Hi there! So, you’ve decided to venture into the world of Graphic Design and anxious on how to even begin? Well, you’re definitely in the right place. I’m here to give you the top 3 best tools in graphic design that will help you to easily get started.
Before I tell you the tools for graphic design, it’s better to first understand what graphic design. You wouldn’t want to enter a cave without knowing what to expect inside, right? That will just scare you of the unknown or give you a heart attack with surprises you never expected. Having prior knowledge helps to put you at ease and more prepared for what’s to come.
So, just a disclaimer: I am no expert in the field of graphic designing. However, I took some intense graphic designing classes. And so, I will explain what it is and hope you’ll learn something too!.
What is Graphic Design?
Graphic Design is far more than just drawing or coloring around as many non-graphic designers perceive it to be. It is an artistic and effective way of conveying information through texts, symbols, color, texture, and many more important aspects.
Graphic Design is a visual communication narrowing huge information to bite-size for easy memory retention of the target audience.Sir Red, my Graphic Design professor
As you can see, graphic designing isn’t just about making things look pretty, you need to successfully express what you’re trying to say in your creations so that you educate your audience.
Why Graphic Designing is a great profession
Nowadays, graphic design is used in almost everything. It’s being used in advertising, businesses, television, traditional and online publications, etc. We may not be aware, but even down to the littlest details; like party invitations, concert tickets, or memes online use graphic design.
As humans, we like to consume information everyday. Graphic design offers us a convenient way to consume information with a more visual approach. Hence, you could definitely say it continues to transform society. More and more people lean towards graphic design because of stability and demand by businesses.
To elaborate, for businesses to strive, they must have customers to avail their products or services. How do they get customers? They have to let the public know that they offer something that is beneficial for them. This is where graphic design comes into play. Graphic design helps businesses market themselves to people. Graphic designers make eye-catching and informative logos, ads, websites, posters, tarpaulins, etc. to increase potential customer’s awareness of a certain businesses’ products and services -therefore, influencing these people to purchase or avail.
Hence, if we think about it, businesses will always exist and continue to increase in society. Therefore, to simply put it, the need for graphic designers is staple and that choosing this career path will lead you to a greener pasture (and green money bills).
So, if you’re passionate about the arts and would want to make some money out of it, being a graphic designer is the best of both worlds for you. It’s work and play!
3 Basic Tools for Graphic Design
Once upon a time, graphic designers only used the old school pen and paper. However, in an instant, technology came and boom!
Diverse tools set foot into this world. It made everything more convenient especially to creatives out there. People choose from different applications and software. Others are free to download yet others need a paid monthly or annual subscription. It may be quite expensive to purchase but it’s an investment!
I decided to list down only three basic tools for graphic design — which I believe is the most beginner-friendly. However, it really depends on the user and how it works for you. You know what they say in ads, “results may vary”.
Canva calls themselves a ‘graphic design platform’ and what they offer indeed justifies their branding. Users create just about any design on their website. To name a few, you can make presentations, posters, logos, infographics, flyers, cards, and many more.
In my experience, what’s great about Canva is that they already have presets or default designs you can take inspiration from or use as a guide. Your imagination runs wild since their presets begin to inspire you to craft and design as long as you please.Most people use their designs freely. (no copyright issues there, thank God). Others change it up a bit and play with colours or shapes. Pictures and symbols are also available in Canva for that extra touch of detail in your design.
I guess beginners who continue to discover and maneuver their way in graphic designing, Canva will help you find your own style. From starting with a preset, you’ll soon see yourself creating your own preset.
Basically, Canva is like training wheels for when riding a bike for the first time. My favorite feature about it: you access it for free! You just need to create an account. However, if you want to unlock other settings and tools, there’s also Canva Pro. But, it comes with a price.
But honestly, even the free Canva is already a blessing for graphic design! It’s so easy to use.
It may not be free but hands down, Adobe Photoshop is the best basic graphic design tool for me. It’s popular for both image editing and graphic designing. This software has a lot of tools that’s definitely going to aid your creative imagination. Probably too many that I can’t even name everything here because it would take a long time.
Adobe Photoshop’s Pen Tool and Colouring Tool
I’d like to talk about my most used tool in Adobe Photoshop, which is its pen tool and colouring feature. Like a normal pen you can make digital sketches (better if you have a stylus plugged in your laptop) and immediately colour them.
Unlike the traditional way of sketching and colouring, with Adobe Photoshop, you save a lot of energy from tiring strokes because just with clicks on your mouse, a whole image can be coloured in a flash and you can undo things easily too.
Adobe Photoshop’s Texts and Text Effects
Another useful thing that Adobe Photoshop offers is its wide range of text designs and text effects to choose from. You can even make three-dimensional ones and other cool effects to use to make your designs more eye catching.
For more Adobe Photoshop tools to learn about, I suggest to check out
If you’re a graphic design newbie who wants to focus more on publishing designs such magazines, books, brochures, flyers, etc. Adobe InDesign is the best basic tool for you.
Very similar to the earlier tool I mentioned, Canva, Adobe InDesign also provides templates ready for use and also editable to your own preference. You adjust the shapes, colours, and text types to your liking. Plus, you can even make your own designs of course.
Moreover, if you’re looking into making a digital book or any form of publication to save paper (save the trees!), Adobe Indesign can do that. Its Page Turn and Page Curl tool makes your graphic design come to life digitally. You get the good feel of page flipping like the physical thing! Moreover, this tool helps you see how your designs and pages look when compiled or binded together.
You can learn more of Adobe Indesign’s tools here on Beginner’s Quick-Start Guide to InDesign.
As a Graphic Design beginner, expect that you won’t create awesome designs in a snap. You’ll definitely encounter moments of insecurity and pressure on yourself when you encounter experienced graphic designers and their jaw-dropping creations.
However, I am telling you early on today that all graphic designers started in their own ‘baby shoes.’ So you don’t feel hopeless. Use the information and practice with the basic tools for graphic design that I provided you. Better yet, do some more of your own studying and exploring as well.
It all depends on your hard work and drive to learn to be able to build your ideal graphic designer self and graduate from your baby shoes and baby steps. Remember, here are no shortcuts to being successful at something.