Making web banners in different formats: Is Photoshop or Indesign the "right" tool?

Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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Hello everyone!

I need to make 20 web banners, and each of them need to be made in 5 different formats. I usually make these in Indesign as I already have the layouts for print ready. I just make the necessary adjustments for web - then I use Alternate layouts (or Data merge it all depends). I'm not Photoshop-savvy, and I fear I can't do sudden changes to text/colors as quickly as I'd like.

 

I have a colleague that prefers them as .psd files though. Is there any way I can do this in Photoshop effectively? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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A classic case of "Whatever works...". You're probably still unnecessarily limiting yourself by not learning to do it in PS, but ultimately it doesn't really matter that much if the limited options exporting this from ID to web formats do it sufficiently for you. Still, I would advise learning PS asap. Latest when someoen points you at error reports from Google due to lack of optimization of images or them being generally too bloated in terms of SEO you know you're in trouble...

 

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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Which is why I'm here asking for tips! I rarely make web banners - I mostly do typography/layout 🙂 

 

I know artboards is a feature on Photoshop. Is that something I can look into? Actions? I've seen the way my colleague works and it's not time-efficient (is working one banner at a time the only way? I don't think so...?)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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Consider this an opportunity to learn Photoshop.

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Guide ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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There is no real reason to switch to Photoshop if InDesign does everything you need to create the layouts for your web banners.

It is, however, true that InDesign has rather bad image output optimization. Photoshop's is better, but still not that great (in particular PNG), and my workflow is to treat files later in external web optimization tools. A  real issue is that Photoshop STILL does not support webp export natively, and a plugin is required (let alone animated PNG files). Photoshop (all Adobe software) is terribly behind the times in that regard in my opinion.

 

Compared to InDesign's pages and alternate layouts, artboards are quite limited and awkward; as you discovered by watching your colleague struggle with them. That said, a lot of time can be saved by re-using smart objects.

 

I do agree with the other responses here though that learning Photoshop will expand the scope of your design options quite dramatically. It is worth learning, and the combination of ID and PS is hard to beat.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 23, 2021 Nov 23, 2021

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The most efficient workflow likely would be to package repeating content like headlines, slogans, branding etc. into smart objects or groups at sufficient resolutions or even truly vector-based and then indeed re-order it suitable across multiple artboards using duplicates of the SO. Then you could update the contents of the SO and the banners would update reasonably without needing too much extra tweaking. Furthermore this would ensure that you get a consistent quality based on PS' resampling algorithms plus better optimization simply because PS has deeper access to pixel data and can analyze it better. plus you could potentially further optimize it manually by using Indexed color modes for palette reduction on GIFs and PNGs or on the opposite end include some vector data when exporting as SVGs. Similarly, you could potentially help with web integration by slicing up banners or better matching colors. You see, there would be quite some benefits to using PS. In your current workflow there might even be some advantage in just optimizing re-compressing your exported banners from ID.

 

Mylenium

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