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If you’re looking to become a graphic designer, this list should help you get the ball rolling.
1. Adobe Creative Suite
Pretty much every designer uses Adobe and for obvious reasons. I can’t even tell you who’s their competition.
I mostly use Photoshop for photo editing purposes (resizing, color correction, etc.), but you can potentially use it for everything. People who don’t know a thing about design, know about Photoshop. It’s a very powerful tool and is definitely a must have.
Other than photo editing, I do all of my design work on Illustrator. I listed Photoshop first because everyone knows about it. However, if I was only able to use one program to work on, I would use this and be perfectly fine.
I only use InDesign when I have to print addresses on envelopes. You’re able to load data from spreadsheets onto a template, which is great. I also know that Magazines use InDesign in order to format their books. Since, I don’t do that type of work, obviously I don’t use it as much.
2. Stock Library
Having access to a stock library may not be cheap at first but it is definitely an investment where you’ll save so much time per project. For more information about this topic check out my blog post Why You Should Use Stock Photos.
Most designers use Mac. I have used both Windows and Mac in the past and honestly as long as your computer’s hardware is good enough to run the Adobe Creative Suite effectively, you should be good.
The fonts that come with your computer are simply not enough. You need to beef up your font library and download as many as you can. The more fonts you have, the better you’ll be equipped to use the perfect typeface for an individual design. Plus you don’t want all of your work to look the same.
5. DSLR Camera
You use Stock Photos for pictures of things you can’t take pictures of. You use your camera to take pictures the Stock Photo Library doesn’t have. They both work hand in hand. You may also want to take pictures of your work and use it for a portfolio. Right now, I use my camera mostly to take pictures of the things I print.
6. A Place to Print
Printing is such a huge thing for me as a designer. Printing gets my clients in the door and my designs keep them coming back for more. As a designer, you need to know how to format your designs so they’re ready to print. You also need a place where you can walk in and get your work printed.
You gotta have Illustrator and the hardware to run it. Everything else, you can gradually get as you go, but at some point you’ll definitely want to have everything that I listed in your arsenal.