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Thread: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

  1. #1

    Default Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Hi all

    I would like to try making photo greeting cards, posters and calendars with inspirational text or writings like poems, proverbs etc.

    1. Should I use photoshop only to do everything? Is PS able to do everything alone?

    2. Or should I import the photo into InDesign, and do the typography and layout in InDesign instead?

    Which is a better approach to adopt?

    By the way, can anyone recommend me a website where I can find a discussion group for Adobe InDesign.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    for typo it is better to use indesign or illustrator.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visuals View Post

    1. Should I use photoshop only to do everything? Is PS able to do everything alone?

    2. Or should I import the photo into InDesign, and do the typography and layout in InDesign instead?

    Which is a better approach to adopt?
    Use Photoshop for image editing before porting the pictures over to InDesign for the typography and layout designing

  4. #4
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by jopel View Post
    for typo it is better to use indesign or illustrator.
    i 3rd the indesign or illustrator

  5. #5

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Hm my newbie experience: indesign or illustrator. Use photoshop to touch up or prepare images for indesign and illustrator. At the end if need to touch up or prepare the final product for print, export out to photoshop.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by icebox View Post
    Hm my newbie experience: indesign or illustrator. Use photoshop to touch up or prepare images for indesign and illustrator. At the end if need to touch up or prepare the final product for print, export out to photoshop.
    sorry, you don't export back to photoshop for the printing. Print from indesign or export as pdf for printing. PDF is becoming the standard format, when you need to send out for printing.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    The above are all valid.
    However, if you're ONLY choosing one, then Photoshop is the obvious choice. For all your image editing, PS is the obvious and only choice, so its a must have. Consider cheaper version 'Photoshop elements' may be enough for you.

    PS can draw lines, text can be converted to path,etc. Just not so easily. Can surely be done without additonal investment. I suggest u try first, print out to see result. Only if not satisfied then buy Indesign, which I hardly imagine is neccesary. I'll rather suggest you look at 'Illustrator'.

  8. #8
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by jopel View Post
    sorry, you don't export back to photoshop for the printing. Print from indesign or export as pdf for printing. PDF is becoming the standard format, when you need to send out for printing.
    PDF is the standard, not becoming the standard
    but generate your pdf from indesign or illustrator and not from photoshop

    reason being that vector is always sharper than raster, smaller file sizes too.

  9. #9
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by firestone View Post
    The above are all valid.
    However, if you're ONLY choosing one, then Photoshop is the obvious choice. For all your image editing, PS is the obvious and only choice, so its a must have. Consider cheaper version 'Photoshop elements' may be enough for you.

    PS can draw lines, text can be converted to path,etc. Just not so easily. Can surely be done without additonal investment. I suggest u try first, print out to see result. Only if not satisfied then buy Indesign, which I hardly imagine is neccesary. I'll rather suggest you look at 'Illustrator'.
    there is a big difference in indesign and illustrator

    indesign is meant for page layout while illustrator is meant for illustrations (to be placed into a page layout)

    Photoshop is meant for editing raster images and raster images are made up of little squares, so you cannot get smooth curves

  10. #10
    Member iboey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    is pdf better than tiff?
    Having expensive gears do not make you a better photographer. Period.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    QuarkXpress and Adobe Illustrator CS3 is my choice.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for sharing your knowlege and experiences with me. I actually did not expect so many responses to my question on InDesign. Wow, it seems like alot of people here don't just use PS or LR only, and are pretty experienced with InDesign and Illustrator as well.

    I try to answer as neatly as I know how, and please bear with me if my way of replying is less than ideal for you. And forgive my poor grammar as well.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    ICEBOX says:
    "Hm my newbie experience: indesign or illustrator. Use photoshop to touch up or prepare images for indesign and illustrator. At the end if need to touch up or prepare the final product for print, export out to photoshop."

    My reply: "Huh , what do you mean by export out to Photoshop for final product or print? Are there any benefits exporting back to Photoshop when we can print it directly from InDesign? Will be great if you can share your suggested workflow with everyone."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    JOPEL says:
    "Print from indesign or export as pdf for printing. PDF is becoming the standard format, when you need to send out for printing."

    My reply: "if I am printing to my own inkjet printer (which I haven't own any yet, will appreciate some advice on which brand and model to buy), should I print directly as an IDD file, or covert to PDF before printing? Will I see any color differences between printing as IDD or PDF, which file format produces better quality?"
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    FIRESTONE says:" if you're ONLY choosing one, then Photoshop is the obvious choice."

    My reply: "I heard that in order for Photoshop to produce vector-based text, it must be printed through a so called Post-Script printer, which most ordinary folks like myself probably won't spend so much on. InDesign being a vector based program won't have this problem, based on my limited knowlege. You are most welcome to correct me if I am wrong, afterall I am here to learn from all of you."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    ORTEGA says:" indesign is meant for page layout while illustrator is meant for illustrations"

    My reply: " I did used illustrator for simple poster design before. but don't recall using illustrator for drawing + photo combination, which is why I never thought of using illustrator to make calendars or poster. If illustrator can do this function well, I should perhaps experiment with it as well."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHOTOBUM says:" QuarkXpress and Adobe Illustrator CS3 is my choice"

    My reply: " For posters, photocard, calendars, if I can choose either InDesign or illustrator only (apart from Photoshop for image editing), which would you recommend? I prefer to concentrate on learning one layout program, and be proficient in it rather than spreading myself too thin. Graphic programs takes a lot of effort to learn and master, and I think focused effort is important. I am quite okay with PS, and can spare some effort to learn a layout program now. I would appreciate a honest recommendation from you."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, I asked for advice on which printer to buy (on the printer section), but no one offer any advise so far.
    Basically, I need a basic printer that can produce photo cards and small A4 size posters of photo quality, but not exhibition quality. Since I am only at the learning, experimenting stage, no point investing too heavily on printers now. I am particularly concerned about the issue of print head clogging.

    Can anyone recommend a brand/model which is suitable for my needs. Less prone to clogging will be better. I don't mind Canon or Epson, so long as they work reliably, and don't charge unreasonable prices for their ink cartridges.

    Thanks for all you inputs, and I certainly look forward to your contributions again!


  13. #13

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    for direct printing from indesign you don't need to export as pdf. as for color management, select Let Indesign Determine Colour in the print dialogue box, and chose the profile for your printer and media.



    you need to calibrate your monitor and have a profile for your printer for your chosen media (paper).


    But for whatever reason you need the PDF for inkjet printing chose the High Quality Print. There should be no colour different regardless you use the pdf or idd for printing and the quality should be the same.

    As for printer I only use A3 printer. I have the epson 2100 and the HP 9180. The HP is a newer printer then 2100 and the print quality is also better.
    Last edited by jopel; 13th June 2008 at 09:03 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visuals View Post
    PHOTOBUM says:" QuarkXpress and Adobe Illustrator CS3 is my choice"

    My reply: " For posters, photocard, calendars, if I can choose either InDesign or illustrator only (apart from Photoshop for image editing), which would you recommend? I prefer to concentrate on learning one layout program, and be proficient in it rather than spreading myself too thin. Graphic programs takes a lot of effort to learn and master, and I think focused effort is important. I am quite okay with PS, and can spare some effort to learn a layout program now. I would appreciate a honest recommendation from you."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adobe Illustrator no doubt.

    For poster printing, HP is better than Epson or Canon. HP has been the standard for graphic industry for many, many years. Both Epson and Canon are relatively new players. I remember all the graphic printers in my university are HPs.
    Last edited by photobum; 13th June 2008 at 10:25 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Visuals, here's my input to your queries:

    1) There is no need to re-export to Photoshop from InDesign as suggested by Icebox. Built within InDesign is a feature called Roundtrip Editing. Simply put, InDesign allows you to open most graphics in the source application in order that you can modify/tweak as necessary. Once the original file is saved, the linked document in InDesign is updated with the new version.

    2) If you're using your own printer, there is a difference if you print from a native inDesign file and a pdf file. That difference is time. Pdf files have been "flattened" and are smaller in size. However pdf files can vary in quality and size due to compression settings. So choose the highest quality possible. Pdf files that are created by the Export command can occasionally be unreliable, most notably font issues. It is far safer to create a pdf file by saving as a postscript file and generating it by Adobe Distiller. Prepared correctly, there is little difference printing from either an InDesign or pdf file formats.

    Generally speaking, if you're creating finished artwork, generating hi-res pdf files is the most preferred method, particularly if is to be passed on to a print provider or third party. Why? Even if you or another party has the same program versions, there may be instances where plug-ins are used. If the other party does not have them, they may have errors opening the file. Secondly, in order to keep file sizes manageable, images are not usually embedded but linked. It is quite common for people to forget to send the linked files together with the working file. The same applies to fonts as well. InDesign files can't be previewed by other programs, whereas the whole purpose of pdf files is for collaborative viewing.

    3) Photoshop's type and vector based graphics are resolution independent. When they are output on a Postscript output device or printer, they can produce smooth outlines, irregardless of the native resolution of the image file. However it is better to rely upon dedicated Postscript based illustration (Illustrator or Freehand) or page layout program (InDesign or Quark). For the most part type in Photoshop is editable, providing a lot of flexibility. However if you need to run a filter on type, it has to be rasterised or if you need to tweak the shape or tilt individual characters, you have to convert it to a shape.

    4) While it is common to describe Photoshop for image editing, Illustrator for vector based illustration and InDesign for page layout, in practice, it really depends on the project that is to be designed. For example, one could work in Photoshop and bring the artwork into Illustrator or InDesign. Conversely, one could create special type in Illustrator and bring it into Photoshop. The 3 programs work pretty seamlessly together but one needs to know each program's capabilities. For example, all 3 can do vector paths and shapes but Illustrator offers the most control, yet there are artists I know who draw in Photoshop, and not Illustrator. All three programs can generate pdfs but Illustrator and InDesign have much better control with page set-ups, hence the recommendation NOT to use Photoshop for page-layouts.

    Illustrator has a higher learning curve compared to InDesign. Most people can do a passable layout in InDesign in a short time. Same can't be said for Illustrator, however if you are proficient in Illustrator, your avenue for self expression and prospects in graphic design goes up significantly.
    Last edited by creampuff; 14th June 2008 at 07:49 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Hi, sorry to confuse, just an amateur here, still learning =) I export to PDF directly from the vector applications too. Much smaller file. Beats bringing a humongous TIFF to the print shop. But there were some occasions where I export to photoshop to do effects on the entire document, as it was easier in photoshop, or I didn't know the exact methods in illustrator/indesign. Or I am really uncertain about the font embedding in the PDF, as mentioned by creampuff, and I die die need the print in one trip to the print shop.

    But of course this is not a very flexible workflow, since once rasterized in photoshop, you can't make minor changes anymore in illustrator/indesign on the vector elements. :P

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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    I'd like to do my layout in indesign, however if my intention is to convert it back to jpg so that a minilab could print out each page on photo paper, what is the best way to do it? Distill to pdf, then convert to jpg?

  18. #18
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty View Post
    I'd like to do my layout in indesign, however if my intention is to convert it back to jpg so that a minilab could print out each page on photo paper, what is the best way to do it? Distill to pdf, then convert to jpg?
    From within InDesign, you can export to jpeg direct.
    But why not send your file to a digital printer provider (hi-res pdf) instead of a mini lab? Image quality from a digital press like the HP Indigo is very good, print longevity is excellent plus you can use a selection of paper stock.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Adobe Photoshop or InDesign for Photo Posters, Calendars and Cards?

    Hi everyone, let me first apologize for my late reply. I've been quiet busy this week, and therefore hasn't got the time to respond promptly. I decided to spend some time replying before leaving office today. Really 'pai-say' .

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

    To: Jopel

    Thanks for your guidance on color management (CM) within InDesign. This is what I needed too, since I only know CM within PS, but not sure about CM within InDesign. I’m still relying on the very basic Sypder 2 Express, and am waiting for the Eye One Display 3, which should be available this year.

    Thanks for the advice on printer, you and photobum both feel that HP is better.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    To: Photobum

    I guess you’re right, even Jopel feels the same way from his own experiences. Thanks!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~

    To: Creampuff

    I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to give a detailed reply.

    Your explanation on differences between .idd files and .pdf is very helpful, especially when sending files out to third party printers. I recall sending my Illustrator file to an external printer, and the result from the native .ai file was not exactly what I saw on my computer screen. Luckily, I had saved the same project (project for a part-time short course) as a PDF, and brought it along as well. I requested a reprint from the PDF, and indeed, it printed exactly as I saw on my computer screen. From this 'incident', I realized that my program settings and the shop’s settings may be different, which may have lead to the unpredictable result.

    I agree that it is easier to pick up InDesign compared to Illustrator. Personally, I observed from among my course mates, that those who excel with Illustrator are usually proficient with the Pen Tool (the mighty sword of Illustrator). I have difficulty with this Mighty Sword - too heavy for me, and therefore, is unlikely to excel in digital drawing, so better stick to photo images for illustration purposes. Frankly, I always admire those who uses the Pen Tool well, and I think it does take of bit of ‘gift/talent’ to master this tool.

    You recommended sending files to digital print shops instead of mini labs. Can you recommend a good quality service provider? I have been to several, and none of them knows or even bother with proper color management.

    By the way, when preparing files to external digital printing providers, like those using the HP Indigo, should my files be in RBG color space, or should it be CMYK? I know for desktop inkjet printers, it should be RGB, but what about those HP Indigo?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~

    To: IceBox

    No worries, I even more amateur than you. You did not confuse me, I am simply not well informed. Thanks a lot.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

    Thanks again everyone for your assistance, and have a good weekend.


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