible to do so however it will be a complicated and time-consuming task to attempt.

You work with vector graphics primarily in fonts and logos, because both of them need to look crisp no matter what size they are. But to sum it up, raster is for photos, vectors are for logos.

At the end of it all, the program you pick to edit or create your files depends entirely on where it will be used. If you are aiming to retouch photos then I will advise that you choose Photoshop instead or you wish to create logos then Illustrator would be the one for you and for everything in between, it all depends on where it’s going.

If you’re fluent in one and not the other, it’s ideal to become a master of both programs as it makes you more flexible as a designer, and there’s nothing wrong with picking up a new skill.