Graphic Designers! Software You Should Master for a Better Career

March 14, 2013
Filed under Graphic Design

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Graphic designers need impressive skills to get full-time or freelance jobs. Since everyone communicates via the Internet these days, designers need to know how to take their ideas from their sketchpads to the computer screen. These 4 pieces of software have become so important that it’s almost impossible to start a graphics design career without mastering them.

If You Don’t Know Photoshop, Look for a New Job

Trying to get a job in graphic design without a lot of experience using Photoshop is like trying to get a job at NASA without studying math.

Photoshop has a lot of features that make it a go-to for illustrators, photographers, and graphic designers. Some of the best features of the latest edition include:

  • An extensive filter gallery to alter the appearance of images
  • The ability to insert text along a pre-determined path or shape
  • Scrubbers that let you use the keyboard more than the mouse, making the software more efficient
  • 3D graphics that have extraordinary depth
  • Ability to share images quickly and easily

Inkscape is Great for Freehand Drawing

inkscape isn’t quite as popular as Photoshop, but it has tools that certain graphic designers love. It’s less likely that a potential employer will pass over your application just because you don’t list inkscape as a piece of software you have mastered. Knowing how to use it well, however, will put you ahead of other applicants.

Some of the best features of inkscape include:

  • A freehand pencil drawing tool so you can sketch your ideas and make illustrations on the screen
  • The option to add additional text scripts, including those that read from right to left
  • Fill and stroke functions with a gradient editor and dash strokes
  • The ability to group objects so they’re easier to move on the screen
  • Embedded bitmaps that let you make custom shapes

CorelDRAW Has Freehand Drawing With Tons of Features

Like Photoshop, CorelDRAW is one of those programs that employers expect all graphics designers to know. Corel makes several pieces of software that play important roles in graphics design. If you only have enough time and money to learn one, make it DRAW.

Some of the features that graphic designers love about CorelDRAW include:

  • Its huge palette covering all Pantone colors
  • A curve smoothness feature that makes it easy for the designer to adjust curves without drag
  • Freehand and Artistic Media tools that let designers draw their own objects or load pre-made objects
  • The perspective dropshadow feature that makes it easier to add shadows to images
  • Its compatibility with Photoshop formats

Google SketchUp: One of the Best 3D Graphics Programs

The great thing about Google Sketchup is that it lets graphic designers work in 3-dimensional spaces. If you’re getting an online masters degree – that involves any kind of design work, be it graphic design, electrical engineering, or computer development, this software can help you explain your ideas better.

In addition to its easy-to-use 3D graphical interface, Sketchup offers:

  • Quick object creation with specific measurements
  • Object grouping so you can turn individual items into a single object
  • A large color palette
  • The ability to turn objects on the screen so you can see all sides of 3D items
  • The option to rotate single objects for a design

Each of these graphic design programs have their advantages. What other software options would you recommend for graphic designers?

Imran Khan

Imran Khan is CIO at Konoozi (located at Buffalo, New York) offering web design services, search engines optimization, content writing and online marketing.

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