20+ Difference between Illustrator and Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are two of the best in the business, and artists use them often. These two programs have many similarities, but their variances outweigh those shared characteristics.

Photoshop uses pixels as its fundamental unit, whereas Illustrator relies on vectors. Photoshop is a raster graphics editor that creates pictures using individual pixels rather than a continuous grid.

Photoshop is a raster graphics editor and creator. Vectors, which are points used to make lines exactly straight, are the building blocks of Illustrator.

Comparison Between Illustrator And Photoshop

DefinitionThe Adobe Illustrator application is a top-notch vector graphics editor and design tool. Originally intended for use on Apple Macintosh computers, Adobe Inc. began developing its vector-based editing software in 1985. Picasso was the code name for Version 1.0. Logos, cartoons, drawings, and typefaces are the primary end products of this program’s usage.Popular within the Adobe Family of Software, Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor. When compared to Adobe Illustrator, which was developed in-house by Adobe, Adobe Photoshop was developed independently by two brothers, Thomas, and John Knoll, in 1987.
ConsWhen trying to make changes to raw images or graphics that have already been made, you could run into some difficulties. Access to a limited selection of filters, picture editing tools, and correction functions is all that is currently available to users.It is not especially useful for tasks such as creating logos or drawing designs, so avoid doing such things if you want to use it. The quality of these Raster graphics will decline considerably in whichever way you scale them, whether you increase or decrease the size.
UseAdobe Illustrator can carry out various operations related to vector graphics, including producing vector graphics, modifying those vector images, compositing vector graphics, and many other functions.Those who use the program and have Adobe Photoshop installed on their computers can engage in various activities, such as editing and refining images, creating photo montages, and modifying pictures. Other activities include editing and refining text and creating photo montages.
ToolsIt includes a collection of drawing tools that may be utilized in creating one-of-a-kind artwork, graphics, and other visual works of expression in several media and applications. These drawing tools can be used to create artwork, graphics, and other visual expression works.It is possible to create some vector graphics using it, but these capabilities are not even close to being as rich or thorough as those that Illustrator provides. On the other hand, using it to make specific kinds of vector graphics is possible.
PurposeIllustrator’s text editing capabilities are significantly more developed than its primary rival, Photoshop, even though the program’s primary application is drawing. The most important function of Illustrator is drawing.The editing of visual data, such as images and a wide variety of other graphic forms, has been and continues to be its major goal ever since the company was founded, and this focus has not changed. This goal has not been altered in any way. This is something that it has never stopped doing up to the present day.

The Major Difference Between Illustrator And Photoshop

What exactly is Illustrator?

The application that deals with graphic design is called Illustrator. Illustrator is the software that graphic designers use to create vector graphics.

Images and graphics created using vectors are not limited to a predetermined number of pixel counts; they are composed of points, lines, forms, and curves determined by mathematical formulae.

As a result, vector images and graphics can be scaled to any size without losing quality. As a result of this, vector drawings may be scaled in any direction without suffering any degradation in quality.

Key Difference: Illustrator

  • The usage of Adobe Illustrator graphics in digital, print, video, and mobile media is rising. 
  • A wide variety of premade layouts are available to quicken the design process. However, it is very helpful for components that must be flawless. 
  • Adobe Illustrator provides various drawing tools that may be used to create one-of-a-kind illustrations, logos, comics, etc. 
  • The algorithms in this application make it simple to resize, relocate, distort, and shrink graphic files without losing quality.
  • As a result, this software may automatically adjust the size of your image. Due to Illustrator’s increased accuracy, the end result may seem less organic. 
  • Logos, icons, typographic artwork, drawings, vector graphics, digital paintings, and so on may all benefit greatly from being created with Illustrator. 
  • Besides web design and single-page layouts, this is a common usage for it. Illustrator’s layer base function is of little utility to visual designers. 
  • Illustrator’s pen is used to carve out a creative path. Vector illustration creation, manipulation, compositing, etc., are Illustrator’s core applications.

What exactly is Photoshop?

The industry standard for image editing software is Adobe Photoshop, which can be used for everything from making tiny adjustments to creating abstract works of art.

By cropping, recomposing, and altering the lighting of a photograph, editors may utilize Photoshop to make any subject seem great.

It is also a place where skilled artists may make collages and photo composites, layer images, and create new works of art from various photo files.

Key Difference: Photoshop

  • The software is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones, allowing users to mix layers and utilize the looks on their own mobile devices. 
  • Creating drawings and vector illustrations is possible with Photoshop. There are other tools available, but they can’t compare to the power and versatility of Adobe Illustrator. 
  • Adobe Photoshop is often referred to as a raster editor. Colored pixels, which would be impossible to change in any other way, are virtually sent by the application. 
  • It’s possible that the original photographs will get deformed throughout the transformation. Adobe has made it possible to use Photoshop on portable devices. 
  • A designer’s work might seem more fluid and natural if they use Photoshop. The results may be as realistic looking as genuine paintbrushes or other mediums. 
  • Popular uses of Photoshop include fixing color in photos, editing and combining images and making “key art”—a single work of art that serves as the centerpiece of a design. 
  • Matte painting, web design, and so on are only some of Adobe’s various uses. The application relies heavily on the layer base functionality for Adobe to function properly. 
  • The chosen route is drawn by Photoshop’s pen, which is utilized for selecting. Using Photoshop for picture editing, retouching, and compositing is common practice.

Contrast Between Illustrator And Photoshop


  • Illustrator – To edit vector graphics, nothing beats Adobe Illustrator. Images in vector format can be scaled down to the smallest size without losing quality or up to the largest size without blurriness or pixelation.

    To make vector graphics, Illustrator relies on mathematical formulas and operations. If you have a line drawn in this fashion, the application will recalculate the equation and redraw the line each time it is displayed.
  • Photoshop – Photoshop is a raster graphics editor that creates images using individual pixels. Images in raster graphics are constructed from a grid of tiny squares called pixels.

    The computer has stored the order of these pixels in memory and uses that to render the image. It’s possible to pick up where you left off editing PSD files, as they’re saved in Photoshop. JPG and PNG are the most common raster image file formats.


  • Illustrator – Adobe Illustrator’s primary and most widespread use is in the production of graphic content of various kinds.

    This is also its most common-use scenario. Even using Adobe Illustrator, creating document page numbers is not easy.

    Due to the limited number of filters and other tools for modifying images included in Illustrator, it is regrettably impossible to make significant changes to prior pictures using this application. This is because Illustrator only has a limited number of these tools.
  • Photoshop – Photoshop’s editing capabilities enable users to do a wide range of picture modifications, such as cropping, adjusting the lighting and color, masking flaws, adding or removing backgrounds, and more.

    In addition, the creative industry uses Photoshop to produce user interfaces, online designs, and images with a low degree of the gradient. These tasks may be accomplished using the program.


  • Illustrator – Compared to Adobe Photoshop, its printed results are much better. There is no way for a vector graphic’s quality ever to deteriorate, regardless of the size at which it is seen.

    Regardless of the consequences, it does not matter what resolution you choose. Excellent for rapidly developing rough drafts of concepts and designing logos in a short amount of time. An incredible tool for rapidly producing simple vector artworks and visual concepts.
  • Photoshop – Ideal for editing both standard pictures and raw images. No matter how many layers you add to a Photoshop project, the overall dimensions of the file will not alter no matter what.

    When it comes to photo editing, you have many options at your disposal. Provides you with complete power over your activities (you can edit your graphic pixel-by-pixel). Excellent for the production of unique effects.

File format:

  • Illustrator – Every Illustrator is unique. The source and final files are either an AI or SVG. All the shape and text layers are still intact in a vector file.

    It is possible to rework a vector saved as an SVG file by opening it in another program.

    However, you may also combine all of your vector elements into a single raster picture by exporting your Illustrator file as a JPG or PNG.
  • Photoshop – A PSD file is a Photoshop document that may be used to store a work in progress, complete with all of the graphics and text layers.

    Anyone with access to Photoshop may open your PSD file and continue modifying it or even reverse your changes.

    However, it must be exported as a JPG or PNG to get its ultimate form as a raster picture. All the different levels are combined in this way. All of the recent changes are permanent.

What it does:

  • Illustrator – When looking for software for vector design, your first and only option should be Adobe Illustrator.

    Even though both Photoshop and Illustrator have a large number of applications, two of the most common uses of Illustrator among graphic designers are the generation of logos and vector graphics.

    This is the case even though both Photoshop and Illustrator have a wide range of purposes.
  • Photoshop – Adobe Photoshop is a specialist image editor designed for digital photographs and other image files. Its name comes from the company that developed it.

    Photoshop is used by professionals working in creative sectors for a broad range of jobs, including image editing, composite photographs (pictures made by combining several photos), website design, print material, and many more tasks, spanning both print and digital platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What skills does Illustrator lack that Photoshop has that Illustrator does not?

Pixels serve as the program’s conceptual basis in Photoshop, but vectors are the main operational unit in Adobe Illustrator. Photoshop is a raster application that creates visuals by utilizing discrete elements called pixels.

Adobe Photoshop is a kind of graphics editor known as a raster graphics editor. It may also be used to produce artwork that is pixel-based.

Q2. Is being an expert in Adobe Illustrator challenging to accomplish?

It is possible that Adobe Illustrator will be a challenging application to learn for those who are not used to dealing with the tools of graphic design.

The application’s user interface is very difficult to use, and the software itself has many functions that may at first seem contradictory to one another.

Adobe Illustrator is a complex program that needs much time and effort to learn how to use properly.

Q3. I’m interested in pursuing a degree in illustration, but to do so, is it necessary for me to be able to draw adequately?

It is not essential to sketch or illustrate free hand (so no, you truly do not need to be brilliant at art to use Adobe Illustrator) since there is a multitude of easy tools that can be used inside this very comprehensive application.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the fundamental resources on the market right now.

Q4. Is being adept with Photoshop difficult to achieve?

Learning how to use Photoshop is a really challenging task that might require a significant amount of time and effort.

It is a really difficult program to get the hang of, even though there are several books and tutorials accessible online to help you understand its principles of it.

If you want to become adept with Photoshop, a variety of instructional content, both in the form of videos and written guides, is accessible to you online.

Q5. Where can I get a list of Photoshop’s four most important capabilities, and what is the best way to put them to use?

Although image editing, the development of graphics, the building of websites, and the combination of pictures are the four most prominent applications for Photoshop, they may also be used for a broad range of other activities.

In addition to all of these other activities, you may also use Photoshop to create works of digital art, presentations, and logos.

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