The 8 Best Graphic Design Software for Beginners
Graphic design is an important field. It remains popular in almost every industry and each year the demand for graphic design keeps rising. This brings us to an important question. Where does a beginner learn graphic design? Where does a beginner find the best graphic design software for his/her use?
That question is what we are going to try to answer in this blog. So sit back, relax and read on!
Graphic design software has come a long way since their inception. Most graphic design software have great interfaces, and are easy to use and easier to understand. It’s not surprising that design software have an intuitive design. They were made by designers for designers.
Therefore, compiling this list has been fairly difficult. The software included in this list keeps in mind the skills of a complete beginner. Apart from that, they have been chosen on three grounds:
- The ease-of-use
- Access to help resources
- How easy it is to do basic stuff
They have been further divided into 2 categories: Adobe’s Graphic Design Software and non-Adobe Graphic Design Software.
Adobe’s Graphic Design Software
Adobe has been at the forefront of design oriented software for nearly 2 decades. They have developed so many software that it can be difficult to know which ones to use. Keeping that in mind, we have chosen the best beginner graphic design software in Adobe’s lineup.
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Spark
It feels weird to begin the list with the definitive graphic design software of our time. However, there are multiple reasons why it tops this list. To begin with, Adobe Photoshop is an excellent choice of software. It is likely that most designers will be using Photoshop in their career so it makes sense for a beginner to learn Photoshop.
Doing basic graphic design on Photoshop is easy. The interface might be overwhelming but it remains intuitive. Another massive advantage of using Photoshop is that you can find millions of tutorials for it. However, Photoshop has poor support for vector graphics which are a must in the current designing industry. Another major disadvantage is that Photoshop is quite taxing on your processor. You need a good graphics card to get the best out of it.
Illustrator is specialised to deal with vector graphics. It essentially overcomes the drawbacks of Photoshop. If you are someone who will be working with vectors, Illustrator should be your choice over Photoshop. Illustrator carries over the advantages of Photoshop and it is easy to find tutorials and courses to learn Illustrator.
One disadvantage of Illustrator is its steep learning curve. This can be a problem for beginners but the amount of tutorials the Internet offers might make up for that. Illustrator’s greatest advantage lies in the fact that it can be used even in older PCs. It’s not a pixel based software like Photoshop and hence not too taxing on processors and graphic cards.
Adobe Indesign is vastly different from Illustrator and Photoshop. Photoshop is meant for artistic imagery, Illustrator is meant for vector graphics. InDesign, on the other hand, is meant for typesetting. What is that, you ask? InDesign is used to create graphics for the media and the publishing industry. It is used to design and create flyers, brochures, magazines, posters, etc.
InDesign has an easier learning curve than both Photoshop and Illustrator which makes it ideal for a beginner in graphic designing. While it can’t do what the other two can, it is ideal to be learnt alongside Photoshop or Illustrator. When you’re combining images and text for a fixed resolution nothing is better than InDesign. The only true drawback of InDesign is its intimidating interface. Other than that, it lacks the versatility of both Photoshop and Illustrator. However, it is a useful software and a lot of jobs require specialization InDesign.
Adobe Spark is hands down the easiest Adobe software for graphic designing. It is similar to InDesign, however, it is more simplistic and is very basic. It is a template based software meaning, you have a library of pre-made graphics that you can combine as you like.
For someone looking for an easy graphic design software, Spark is the ultimate choice. It is also beginner friendly and a template based interface means that users can learn what designs work well.
Non-Adobe Graphic Design Software
Adobe’s graphic design software are great. However, they do have massive disadvantages. The first is the COST. Adobe software cost a whopping amount of cash. Businesses can afford to pay but people new to learning graphic design might not be able to afford it or be willing to pay it. Even the cheapest Adobe software are leagues above in price when compared to competition.
Second, to buy Adobe you must also purchase their creative cloud. While the creative cloud is great for professionals, someone beginning out does not need it. You can buy some Adobe software independently but the price of buying independently is double the price of purchasing with the cloud.
The third great disadvantage is that even independent purchases are not permanent. Everything is on a yearly or monthly subscription basis. Adobe has been criticised for this over and over again. It is the sole reason why more and more individuals are moving away from Adobe. It is also the reason why Adobe software are among the most pirated software over the Internet.
Keeping that Adobe may not be accessible to most beginners simply due to its unethical proprietary models, here is a list of software that are both good for beginners and do not burn a hole in your pocket.
- Appy Pie Design
Yes, Appy Pie also has a design software. It is a beginner friendly software, kind of like Adobe Spark. What sets it apart from Spark is the fact that it’s free, newer and has more features.
Our philosophy of creating software that are easy-to-use carries on to Appy Pie Design. It lacks the template variety of Spark but we’re adding new ones each day. It can be used to create graphics with posters, brochures, magazines, etc. The best part? It’s all online. Have fun with Appy Pie Design!
GIMP tops this list because it is better than Photoshop. Yes, you read that right! GIMP is free to use, open source and has a host of free and paid plugins and widgets which make it the most valuable and capable photo editing software in the world. It is flexible, runs on almost all platforms (Including Linux), is updated regularly, and has a community of dedicated designers.
Nothing beats the price tag of zero. Try out GIMP. GIMP doesn’t essentially have many drawbacks but users have complained about bugs. Since GIMP is community developed it takes time for it to receive new features.
InkScape is your alternative for Adobe Illustrator. Just like GIMP, Inkscape is free. InkScape is better than Adobe Illustrator with a nicer and more intuitive interface. It is also very light and works well on older PCs.
However, InkScape isn’t as popular business wise since most people working for vector designing use Illustrator. There are not many businesses that use InkScape. It’s saddening, to think about it. Inkscape is a very capable yet underrated software that deserves more recognition.
Anyone who has heard about Blender is wondering why it makes this list. Blender is popular as a free, community driven 3D Modeling software. But Blender is much more than that. It is by far, the greatest designing software ever created.
Here’s a list of everything you can do with Blender:
- 2D Graphics
- Vector Graphics
- 3D Modeling
- 2D Animation
- 3D Animation
- Live Action Graphics
Blender is extremely versatile. Yes, it has a steep learning curve, but you can pretty much do any kind of graphic designing through the platform. It makes the list simply because it gives a beginner the choice to experiment freely. Blender has a dedicated community and an open source license meaning that it gets everything from pre-made vectors to plugins & widgets. There are also dedicated resources to help you learn Blender.
Blender’s latest interface is very user-friendly and the software has tons of shortcuts to make your work easier. Although I will warn you, Blender’s learning curve is difficult but once you have the hang of it, every other designing software will feel underwhelming. Trust me, I use Blender myself!
There was our list of the 8 best graphic design software for beginners. Hope you find the one that fits your needs. I would suggest supporting non-Adobe software if you’re planning to work as a freelance designer.
That said, also support Appy Pie Design. Our goal with Design is to create a graphical software that works entirely through templates and widgets that can be dragged and dropped to create whatever you need. We’re a long way from it but we might make it there someday.