Graphic design is one of those fields where it’s rather easy to find tools and resources for beginners. So, even if you can’t draw a straight line (yet), if you’re determined to learn and practice, it’s enough to get started on the job.
Plus, you may get extra motivation from knowing that the graphic design industry is projected to reach $11.3 billion by 2024. This is due to the boom of social media and content creation industries, which created an increasing demand for graphic designers who can create a wide range of products and designs.
So, if you’re ready to start your journey to becoming a graphic designer, here are some of the must-have tools you need to learn.
1. Adobe Photoshop or Gimp
You don’t have to be a graphic designer to know about the power and versatility of Adobe Photoshop. This is a tool used by many professionals due to its comprehensive set of features and layouts that allow it to stand out from the crowd of graphic design tools.
Furthermore, Adobe Photoshop is one of the best tools to use when it comes to editing photos, playing with colors, isolating elements from backgrounds, and creating custom brushes and canvases.
However, the sheer number of tools and features can be a bit intimidating for beginners. Plus, Adobe doesn’t provide a one-time offer or perpetual license, which is why it’s slightly more expensive than other solutions.
In this case, many beginners and graphic designers who don’t need all the features Photoshop has to offer will go with Gimp. Gimp is free-to-use and comes with a wide range of features that make it a great alternative to Photoshop.
If you’re not looking for anything too advanced and difficult to learn, you can always utilize BeFunky’s free graphic design tool. With this tool, you can make banners, flyers, posters, infographics, edit photos, and more. Plus, everything is online, so you don’t have to install anything on your device.
Vectr is a great free design software for vector graphic designs, ideal for those who want to work directly in their web browser. It’s also easy to master due to its intuitive interface and well-detailed tutorials.
Vectr also comes with several AI-based tools, and many designers use it to create watermarks and YouTube graphics. Furthermore, it has a live collaboration tool, which lets anyone view a project in real-time (while the designer is working on it).
There’s also a chat feature, so you can have customers or collaborators chime in while you’re working. Of course, this feature can be annoying, but it’s amazing for teaching and learning remotely.
Known as one of the most user-friendly design software tools on the market, Canva is available in free and paid versions. The platform is available for desktop and mobile and comes with features that everyday users may need (such as crop, resize, filters, photo editing, and more).
Plus, the paid version has a feature called Pro Brand Kit that allows you to pre-set colors, templates, logos, and more so your work stays consistent with the brand. Canva also has a real-time collaboration feature, which makes remote work a lot easier.
But if you don’t want to pay for the extra features, there are plenty of free-to-use graphic design apps you could try.
5. SkillShare (or similar)
While designers don’t need to follow a formal education path, there is a lot to learn as a beginner. This is why it’s important to find your own journey toward graphic design education.
Luckily, there is an abundance of online learning platforms (like SkillShare or Udemy) where you can learn a lot about graphic design techniques and tools.
Graphic design is a great choice for a career or a side hustle since the field is in continuous expansion. Plus, beginners have plenty of tools and resources to kickstart their education and hone their skills. You just have to be willing to give it a shot.