If you’re starting out as a small business or simply have a hobby where you want to make some creativity, then we’re here to introduce some great design software platforms you can use! For most people, the end goal would be to work with a design agency in Manchester or London based as they are extremely talented and will be able to get all elements of your design spot on, however, to start with, creating adverts, website graphics, editing images and so on will likely be down to you. So, we’re here to introduce a few different design software platforms you can utilise whether you have any experience or you’re a beginner. Let’s get into it and help you become a design pro in no time!
First up we have Canva, one of the most accessible design platforms you can use as a beginner. There is a free version to get you started, however longer term we would recommend getting the paid version to get the most out of the platform and to make your life easier! Canva is packed full of social media templates, so if you’re using the platform mostly for this, it’s fantastic. There are also plenty more templates, from infographics to website banners and so much more, so you can simply drag and drop. You can also create brand templates, so you can input all of your fonts and the color palette, then you can really easily assign them to different templates and you have adverts or social media creatives ready to go in a matter of minutes if not seconds!
As with any platform, there are some downsides, such as not being able to massively modify templates or the editing tools not being as robust as more professional platforms, however, it is a great place to start and in terms of what most people are looking for, it does the job perfectly well.
Overall, if you don’t have a massive passion for design and instead are looking for a platform that is suited to beginners and people wanting quick designs, Canva is definitely a good direction to go in.
Next up we have Adobe Photoshop, probably the most well-known design software out there. This is a fantastic platform that has so many editing tools and more advanced features compared to Canva. There are fewer pre-set template options, so it’s slightly more technical to use, and you will likely need to watch quite a few tutorial videos to get you started and then more for specific functions moving forwards. This being said, you will definitely benefit from this if you stick to it, as the possibilities are endless with Photoshop. There are some new and enhanced features such as more simple layers, background replacers etc that are making the platform more user-friendly than had been seen previously. Either way, with some commitment, you will reap the benefits of this program and it is especially well suited if you do want to learn more about design and move away from more template-based platforms.
Illustrator is another Adobe platform that is great for slightly different purposes. Whilst Photoshop is well suited to retouching and editing images, if you want to draw or create designs from scratch, then Illustrator is a good choice! You can create vector illustrations, logos and other graphics that can easily be scaled without compromising on quality. Illustrator is based on lines, shapes and curves rather than based on pixels, which is another big difference. For the majority of design-focused roles, you will want to use a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator. Again, as with Photoshop, there are endless YouTube videos out there for every tiny feature there is to learn about Illustrator, so once you commit a bit of time to learning about it you’ll soon learn to use it confidently.
Developing your design skills could lead you into your next career as a graphic designer – designing everything from beer labels to adverts. Start developing your skills today!
We’ve introduced three of the best design software platforms to help you get started! If you’re a complete beginner and want to start exploring your own design style, or you’re not massively into design and are just looking for a professional-looking end product, then Canva is the way to go. Depending on what you’re looking to do, if you want to do more of the actual designing and editing yourself, then choosing either Photoshop or Illustrator (or both) is the best way to go. If you’re not sure, why not use some free trials of different platforms and see what you think? Adobe platforms specifically can be very expensive, so you want to make sure that you enjoy them before committing to a subscription. Either way, give a few different platforms a go, see what you think about them and then get ready for your design skills to evolve to a new level!