5 Programs that Every Graphic Designer Should Know

Graphic design and animation relies heavily on these important programs

Becoming a graphic designer can be an exciting career choice if you are someone who has a good eye for visual aesthetics. Graphic Designers need to think creatively, come up with original concepts, and work well as a member of a team. Do you have these qualities? If so, this could be a good career path for you!

On top of the creativity that is required, Graphic Designers have to be skilled with using the technology that is behind today’s graphic design. Below are some of the key programs used in the world of Graphic Design and Animation, and how they are used.

If you don’t know these design programs, don’t worry! Graphic Design schools will help you get familiar with these programs, and before you know it, you will love them! Most graphic design schools have specialized courses that are designed to help students develop talents in all of the areas needed to excel in this field, including these five major software programs that you will be expected to know.

1. Adobe InDesign
InDesign is one of the most important programs for graphic designers to know inside and out. This program is becoming the standard desktop publishing (DTP) software that designers are expected to use. Designers use it for creating and editing all kinds of visual materials. With InDesign, you can design everything from a small postcard or invitation to posters, brochures, magazines, and books.

2. Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop is one of the go-to tools that designers use to manipulate photos and create graphics. It contains many features for photos, such as cropping, editing, color-correcting, and re-sizing. Designers can also create and edit graphics in Photoshop. Unlike the simple editing features on your smart phone’s camera, Photoshop is a professional-level program that is used for high-quality productions.

3. Adobe Illustrator
This program is a sister program for Adobe Photoshop. While Photoshop is mainly used for manipulating photos, Illustrator is used for creating vector images, which are high-quality images that can be scaled up or down without losing quality. Designers might use Illustrator to create logos, charts, diagrams, illustrations, or graphs. Creating these illustrations requires an understanding of concepts like paths, groups, layers, text, color, and effects.

4. Adobe Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver is Adobe’s web development and design software. With this software, Graphic Designers can design new web content, manage existing sites, and write and edit code. The program has features that allow the user to see a visualization of the web content while writing new code.

5. PowerPoint
While the Adobe Creative Suite is the mainstay for Graphic Designers, it is also important to be skilled at PowerPoint since so many corporations and small businesses use it. As a Graphic Designer, you may be called on to help a co-worker with their PowerPoint deck, in order to make it look more professional and align it with the company’s branding.

Bonus tips! More useful skills for Graphic Designers

6. Microsoft Office Applications
While professional graphic design will not be done in Microsoft Word, it never hurts to be skilled in Microsoft Office applications, such as Word and Excel. Depending on where you work, team members may come running to you whenever they have layout problems in their documents. It’s nice to be able to help out.

7. HTML, CSS, and Javascript
Understanding HTML, CSS, and Javascript can be a very important skill for Graphic Designers. These are the programming languages that are behind web content. Knowing how to code in these three languages allows you to manipulate images, modify type, and work with animations. If the notion of coding scares you, don’t worry, there are many tools like Macow and Webflow that help you design web content without a full knowledge of coding.

8. Video and animation tools
Multimedia production seems to be getting more and more sophisticated every day. Being comfortable with video and animation tools can help to make you a more versatile Graphic Designer.

In this age of rapidly-improving technology, there are always new tools to help Graphic Designers stay on the cutting edge of design. Throughout your career, it’s a good idea to keep up with the newest technologies, be willing to try new things, and to keep learning about your career field.

Branford Hall Career Institute is proud to provide a Graphic Design and Animation career training program at its North Jersey campuses in Jersey City, North Brunswick, and Parsippany, New Jersey. Come to visit our school to learn if graphic design is the right career path for you!