Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign represent the “big three” of the Adobe Creative Suite—but never assume that one is interchangeable with another.
Use the wrong design program to create a certain element of your artwork, and you might end up with blurry text, sloppy layouts, or a logo that you can never resize without turning it into a pixelated nightmare.
Using all three programs together, however, turns them into the ultimate dream team. You can maximize the strengths of each Adobe product while also minimizing their weaknesses; where one program fails, another can pick up the slack.
Which Adobe Program Should You Use for Designing Print Media?
Since each program has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, the one you should choose depends on which part of the print design you’re actually making.
Using this presentation folder design as an example, let’s break down which Adobe programs (Photoshop vs. Illustrator vs. InDesign) were used to create its various elements.
Designing a Logo: Illustrator
The perfect scalability of vector images makes Illustrator, hands-down, the best program for creating print logos. A logo you create in Illustrator can be imported into a number of different projects and will always print with crystal clarity.
If you don’t have Illustrator, InDesign also has the vector tools you need to create a scalable logo. Photoshop can work as a last resort, but keep in mind that the vectors you create will be converted to raster images and you’ll likely see some slight pixelation if you try to reproduce the logo in different sizes.
Drawing Shapes and Graphics: Illustrator
Illustrator is the go-to choice for drawing any shaped visual elements, since vectors can be easily manipulated, altered and resized. Vector illustration can be tricky to learn, but the results are much more professional looking than other hand-drawn options.
If you don’t mind working in a pixel-based environment, you can achieve similar results using Photoshop. Since not all of your illustrative elements will be reused in other designs, you won’t run into any pixelation issues as long as you don’t have to resize the image.
Adding Filters and Special Effects: Photoshop
Photoshop gives you access to an impressive library of filters and special effects. If you want to give your print media projects that extra level of flair, Photoshop should be your first choice.
If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you can add a few limited filters to your photos directly from InDesign. It doesn’t have quite the same scope as Photoshop, but it can handle the basics.
Manipulating Photos: Photoshop
The name says it all—Photoshop has the most tools for manipulating photos, and since photos are created using pixels, you don’t have to worry about distortion. Whenever your print design includes photographs, use Photoshop first to improve the image quality before importing into another program.
Again, if you don’t have access to Photoshop, InDesign can at least handle the basics, like cropping and resizing. It shouldn’t be your first choice, but it’s manageable in a pinch.
Writing Copy: InDesign
If you’re designing a brochure, pocket folder or other print project that has large passages of text, InDesign is very handy for its intuitive word wrap feature. Word wrap helps you easily break up your copy into columns, letting you utilize every inch of canvas space. InDesign also creates crisp, clean text devoid of pixelation.
Illustrator can also be used to create smooth, scalable text out of vector shapes, but without the word wrap tools, it can be difficult to create a good-looking layout for text.
Designing Layouts: InDesign
InDesign has all of the best tools for creating complete layouts for print, especially multi-page layouts using its master page system. It can also handle multi-page templates, which makes it easier for you to quickly put together a sharp-looking layout.
Illustrator can also handle multi-page layouts to a degree, but without the master page system, you’ll end up having to do a lot of extra work.
Creating Your Print Ready Files: InDesign
Composing a print-ready folder design in InDesign is a fairly simple affair. It keeps all of the design elements in their original state, so when it comes time to print, you’ll have the most accurate representation possible. InDesign is also better than most other Adobe programs at creating .EPS files, one of the more ideal formats for print-ready artwork.
Illustrator makes a decent second choice for its ability to export accurate print-ready .EPS files.
What About Adobe Fireworks?
Although Adobe Fireworks is an excellent illustration and photo editing tool, when it comes to designing print media, there isn’t much that Fireworks has to offer over the other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite.
It’s actually something of an amalgam of all three programs—it has layers and photo editing tools like Photoshop, vector illustrations like Illustrator, and the use of master pages like InDesign.
However, Fireworks is primarily for web and digital design, so when it comes to creating print designs, it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
We all have our own ways of doing things, and you should ultimately choose the program that best fits you as a designer. In the end, what matters is that your final product is clean, clear and catching to the eye.
Do you have any questions about using Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign for creating print media designs? What have been your personal experiences with using the Adobe Creative Suite for print media? Is there another alternative program that you prefer over these three? We really want to hear from you, so please leave your comments below!
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As CEO of CompanyFolders.com, Vladimir is a knowledgeable authority in print marketing and graphic design for businesses. With his team of designers and experts, he helps customers put forth the best possible impression with high-quality collateral. Learn more about Vladimir’s history and experience, and connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.
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An index is an alphabetical list of terms or concepts placed towards the end of a book or a document, along with page numbers on which they appear in the book or document. An index is created in a standard format to make scanning easier. An index is an integral part of any book or document of considerable volume, printed or online, as it helps in finding information about key terms.
If you want to create the right index for your book in FrameMaker and are wondering about options, this post is for you. FrameMaker lets you create an index for a book or a document with the help of index markers. Using index markers, you can insert a key entry for the index, include a sub-entry, specify a page number or a page range, and define See or See also links for index entries.
Read on as we unfold some common workflows around indexes in FrameMaker:
Create an index marker in an unstructured document in FrameMaker
Select the term in the document that you want to include in the index. Go to Special > Marker and in the Marker dialog box, select the marker type as Index. If required, edit the marker text, and then click New Marker. The term is added as a new index marker.
You can also create index markers for structured documents. See Create an index marker in a structured document in FrameMaker for more information.
Include multiple index entries in one index marker
You can include multiple entries in a marker by separating the entries using a semicolon (;) in the marker text. The index terms that you combine are arranged in alphabetical order.
Note: If you combine two terms that start with different letters, they appear as two separate index terms. For example, if the combination is Bibliography; Utilities, then Bibliography will be an index term under B and Utilities a separate index term under U.
Create an index sub-entry for an index marker
For an index key entry, an index sub-entry is created to group subsequent information together. You can create sub-entries for a key entry using a colon (:) in the marker text.
Create See or See also links in an index entry
Adding related index entries as See or See also links helps align similar pieces of information together, thus avoiding duplication.
To add a See or See also link to an existing index term, use See or See also in the marker text.
Here, both the index terms take you to their respective locations.
Tip: Use <$nopage> if you do not wish to show the page number with an index term.
Generate the index from index markers
After creating index markers, you can generate a standard index in FrameMaker. Go to Add > Standard Index or Special > Standard Index and include the marker type Index in the Setup Standard Index dialog box. Click Update in the Update Book dialog box and click OK to generate an index for your book.
To know more about how to generate an index for a book or a document, see Generate indexes.
Create an index marker in a structured document in FrameMaker
Yes, you can create indexes for structured documents or books. Click where you want to insert the marker. Go to Element > Element Catalog, select and double-click the index element indexterm to insert the index marker.
In the Insert Marker dialog box, choose the marker type as Index and update the marker text. Click New Marker to add the term as an index marker.
Customization in index
You can perform the following customization while creating index markers for your index.
Define page ranges in index entries
To specify page ranges for index terms, where information spans several pages, use <$startrange> to specify the beginning of the page range and <$endrange> to specify the end of the page range.
Note: You can also create page ranges automatically using <$autorange>. For more information, see Using page ranges in index.
For example: Information about Bibliography and its basics spans from page 9-11.
Format text in an index entry
You can control the formatting of text in an index entry by adding character format in the marker text. You can format the text in an entry by typing the character tag between angle brackets (< and >) before the text and typing <Default Para Font> after it.
You can also use the bold character tag to show the entries or page numbers in bold. For more information, see Format text in an index entry.
Grouping index titles in an index
You can group index titles in a FrameMaker index so that entries for more than one letter appear together.
For more information, see Working with group titles in FrameMaker index.
Sorting index titles in an index
You can modify and update the usual sorting order of index titles for an index, which is special symbols first, followed by numbers and alphabetic characters.
For more information, see Working with sort order in index.
Import index along with the Word document in FrameMaker
When you import a Word document in FrameMaker, the document’s index is also imported. The new index entries are added to the already existing index in FrameMaker.
Further reading: Creating indexes in FrameMaker
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