Monday, 16 July 2012

Essential Graphic Design Software Used by the Pros

I think we all agree that you can’t call yourself a graphic designer if you don’t even know what software is used in this industry. The Adobe Creative Suite is considered to be of maximum importance in graphic design projects. 

All those who work in this field are required to have extensive knowledge on at least one of these products: Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash. Let’s talk about each of these programs’ main functions.

Photoshop - Advanced Photo Editing

This program is mainly used for photo editing tasks. You can correct imperfections in photographs, crop and resize images, adjust colors or add special effects and styles. You’ve got all kinds of filters like oil painting or watercolor. The beauty is that you can work on a layer level. 

Photoshop promotes original work since it allows you to even create an entire layout from scratch, be it a brochure, a presentation or a web site. Many web designers start by designing web pages in Photoshop before beginning to write the HTML code. This way they optimize graphics for online use and create buttons or backgrounds. So, next time when you visit a website, remember that it might have been first created in Photoshop.

Draw Freely In Adobe Illustrator 

If you want to make logos, Adobe Illustrator is a common choice, just like Corel Draw and  Macromedia FreeHand. Vector graphics are preferred by digital artists because it lets you draw shapes and lines. 

Now, you may say “Yes but… I can do this with MS Paint”. Well you can’t create professional logos in MS Paint, not to mention that you can’t create layouts for fliers, brochures or advertisements with such a rudimentary tool. Besides, Paint certainly doesn’t allow you to work with vector images. This means you can zoom in as much as you like and the image won’t be distorted. 

Flash Content For Websites 

Adobe Flash is used to add interactive elements to web sites. This includes videos, games, animations and advertisements. Flash applications can frequently be found on educative sites helping students to learn easier. It’s impossible not to have come across a site containing Flash animations. However, don’t exaggerate with this kind of content. It’s good that you want your page to be user-friendly and interesting for people, but search engines don’t like it very much. 

Let’s do a short recap. Photoshop allows you to edit photos and create web pages. Illustrator is used for professional drawing and Flash creates interactive elements. So, it can be said that the Adobe Creative Suite is essential in graphic design.

Daniel Ward consults on graphic design and branding projects for the design firm Vionet.

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