Which Software Is Better, CorelDraw/Illustrator or PhotoShop?
We get this question often. In reality, both styles of programs are going to get you to the same place. When it comes to software people tend to go with what they know, so the real determining factor is you.
There are many questions to ask yourself when choosing a software, such as: what is my budget, what type of images do I intend to make, and of course, how difficult will it be to learn the feature set of the software? Other factors include your personal skill set, and what post-sales training the re-seller will provide. Will you be using the software or will you hire someone to do the design and production? Are you just starting out in the business or is this a shop growth decision?
Photoshop is a raster program, meaning it interprets data in pixels. Each pixel has a finite amount of information and can only be distorted so much. This is called the DPI (dots per inch). Photoshop is great for just that, working with photos. It allows you to layer images and work with each layer independently. It is easy to design and manipulate images within the software. This program is very popular with artists and designers. To successfully work with vector images you will need to use Adobe Illustrator which is a sister program to Photoshop and uses the same tools.
CorelDraw and Illustrator are both vector based programs used to make vector art. This means that the artwork is created using mathematical equations. This allows you to enlarge or scale down an image without losing any integrity in the design. Most logos are created as vector formats so they can be scaled to be small like a business card or large like on a billboard with no pixilation.
Difference 1: You can make a vector art file as large as you want. A block of color is a block of color. You can take a 1 in by 1 in square and scale it to 100 ft by 100 ft and it will look exactly the same. In Photoshop, if you create a 1 in by 1 in square and scale it to 1 ft by 1 ft you will get pixilation.
Difference 2: Corel does color separations in the print function of the program and gives you a preview. This allows you to see what each separation is according to the program and correct any mistakes you may have before printing out films which costs you money. When you choose this option it then sends ALL the plates to the rip software or printer of your choice at once. The program not only allows you to separate into CMYK but Pantone colors as well.
The biggest difference is artistic control. All the creative effects you see are done in Photoshop and Illustrator is it’s counterpart for vector graphics. Corel uses PhotoPAINT for its effects. When you combine the powers of both a raster and vector program you can have a nice looking billboard with a huge logo.
Each program has its own suite to maximize what you can do with your artwork. If you have Photoshop the CC Suites also have Illustrator for vector Images. If you use Corel Draw the X3 and up suites come with Photo-paint to manipulate raster images. In the end it will be up to you to research the two and decide which seems to be a better fit for your needs.
View of Illustrator’s Artboard with the Color Library for Lava Inks