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TVI : Picking the Right Program for Your Creative Agency Job

Picking the Right Program for Your Creative Agency Job

As a designer there are a lot of programs you need to know. The suite of Adobe programs are the standard for most designers but with so many to choose from, it can be confusing if you’re just starting out at a creative agency. Each program is complex and specifically designed to take care of a certain type of design work. Here’s a quick breakdown of the main programs we use in our design work.


Photoshop is the go to program for photo or image manipulation. It’s used by photographers to tweak their pictures to get the best results, by designers to create any thing from print work to webdesign, and by novices everywhere to post pictures of their friends with giant monkey heads.

Photoshop monkey head

Studies show giant monkey heads make any picture better.

You want to use Photoshop for anything that will require you to alter an image. Photoshop is also great for building textures and patterns that can be used for backgrounds or to add that little detail that brings your design to life. Expert users can create entire worlds and landscapes by piecing together snip-its from many sources and blending them seamlessly. It’s truly amazing software and in the right user’s hands the possibilities are endless.


If you’re looking to create awesome graphics and illustrations from scratch you’ll want to use Illustrator. This is a vector based program, as opposed to Photoshop which is a raster based program. This means the program uses math, rather than actual pixels to create the images you see. With vector images you can resize them with without losing quality or getting pixelation.

Raster vs. Vector

Raster vs. Vector

Because of this, using Illustrator for for large print projects is a good idea. We use Illustrator as a wireframing tool for websites before we move on to design. But besides being great at technical drawing, you can also create amazing photo realistic images as shown here. Illustrator is great for bringing vector elements together to create an impressive design that can be used on anything form the size of a postage stamp to a billboard.


InDesign is the program you want to use for text heavy projects. With the ability to create character and paragraph styles you can easily go into your document and change elements throughout your document all at the same time. We use InDesign for a lot of our menu designs at TVI. All the items not fitting on the page? It’s easy to go in and change the line spacing to test what works best so everything fits and keep the items legible. InDesign is also great for laying out longer documents like brochures and magazines by setting up master pages that flow through the document. Make a change to the master page, and it appears everywhere that master page is used. The ability to wrap text around images lets you create interesting and dynamic layouts.


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