Photoshop is an editor for raster graphics which are images created with pixels. It enables you to create and enhance photos and images. Released in 1990 by Adobe Inc, Photoshop has become the most utilised software by web designers, graphic designers and digital artists.
It enables a novice photographer to touch up photos, and experienced graphic designers to create websites, advertisements, logos and marketing pieces. Through a vast collection of filters, tools and palettes, Photoshop offers benefits to users of all skill levels.
So, what is the use of Photoshop in web design? Depending on who you ask Photoshop is still essential for web design, even though there are more responsive tools like Sketch. But some web designers still swear by it so what can it do?
Photoshop gives a large number of tools to help create individual logos. It enables web designers to experiment with colour, shapes and typography to create a unique result.
2. Photo editing
Photoshop is primarily an image editor. It has powerful colour adjusting tools and can remove unwanted items from photos allowing you to present photos in the best way possible. It can also compress images so they don’t slow your website down.
3. Creating banners and buttons
Another area where Photoshop excels is the creation of banners, buttons and icons. Whatever elements your website needs, Photoshop can handle it. It is very simple to create attention-grabbing banners and buttons to enhance the look of your website.
Photoshop is one of the only graphics software program that allows users to work in layers. Layers are a way of stacking designs, then removing or hiding them to see how your work looks. In Photoshop, you can add a layer to your image, draw on top of it, then make any changes required.
5. Building web layouts
Finally, Photoshop can be used to build web page layouts. This includes anything from a skeletal wireframe design up to a complete and fully-designed layout.
However, Photoshop can sometimes have a hard time when it’s being used to build web layouts. This is not its forte, and with the advent of responsive design (that is, layouts that are flexible and adapt to the device that’s viewing them) there are better options if you’ll be doing a lot of this sort of work.
Why is Photoshop still used for web design?
Photoshop was designed to be an image editor so why do so many web designers still use it when other options are now available? The answer is probably that they are comfortable using it and know exactly how it works. So, for speed and ease of use they continue to use it, rather than going to the effort of learning how to use a new software program they stick with what they are used to.
Younger designers who haven’t been building and designing websites as long don’t have those long-established habits and workflows. This makes it much easier for them to adopt newer and more powerful tools that are better geared towards web design, and specifically, mocking up page layouts.
Where Photoshop struggles
The biggest change to web design in the last few years is the advent of mobile browsing. Websites now have to have responsive design so that they can adjust to being viewed on a mobile device and still look good. A website that isn’t responsive will be very difficult to read on a mobile which will drive visitors away and lower your rankings in search engine results.
Web designers have had to completely rethink how they’d design their layouts. Rather than thinking in terms of fixed-width layouts and dimensions, as a traditional print designer does, web designers now look at their designs as being fluid.
This is a problem for Photoshop as it was never designed to create fluid, flexible layouts. Whether you’re working on a photo, a layout, a graphic, any other kind of image, in Photoshop it’s always going to be fixed to a specific width.
To get around this limitation designers are forced to either build 3 separate layouts – for desktop, tablet and mobile. Or just use Photoshop to make a mock-up then use code to adjust the layout. Either way it can be more time-consuming than using a software package that is tailored to responsive design.
Advantages of Sketch over Photoshop
Sketch has caused a stir in recent years due to the following advantages:
– Better efficiency – Sketch has tools that are made specifically for web design, so the toolbars make it easy to access the most commonly used ones for this specific task.
– Organising templates – You can set up a whole website in Sketch using one file, in Photoshop you have to have different files for each page and each responsive design.
– Photoshop does not have very good quality for web-style rendering. But in Sketch, the tools and values are easily translated to CSS and browsers.
– In Photoshop, designers need to create the grids, while Sketch offers inbuilt grids.
– Photoshop has limited options for artboards, but Sketch has multiple templates for artboards.
With all these reasons for moving to Sketch, why are some agencies staying with Photoshop? One reason could be that Photoshop offers more powerful tools for creating custom graphic elements. Some designs are just more difficult to create in Sketch and UI/UX focused tools. The colour management of Photoshop is much preferred and far better than that of Sketch.
Another major difference is its compatibility. While Photoshop is compatible with almost all popular OS like Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac OS etc. Sketch is compatible only with Mac and cannot be used on windows.
So, Photoshop still has its place in web design, the functions and capabilities still go beyond those of its rivals so for a professional web designer it is probably the best choice. But with websites needing to be responsive and focused on UI/UX other options such as Sketch can be a better choice.
For help with your next website project call us on 01202 650 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here you are a web design tutorial, so you will have a better idea about using Photoshop for creating websites.
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