Best Adobe Programs for Print Design

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Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are three of the most commonly used Adobe programs by graphic designers, especially those who specialize in print design. While there is a bit of an overlap among them in terms of basic capabilities, they are not easily interchangeable. Each has its own set of core strengths, and when used correctly, these three programs work great together as a team. Here’s a quick rundown of what each program should be used for depending on what you’re designing:

Adobe Photoshop
Raster graphics, photo editing and manipulation, filters and special effects

Adobe Illustrator
Vector graphics, logo design, shapes and line art

Adobe InDesign
Typesetting, composition­, multi-page layouts, exporting for print

When designing for print, elements from Photoshop and Illustrator often come together in InDesign for final composition and print preparation. For example, let’s say you were working on designing a brochure for a small business. Photoshop would be the program of choice for retouching the company’s photos; Illustrator would be the program of choice for perfecting the company’s logo; and InDesign would be the program of choice for typesetting and laying out the composition of the brochure, which would include the photos and logo designed in the other programs.

This post originally appeared on the blog of VPM.