In recent years, graphic design has become one of the most popular career choices around the world. And it’s not just art students wanting to learn. People from a wide range of professions are now learning graphic design on their own. Some want to have greater control over the materials they use to promote their business and to avoid the sometimes high costs of outsourcing this work. Others hope to turn their graphic designs into a profitable side hustle.
Modern graphic design relies heavily on software applications. Content creators commonly use multiple tools at the same time — often on the same project. If you’re considering a career in graphic design, you need to develop a good understanding of a variety of applications and how best to use them.
Adobe products are a great place to start. A leader in the graphics software industry since 1982, Adobe offers a wide range of applications, useful to beginners and professionals alike. Each offers unique features to help you bring your ideas to life. With that said, let’s take a closer look at three of their most popular products.
Since its initial release in 1988, Adobe Photoshop has become one of the most used programs for graphic designers everywhere. This application specializes in image editing and photo retouching. In fact, its name has become a verb — we “photoshop” pictures. Various tools allow you to cut, crop, retouch, color-correct, and otherwise enhance photographs and other rasterized images.
Additionally, Photoshop integrates smoothly with other Adobe Creative Cloud applications such as Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Bridge. The application runs on both Windows and macOS systems. You can even use many of its features on your Android or iOS device to design on the go.
Like Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator is used by graphic designers, web designers, visual artists, and professional illustrators around the world to create high-quality designs of all types. Its broad selection of time-saving tools makes it the drawing pad of choice for many content creators. The application runs on both Windows and macOS systems.
While Illustrator is perhaps best known as a logo design tool, it is also the ideal choice for making cartoons, charts and diagrams, emblems, and other illustrations. This application also offers great text manipulation tools, which help you create stunning typography designs — including curved text — for postcards, posters, and similar projects. Adobe Illustrator is also the tool of choice for creating vector images. Such images are often used as icons and illustrations, especially for smartphones.
Finally, we have Adobe InDesign, which many think of as the most powerful of the three design applications we’ve discussed. This program allows you to examine your design in depth. Because you can use it to create multiple pages of designs, it’s also used extensively for desktop publishing (DTP). Like the other programs, it is available for both Windows and Mac platforms.
InDesign is where you bring together the images from Photoshop and Illustrator to create a finished project. Examples include birthday cards, invitations, posters, brochures, magazines, and even books. For those serious about a career in graphic design, having a deep understanding of InDesign is a must.
One of the best things about Adobe’s products is their accessibility. YouTube offers a huge selection of tutorials to teach beginners the basics. Yet there are always new techniques to learn, allowing even experienced professionals to continue expanding their skillsets.
For more tips on choosing the best Adobe application for your design needs, check out the following articles:
- Photoshop vs. Illustrator vs. InDesign, by Samual Lundquist
- The Difference between Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign