So, I’ve been struggling with this question for a while now. In one of my classes we chose a software product that was used in the creation of media and were to look at it’s history, it’s interface design, etc… After doing all of that we were supposed to create something that was representative of our product and shared some of this new knowledge of ours.
Over the course of this project I never had a problem determining what photoshop did. What I couldn’t figure out was what photoshop was. If you Google it, you get “professional digital image editing software” or “a graphics editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems”, or “one of the most powerful image modification programs on the market”. But this didn’t really tell me anything.
So, what if you look at what types of end products can be created with Photoshop. Honestly, this didn’t really help that much either. You might work on a photograph, a poster, drawing, “painting”, or even a animation of a movie. In recent years Photoshop has become really hard to pin down.
Well, if Illustrator is for vector graphics than Photoshop must be used for creating and editing bitmaps… right? Again, this isn’t quite the whole story. Photoshop is usually used to manipulate pixel based images, however that doesn’t mean that you can’t work with vectors.
So, it does vectors and pixels, movies and photos, print and web… what doesn’t it do?
Well, it doesn’t do html, it doesn’t do multiple page documents, it doesn’t do… Well, it does do a lot.
I’ve come to think of Photoshop as the standard design toolbox. It has just about everything you need to do just about any project out there. However, there are those special projects that require some special tools. This is where things like Illustrator and Dreamweaver come in.
Photoshop is the 32 piece general tool Craftsman tool kit of the design world.