My knowledge of graphic design is limited at best, but I love to dabble on Illustrator, mainly doing posters. From the get go I chose Illustrator because someone said you should always use it for poster design because it uses vector graphics.

Now I understand that, but ever since I have encountered examples of people using Photoshop for poster design and using techniques that (to my knowledge) can't be achieved in Illustrator (Mainly the use of photos).

So my question is, how can people use Photoshop for poster art and other printed stuff? On the other hand can something like this (picture below) be achieved in Illustrator?


2 Answers 2


You are kind of asking two questions but I'll try my best to answer them.

How can people use Photoshop for poster art and other printed stuff?

Pretty easily as a matter of fact. The only real difference in using Illustrator is it's scalability and design look. Most poster design can be achieved by just working at high-resolutions.

On the other hand can something like this (picture below) be achieved in Illustrator?

This is achieved by combining both Photoshop and Illustrator work into one final piece. Usually most if not all designs have elements that are worked on from Photoshop (raster) and Illustrator (vector).

Now of course there are some that are exclusively done in each but most will be a mixture of each.

This poster example looks like it was done in all Photoshop, to replicate it in Illustrator you would have to manipulate their color in Photoshop then link or embed the images into your document and then type set the text in Illustrator.

If you are looking for inspiration/tutorials these are some good ones to get a grasp on how certain elements need to be created and how they can be composed together.

  1. http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/photoshop/retro-poster-style/
  2. https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-a-retro-style-poster-with-shapes-patterns-and-eagles--vector-40
  3. http://gomedia.com/zine/tutorials/gigposter-design-the-new-sex/
  4. https://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/create-a-distressed-vector-typographic-poster-design

The "proper" way to construct any print layout is to use tools like Photoshop and Illustrator to create the images and illustrations, but to assemble it all using a layout tool like InDesign. InDesign is far more efficient at managing and manipulating type, and it's designed specifically to combine type and graphics efficiently. Photoshop is great for editing images and digital painting, but it's a bad choice for vector editing or print layout. Illustrator is the top choice for vector graphics, but it is very clumsy with raster image data. So my answer would be to use Photoshop for creating the complex raster images that you can place as a LINK in Illustrator or (preferably) InDesign.

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