Q: What is the difference between
Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator?
Photoshop = for photo manipulation
Illustrator = for creating vector art (shapes, if you
like drawing with a mouse, etc.)
InDesign = document layout
You shouldn’t ever do text work in Photoshop
unless you plan to make heavy utilization of filters.
You should never scale photos or otherwise edit
photos in InDesign.
Q: How do I transfer photos into
InDesign without them pixelating?
A: The very best way is to place them, but if they’re
the correct size and shape, you can simply drag,
drop and click.
You can use the Adobe Bridge, but that’s meant
more for working on your own computer (so that if
you keep photos in a specific place you can make
use of it). In a lab, it’s sort of overkill.
Q: Where can I find examples of good
A: All over the place.
A good website is dribbble.com, if you want to
scope out what some hot designers are doing now.
But you can also just Google “good designs” or go to
places that you’ve trusted in the past (e.g. Apple is
likely to have some nice looking stuff).
Part of the hook here is “good.” What defines what
is good design? You have to match your taste and
your style to designers who know the business.
Q: How can we effectively split up
A: If I knew… I’d be a genius!
Seriously, though, the best plan comes from gamin
studies, believe it or not. In multi-player video
games, everyone has to hold his or her end of the
bargain or the whole team loses. So look at the
work you have to do and figure out what looks like
about X amount for each person to do so that no
one is slacking but no one is buried. It’s not simple,
though, so you’ll need to practice and get to know
Q: Can you undo a mistake in
A: Yes. Just like almost every production software
suite, there’s an “undo” under “edit” in Photoshop.
Beyond that, though, Photoshop holds several
changes, so you can access the history palette (or
just keep hitting undo) to go back several steps.
Still– save often.
A number of you asked about InDesign,
about Photoshop, and about Illustrator.
I have posted some tutorials for you to
take a look at, and hopefully those will
help. There’s a problem, though, with
asking for in-class review of how the
software works. Several, actually.
1. None of these pieces of software are
things you can literally “teach” in any
sort of coherent way. These are
packages you learn by being shown the
basics and then creating. As James Gee
says, you must engage and probe the
software to figure out how it works.
2. Because people work at different
rates (and sadly, sometimes people
choose not to listen), doing complicated
things step-by-step in class will actually
hinder your education because you’ll
have to listen to me repeat, stop and
start, repeat, etc.
3. There are classes on Photoshop, on
Illustrator, and I think on InDesign. IF
we devoted the right amount of time to
learning software to do it correctly,
there’d be no room for what we’re
actually doing– visual rhetoric and
That said, I don’t want to leave you lost. So here’s
the policy, going forward:
1. Try starting to work and seeing where it gets
2. When you get lost, Google. Seriously– someone
else needed to know, and someone probably
answered them. There are amazing resources out
3. Do tutorials on things that look interesting. The
practice will familiarize you with what the
software can do.
4. When all else fails, ask me. I am here to help.