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What is the ideal Adobe program to create business cards?

New Here ,
Jun 15, 2010

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I wanted to get everyone's opinion on what program to use for business card design?

I've taken a look online and 3 Adobe products (Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop) all have discussion about creating business cards in them. Is one of them preferable? If so, why?

InDesign has far more typographic controls and other features for working with type, but it is a page layout application, first and formost. You can do simple illustration tasks using the pen tool and shapes, but ID lacks Illustrator's sophistication for illustration tasks, no brushes, no pattern fills, and no blends, for example. Neither ID nor AI has any abiltity to alter the pixels in a rater image other than applying some effects or blend modes.

Business cards are generally a very simple layout. As such they don't tax any program's abiliites very hard -- you can even do an passable job in Microsoft Word if you struggel a bit. If the task is going to require heavy illustration, Illustrator might be the better choice over ID since you probably don't need a lot of typographic sophisitication like multiple columns or anchored objects. If you need to manipulate a photo for the background, Photoshop is the place to be, and you can set type there, too, with limited capabilities.

On the other hand, if you plan on doing more projects, and they are going to be more complex or require multiple pages, InDesign is far and away the application of choice for most of us to do layout. If you are using art that's already existing and only need to design the page, not create the logo or color correct the photo, you won't need Illustrator or Photoshop, but like Bob I highly recommend getting the one of the suite packages so you have all the tools you'll need as you grow.

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What is the ideal Adobe program to create business cards?

New Here ,
Jun 15, 2010

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I wanted to get everyone's opinion on what program to use for business card design?

I've taken a look online and 3 Adobe products (Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop) all have discussion about creating business cards in them. Is one of them preferable? If so, why?

InDesign has far more typographic controls and other features for working with type, but it is a page layout application, first and formost. You can do simple illustration tasks using the pen tool and shapes, but ID lacks Illustrator's sophistication for illustration tasks, no brushes, no pattern fills, and no blends, for example. Neither ID nor AI has any abiltity to alter the pixels in a rater image other than applying some effects or blend modes.

Business cards are generally a very simple layout. As such they don't tax any program's abiliites very hard -- you can even do an passable job in Microsoft Word if you struggel a bit. If the task is going to require heavy illustration, Illustrator might be the better choice over ID since you probably don't need a lot of typographic sophisitication like multiple columns or anchored objects. If you need to manipulate a photo for the background, Photoshop is the place to be, and you can set type there, too, with limited capabilities.

On the other hand, if you plan on doing more projects, and they are going to be more complex or require multiple pages, InDesign is far and away the application of choice for most of us to do layout. If you are using art that's already existing and only need to design the page, not create the logo or color correct the photo, you won't need Illustrator or Photoshop, but like Bob I highly recommend getting the one of the suite packages so you have all the tools you'll need as you grow.

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Jun 15, 2010 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 15, 2010

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What tool would use to build a birdhouse? The answer of course is that you'd need more than one.

You might be able to get away with only one for business cards, but you really should have all of them.

Bob

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Jun 15, 2010 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 15, 2010

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the three applications each traditionally serve a different purpose.

illustrator is software to create graphics, logos, branding using mainly vector graphics.

photoshop is software to manipulate scanned images, digital photos or any raster graphics.

indesign is software to prepare layout onto a sheet size (or more recently, a screen) but will place the logos drawn in illustrator as well as the rasters which were prepared in photoshop.

there is also adobe acrobat which is (for me) is mainly used to create a finished file from indesign etc so that a person without any of the above software can see my design using the free acrobat reader, but at the same time be sent for output without requiring the links and fonts that the indesign file needed.

think of it like a design pyramid with each application (acrobat, illustrator, photoshop, indesign) representing a different corner. without one of these corners, the pyramid couldn't stand up and would fall flat on the ground.

so in answer to your question the software all works with each other, rather than independently.

HOWEVER, it is possible to layout and design a business card exclusively in either indesign, illustrator or photoshop.  however, as i suspect what bob is eluding to, using illustrator or photoshop independently to prepare business cards is a little like hammering in a nail with a screwdriver... it can be done but its the wrong tool for the job.

i would ask whether the software would be used to design anything else apart from business cards. all of the adobe software is quite powerful and capable of making everything from business cards to annual reports to point of sale packaging to massive parts catalogues. my point being that if the software was purchased purely to make business cards then is using very little of the potential the software has to offer.

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Jun 15, 2010 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 15, 2010

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Photoshop is primarily a raster image creation program. If your business card was to need a manipulated/adjusted image, Photoshop is a great tool for that purpose. Although Photoshop could conceivably be used to create a business card using text objects and saving as a PDF file (otherwise, you would end up with text as resolution-dependent raster image), it would be somewhat comparable to (but not quite as bad as) using a screwdriver as a hammer.

Either Illustrator or InDesign would be a more appropriate tool for creation of primarily text-based content such as a business card.

          - Dov

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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New Here ,
Jun 16, 2010

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks very much for all of your help. I'm still trying to understand why there is no ideal program for something like a business card. Am I to assume that it can be created in illustrator or indesign equally?

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Jun 16, 2010 0
Mentor ,
Jun 16, 2010

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KYC Studio wrote:

Hi Everyone,

Thanks very much for all of your help. I'm still trying to understand why there is no ideal program for something like a business card. Am I to assume that it can be created in illustrator or indesign equally?

Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, are general-purpose graphics tools. Each has great versatility within a particular range. Creating a business card is one example of what they can do. Other posts in this thread discuss which of the three might be more suitable for the kind of material you'd include in your business card.

It sounds as if you're asking why Adobe doesn't have a dedicated (specific-purpose only) product to make business cards. You can find dedicated business card programs by searching Google with a phrase like "business card programs" or "free business card programs" without quotes.

HTH

Regards,

Peter

_______________________

Peter Gold

KnowHow ProServices

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Jun 16, 2010 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 16, 2010

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It depends on the design. And the reason is because that despite some overlap in their capabilities, each program has different feature sets. Having one program would be like a carpenter having only a saw or only a hammer.

Bob

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LEGEND ,
Jun 16, 2010

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InDesign has far more typographic controls and other features for working with type, but it is a page layout application, first and formost. You can do simple illustration tasks using the pen tool and shapes, but ID lacks Illustrator's sophistication for illustration tasks, no brushes, no pattern fills, and no blends, for example. Neither ID nor AI has any abiltity to alter the pixels in a rater image other than applying some effects or blend modes.

Business cards are generally a very simple layout. As such they don't tax any program's abiliites very hard -- you can even do an passable job in Microsoft Word if you struggel a bit. If the task is going to require heavy illustration, Illustrator might be the better choice over ID since you probably don't need a lot of typographic sophisitication like multiple columns or anchored objects. If you need to manipulate a photo for the background, Photoshop is the place to be, and you can set type there, too, with limited capabilities.

On the other hand, if you plan on doing more projects, and they are going to be more complex or require multiple pages, InDesign is far and away the application of choice for most of us to do layout. If you are using art that's already existing and only need to design the page, not create the logo or color correct the photo, you won't need Illustrator or Photoshop, but like Bob I highly recommend getting the one of the suite packages so you have all the tools you'll need as you grow.

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New Here ,
Jun 16, 2010

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Hi Peter,

Thanks for that. I appreciate you giving me the explanation behind it.

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 16, 2010

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Generally speaking, I do all of my page layout - including stationery (BC, LH, Env) in ID. Logos and clip art I create/manipulate in AI. Images in PS. Sometimes when I do work for other ad agencies they will request that I use AI to build production files but the overwhelming majority of my production files are in ID.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 16, 2010

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I think that the fact that ID is pretty ideal has already been covered quite well. As a translation service provider who takes quite a few biz card requests, I just have to point out that most of the files I get come in EPS format, and I'm usually expected to return the same. (With all text outlined, of course. Feh.) If you search the ID forum for the term "EPS," I'm sure you will find hundreds of well-thought-out posts about why it's a terrible idea to rely on that format. When given the freedom to choose formats, I always choose PDF, or ID + PDF, if the client has joined the rest of us in the 21st century.

However, there's no way I'd be able to handle even 20% of our biz card project load without Illustrator, and not because it's a superior app for doing biz cards.

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