Graphic Design Tools for Beginners
Selecting the right design tools can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re just getting started. From Photoshop to Illustrator, there are tons of programs out there to help with creating logos, websites, and even animations. The graphic design tools below will help you get started and create some awesome graphics!
If you’re trying to kick off a new project or have a compelling image that needs to be whipped up in a pinch, Canva is great. It’s one of my favourite graphic design tools. The site allows you to quickly create print-ready designs. For most projects, your finished product will need a title, body copy and an image or two—and Canva can get you there with ease. Best of all, Canva offers templates based on your industry (or personal preferences) so you don’t have to start from scratch with every design. I like using templates for social media posts when I just want to finish something quickly without needing much creativity.
You can use our graphic design tools to:
- Convert Colors
- Flip Image
- Rotate Image
- Enlarge Image
- Crop Image
- Resize Image
- Convert HEX to RGB
- Convert RGB to HEX
- Download High-Quality YouTube Thumbnail
One of the best ways to learn graphic design tools is by watching YouTube tutorials. There are some amazing channels on YouTube with experts teaching you how to use Adobe products, like Photoshop and Illustrator. Some of my favourite channels are Braddock Studios, Tuts+, Skillshare, Computer Arts and Hello Creative Co. If you find a good channel or tutorial that you love follow them on Twitter or subscribe to their email list so you don’t miss out on new videos they release! I also have a list of graphic design podcasts on my website if learning by video isn’t your thing.
Graphic design magazines are great sources of inspiration and education, but if you’re a beginner or don’t have a budget to buy every issue from every publication, online magazines may be easier on your wallet. Unfortunately, there aren’t many free graphic design magazines available on sites like Issuu, but we did find a few gems. If you don’t see what you need here, try one of these resources: SitePoint (web design), netTuts+ (web development), or Smashing Magazine (graphics).
While there are plenty of graphic design tools online (some of which are even free), you don’t need fancy software to get started. One of my favourite online resources is DaFont, which aggregates fonts from all over. This means it can be tricky to find what you’re looking for; however, many designers use it as a resource to discover new and interesting typefaces. And in case you’re wondering, yes—you can still be a graphic designer without having a perfect vision or being able to distinguish between Pantone colours! Those skills come with time and practice. Being able to navigate Adobe Illustrator is another story...but we’ll cover that in another post!
If you’re an art or design student, setting up a few Pinterest boards can be a fun way to generate inspiration and get ideas. Pins are easy to find on visual topics, but if you’re more interested in writing, it might be more of a challenge. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible—if you use key search terms (for example writing tools), you can create boards around specific topics that other people have curated. If you want to try your hand at curating content yourself, pinning directly from blogs is easy—just click Pin It! under any post that interests you.
Pinterest is a great way to get inspired, find style ideas, and come up with new ways to incorporate visual elements into your design. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, it’s time to start pinning! Pinterest is primarily visual and easy to navigate; it makes sense for any graphic designer or artist. To create a board that pertains specifically to your brand or industry, search your keywords in Pinterest’s search bar (instructions can be found here ). If you need some inspiration, check out popular blogs like Buzzfeed Unsolved and Buzzfeed Food. The next time you’re stumped at how to implement an idea from these sources into your own designs, look back at all of their amazing pins!