Getting started with graphic design itself is not as expensive as one would think. That is thanks to the immense growth of design materials available from blogs and tutorial sites. Learning how to become a graphic designer has gotten much easier in recent years; in some cases, on-line learning can be much more fruitful than enrolling in a university course.
Apart from learning the basics and entry level concepts, to set yourself on the right path of graphic design you will need to invest in software. Also known as tools, that will aid you in executing your newly learned graphic design knowledge. While there are different categories and tiers of graphic design software available, not everyone has the budget to invest in expensive tools that can be substituted with less expensive tools, and in some cases for free altogether.
Each graphic designer has their own personal list of aha-tools. In many cases, a lot of the tools are shared between others because of their profound usefulness and reliability. This is what we will be taking a look at in this post today, the best tools for graphic designers — all of which can be universally applied to your workflow.
Photoshop is just the stepping stone for becoming a great graphic designer; what would this list be without the leading graphic designer software provider? Adobe Creative Cloud gives you our entire collection of creative tools for your desktop, like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Adobe Premiere Pro. You will also be able to take advantage of several mobile apps that will ensure that you’re able to do your work literally from anywhere you like, whenever you like.
Those who are on a budget, or are strict believers in the open-source movement, will find that Inkscape is the perfect solution for having a great platform that can do illustration work, as well as work with image formats such as SVG, which is in-built natively in the Inkscape graphics editor itself. If you are new to the process of creating vector graphics it may feel different. However, you will quickly be pleased by the flexibility, and power Inkscape offers.
Pixlr has evolved as one of the leading image editing apps online, and for many good reasons. Not only can you use the flexible image editor within your browser, you can also gain access to the fully optimized mobile and desktop apps. It will give you plenty of freedom to work with your photos from anywhere you like. Hundreds of fonts, hundreds of photo effects, and all the time in the world to experiment with.
Charts can often be a great way to understand several design patterns on a much deeper level. You may also be working with clients that require charts integration. To save yourself time and headache, we recommend going for Google Charts. This platform is built with designers and developers in mind. You will also find that creating dynamic charts gives a glimpse of a completely new world of possibilities.
Visually is an in-direct graphic designers tool that can be used to store your own infographic/chart work for others to explore. It can then be used as a tool of self-promotion and finding new work. You can also indulge in the tens of thousands of infographics already available, many of which are built around the topic of graphic design and so gives you an opportunity to learn more about the craft without having to invest any pennies.
For graphic designers, like many other professions, time is of the essence. Working on your computer brings about a certain level of distraction possibility, something that many of us indulge in on a daily basis. Toggl gives us a number of interesting tools that can help us stay motivated, productive and on time about our projects and their deadlines. Great managing yourself and your habits, as well as for managing your clients projects and sending them professional and official time reports of the work you’ve accomplished.
Imagery is a big thing in graphic design. Although one could make his own images and illustrations at all times, sometimes it’s more convient to grab a sample work from a 3rd party source and use that instead of spending time to build something completely new. For this purpose, AllTheFreeStock works out really well. You will find photos, icons, videos and mockups all within one single webpage. You can also save a lot of time, and money, along the way.
Dribbble is not only a great community to be a part of as an contributor; it is also a haven for someone who is looking for design inspiration. Thousands of designers and graphic designers share their work on Dribbble every day. That in turn makes it one of the best places to bookmark in terms of design evolution, as well as for making new connections, and who knowns — maybe finding that perfect job position.
Any designer who works online is going to stumble upon questions and insights on a daily basis. Therefore, we need to find a reliable community that can help us answer those questions and clarify our insights. One such community is Designers Talk. Hundreds of thousands of active members are actively participating in discussions and helping each other become better designers through traditional trial and error techniques.
With all those new tools in our repertoire, we are bound to be making some work happen. Whether for ourselves or our clients, we will be working with a lot of files for each individual project. Dropbox is a tool that helps keep track of our work and the way it progresses. It’s also a great way to send files over to your clients and/or friends. Dropbox offers free cloud storage that will, hopefully, change the way you share and interact with files on the web.