What software do Designers Use

What software do Designers Use?

What software do Designers Use? Lets discuss it here!

A big problem for new designers is selecting What Design Tools should you use as far as software is concerned, in this article I will give you my view on this subject.
I know what your thinking DESIGN that’s such a huge field how can you tell me what software I need. Well with a lot of software packages you have the ability to use them for multiple purposes.

OK lets get into this below are my top 5 packages I feel any new or established designer should have full stop! – What software do Designers Use read on…

  1. Adobe Illustrator
    PURPOSES: Any sort of illustrations work, productions of artwork for print, PDF generation and as a first step before taking into Photoshop.
    KEY INFO: Because Illustrator is a vector based software (although bitmaps can be rasterized within it and placed) you have the major advantage of producing it at virtually any size without any quality issues!
    POSITIVE: Vectors produce very low file sizes meaning you can work much quicker with no worry about sizing issues or degradation of quality
    NEGATIVE POINTS: it can sometimes be hard to produce complex shading and gradients as vectors. This software can be extremely complicated.
  2. Adobe Photoshop
    PURPOSES: Any sort of bitmap image, you can produce for print, online media and web and slideshows etc
    KEY INFO: Used for so many purposes it would be hard to write them all down but lets list the main ones; Web graphics, Digital images for brochures, Film plates, Concepts and visuals, Photographic retouching, Animated gifs.
    POSITIVE: Extremely versatile imagine it and you can quickly produce it
    NEGATIVE POINTS: Due to this software producing bit mapped images the file size can quickly get very big! Depending on your computer you could experience slow downs in speed. This software can be extremely complicated.I would say Photoshop and Illustrator go hand in hand they have been the industry standard for design for years and still maintain top position for must have packages!
  3. Adobe Indesign
    PURPOSES: Page design and layout tool set, style and design your brochures, leaflets all from one package.
    KEY INFO: Lets you work across desktop and mobile devices to create, preflight, and publish everything from printed books and brochures to digital magazines and interactive online documents
    POSITIVE: Very versatile software and intuitive, plus if your used to other Adobe products this will be a quick learning curve.
    NEGATIVE: Like Photoshop can slow down with large projects.OK so these top 3 are all related to design or Online media and Print, the next two are related to webdesign and video or new media production.
  4. Adobe Dreamweaver
    PURPOSES: Create website and edit develop code.
    KEY INFO:  This package not only allows you to create full websites but also allows you to test code and css plus many uses I often use it in conjunction with open source CMS sites such as wordpress, joomla, Magento and Drupal, I also use this to produce newsletter templates.
    POSITIVE: Extremely quick and loads of features.
    NEGATIVE: As with lots of these top packages they can get quite complex quite quick.
  5. Adobe After Effects
    PURPOSES: Compositing program used to create amazing videos and presentation for both Film and Online media
    KEY INFORMATION: Compositing means adding special effects or animations and building up a series of layers a bit like Photoshop but with video clips
    POSITIVE: Pretty easy to use and once you understand the principals any thing is possible.
    NEGATIVE: Can bog down your system quite quickly specially on render

So I know what your thinking why did I not select Adobe premiere or Final cut pro for number 5? Well personally I feel for design compositing programs such as After Effects and Nuke are much better to learn than Editing software.

I have listed below other programs that could be of use to you

  1. The Foundry NUKE
  2. Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere
  3. Camtasia
  4. Firebug for Mozilla Firefox, and Chrome
  5. Screenshot software

So What about Hardware?
Pretty easy this one all you need is:

  1. The most powerful computer you can afford (specially if your doing editing with video or plan to work with large size image files) make sure the graphics card is the best
  2. Dual monitor set up (yes you could use one monitor but two gives you more real estate for palettes and folders etc)
  3. Wacom tablet essential!
  4. Three button mouse

So yes most of the software is Adobe!! just so you know I do not work for them 🙂 I have used Adobe products from the beginning and they are still industry leaders, there creative plans are very reasonable priced and you get access to a library of creative goodies!
Now you know What Design Tools should you use! create . Inspire
If you need any training on any of these packages be sure to check out my training pages and sign up to receive FREE Access to one Photoshop course plus be the first to get massive saving across all my training net works!

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