Branders Toolbox:

Adobe Photoshop
Proprietary Asset creation is essential, but what program can help you with creating assets that will help your brand?

In an ongoing effort to provide branders with all they need to make the best of their brands, BrandingPower will be providing an ongoing series of articles covering programs of which every brander should be aware. These tools are tools we have used or are currently using. These articles are to serve as an overview and are not intended to have you purchase anything. If you do purchase any program that we feature, please know that we do not receive any form of compensation.


Branders around the world are required to create content for various purposes such as web sites, web banners, social media posts, brochures, flyers, catalogs, and so forth. As these items need to be created and sent out, many branders don’t know where to turn or how to create these types of assets. As a result, many fall back to one of two options. The first option is one that many branders, no matter the size of the business, fall victim to at one point or another. This option is that they find an image online and they reuse it for their own purposes. This is actually a very dangerous option as it often leads to copyright infringement that can lead to lawsuits, lengthy litigations, and hefty fines.

The second option is they turn to graphic designers to create many of the assets they need. This can be an ideal solution for many. This option works when the brand has enough money to employ a graphic designer. This option can also be costly and is a reason many smaller brands or entrepreneurs are unable to use it.

Because of the litigious possibility of option one and the inherent cost of option two, many branders think that there is no way for them to create some of the assets they need. The truth, however, is there is a third option, where the brander takes the creation responsibility upon themselves. One of the best tools to use in this regard is Adobe Photoshop, or what most people refer to it as simply Photoshop.

In 1987 two brothers—John Knoll, working at Industrial Light and Magic, and Thomas Knoll, a University of Michigan Ph.D. student—were working on something that would go on to become one of the most well-known products of all time. Known at first as “Display,” the brothers would go on improving and tweaking the program and the name until a deal was reached with Adobe to release the program under a new moniker: Photoshop. The time from concept to official 1.0 release took just over three years, as Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990. Photoshop, from the beginning, was marketed as software that would allow anyone to create, edit, and use images at a lower cost than other high-end solutions. Since its initial release Photoshop, through constant improvements, has remained the number-one photo editor of all time. However, the use of the term photo editorcan cause some to think that they can only use Photoshop to manipulate photographs. The truth however is that it is capable of much more.

PDF Support

With Photoshop being released by the same company that created the PDF file type is it any surprise that another of their programs would include PDF support? Photoshop allows for a very quick and easy way to clean up, alter, or change PDF files.

Virtually Any Size File Creation

With the need to create files of different sizes it is helpful that Photoshop allows for image creation of almost any size. There are limitations, however—you can only go up to 300,000 pixels by 300,000 pixels, which at a resolution of 300 dpi is more than 83 feet by 83 feet (that’s larger than a standard roadside billboard).

Create Animations

Sometimes (especially with online needs) branders need to create animations. These animations are often created in or known as GIF format. (The acronym is a bit redundant, as GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format.) Photoshop also allows you to create animations in other formats.

File Compatibility

In addition to video compatibility, Photoshop allows you to open or save to over 60 file formats. From audio files (such as MP3, AAC, AIFF) to 3D files (DAE, U3D, KMZ, and more). Not bad for an image editor!

Better Understanding

While not a product feature per se, using the tools that designers and print professionals use helps demystify the conversations you might have with them. Terms such as resolutionand transparencywill no longer seem foreign or obscure.

Adobe Photoshop is, as you guessed it, available from Adobe. Several years ago Adobe began to offer Photoshop as part of a collection then called Creative Suite. In 2012 Adobe did away with Creative Suite and replaced it with the current offering called Creative Cloud. This transition moved Photoshop from a standalone product to a subscription-based offering. This subscription-based offering brought with it a lot of opposition as it means that you are locked into a recurring cost to use the software. While the subscription model prevents you from owning your own standalone copy, you have free upgrades. This comes in handy, as previously Adobe would release partial releases almost yearly with full-version upgrades every other year. Each release would cost up to $1,000. With the shift to a subscription model you now only hit that $1000 mark approximately every 2.5 years.

Being a subscription model, the cost will vary depending on the level you sign up for.

Cheapest Plan

Photography plan: $9.99 paid monthly, annual plan. You can pay one year upfront for $119.88. IncludesPhotoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Lightroom Classic CC. Comes with 20GB of cloud storage.

Single app plan:$20.99 paid monthly, annual plan. You can pay one year upfront for $239.88. Month-to-month plan (with no annual commitment) costs $31.49. Includes Photoshop. Comes with 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts, and Adobe Spark with premium features. The upfront yearly plan includes a one-month trial of Adobe Stock.

Adobe also allows pricing they refer to as “All Apps” starting at $52.99 per month. As the name states, this provides you access to all the Adobe Creative and Mobile programs. You can learn more about pricing plans and other plan options such as multi-seat business plans, student and teacher pricing, and even school and university plans.

For BrandingPower, we find Adobe Photoshop indispensable for our business purposes. Virtually every communication we create utilizes Photoshop in some way. Branded emails, website assets, social media posts, whitepapers, eBooks and more use something created or modified using Photoshop.

See More Book Selection by visiting our Selected Reads Page

Ideas To Make Your Brand Better Now:

  • Look into ways your brand could benefit from creating your own digital assets.
  • Visit Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing and see what version would help you the most.
  • Download the free trial version and start creating new assets to help your brand.

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