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I am creating a web advertising rate card. Basically a brochure. It will be a PDF file. Should I do brochure designs or collateral designs using Illustrator and then import the non vector images from Photoshop? Or can I use Photoshop entirely? Most importantly, does text quality come out better when creating a PDF through Illustrator or Photoshop?

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5 Answers 5

What worked for me (and text quality wasn't compromised) was producing my art in Photoshop, mainly because I can get around here quicker than Illustrator then saving my files, up to you if you wish to save at print res (300dpi) and importing into InDesign.

Being part of the Adobe family InDesign shares many of the keyboard shortcuts and handles PSD files nicely. It took me a few hours to get up to speed,but once learned, it offers tools like the 'links' palette which manages your imported PSD files and if touched in Photoshop, maintains version by asking if you wish to update.

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Thank you for your answers –  jobin Nov 30 '11 at 1:47

Between the two I'd go with Illustrator and like a previous answer crisper text.

Illustrator allows you to:

Save directly as PDF that is editable so you only need one file. With photoshop you'll have your work file .psd and PDF .pdf.

You can have multiple pages of various sizes with in the same document, so you can have a brochure layout sitting right next to a business card, which is great when you need consistency throughout your designs.

Custom shapes are easier to make. (Pathfinder palette).

Lining up items is better and easier.

Guide positioning is better and you can make custom guides.

Easier to draw straight lines.

You can break apart text to manipulate characters.

There are lots more that Illustrator can do that Photoshop can't for your purpose.

However if you want to manipulate raster images such as .jpeg then stick to Photoshop.

Import raster images (non vector) from Photoshop into Illustrator.

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I'd use InDesign, frankly, but if you only have Illustrator and Photoshop as your options, I'd use Illustrator. It's a little easier to handle blocks of text, and I usually find the text comes out crisper.

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Thank you for your answers –  jobin Nov 30 '11 at 1:47

I'd go with Illustrator… wait… I already did :) and believe me it's convenient.

Seriously: while Ps let's you to easier mangle mercilessly pixels, Ill gives you nice tools to assemble multiple parts of design. If Ps would be like a canvas to paint on, Ill would be more like a montage table to perform your "colages" on.

Another important thing would be possibility to easily differentiate between "raster" and "vector" parts of your project. Also vector illustrations tend to be more flexible, reusible and smaller (in terms of file sizes) than their raster counterparts. "It scales better" argument is not exageration too.

You've mentioned "brochure" as your target. Well… in Ill exporting multipage pdf is brain-dead easy (CS4 and later) or easy (CS3 and before, at least to 10.0).

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It's really a question of personal taste. The quality will depend on 2 things:

  1. The type of artwork you include
  2. The (raster) quality settings used for your PDF

Photoshop is a raster (bitmap) editing program, meaning that it edits pixels. Illustrator is vector-based, meaning it edits points and lines. If you have a lot of photography, Photoshop is generally a better choice. If you have a lot of line art, Illustrator will serve you better. InDesign is also an excellent choice either way because of its fantastic type setting tools.

Tip: You can also use Smart Objects in Photoshop to keep your Illustrator vectors editable.

If you use raster artwork, it will likely have to be downsampled (lowered in quality) to send via email, and will still have a large file size. Vectors will be incorporated into a PDF with no downsampling (i.e. perfect quality that can be magnified infinitely) and will generally produce small file sizes (unless their quite complex).

I suggest solving the design issues, and this will suggest a particular technology. Both tools are worth knowing and using.

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