7 Graphic Design Tools for Students

7 Graphic Design Tools and Softwares for Students

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Graphic Design Tools

Graphic design students acquire a broad knowledge that represents the sublimation of processes and approaches characteristic of different areas of design work. As a result, they will become professionals who can create a complete and striking visual identity at the end of their studies. Indeed, they need quality resources to deal with traditional and digital artistic skills such as drawing, painting, calligraphy and 3D modelling that form the basis of graphic expression. So, if you want to create visual identities or participate in branding of various companies, products, or individuals, or if you’re going to play with shapes, colours, and typography, then keep reading to discover the most influential design softwares.

1. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe tools will be your primary tool for whatever creative visual work you do, from graphic design, illustration, print, photography, web design, and the film and TV industry. It’s hard to believe there’s someone who hasn’t heard of some of Adobe’s products. The list of these products is quite long, and new ones constantly appear.

Illustrator is a role model for vector design and is probably the best tool for many other projects. Students can create simple elements such as logos, icons and typography, web design, and even complex graphics in the gaming industry and digital art.

The software is primarily intended for creating vector graphics. The specificity of vectors is that their quality will not change no matter how much you increase or decrease the graphics or illustration. “Opposite to vectors, when you have the images’ resolution expressed in pixels, the image quality will change depending on the resolution and the percentage of zoom”, explains papersowl.com author Elijah Schmaltz who specializes in graphic design. Moreover, the expert states that “A lower resolution will cause the pixels to be visible when you zoom in on, e.g., by 200%. Also, a higher resolution will lead to blurred image and visible pixelation at slightly higher magnification percentages.”

2. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a slightly different design software produced by Corel. While most graphics programs focus on either designing or drawings, the creators of Gravit Designer concentrate on light and cheerful templates. You will also find a library of stickers, emoticons, and free professional photos.

You first choose a brand new, blank document or customize a template when you start a project. A new project is always an exciting option, so you can use a template from a library with several categories: FB story, A4 format, presentations, posters, etc. In each category, you have ten or more examples of how you can create a stunning vector solution for social networks, websites, blogs, or presentations. You can transform ready-made solutions to your needs, but you can also use them as inspiration for a completely new solution.

The software targets more advanced users and designers who know what they are doing. Still, even if you are new or completely self-taught, the online version will help you learn and complete a small project.

3. Sumo Paint

SumoPaint is graphic design software that offers a variety of free vector tools. The basic version allows you to add text, gradients, shapes, and more. SumoPaint also has a paid Pro version.

An excellent selection of different brushes (steampunk, alphabet, etc.) can change the shape of any project. In addition to the spacing and softness of the brush, here we also have random rotation, scattering, and even an exciting effect of gravity. Moreover, you can use it as a substitute for paid icon maker software options.

SumoPaint features an excellent help system, enough space on the upload server, and a developed community through which you can communicate with other users, evaluate designs, and even offer your works for sale.

4. Canva

Canva comes in two forms: a browser-based add-on and a classic graphic photo editing for Windows and macOS. The first option is more popular because it is full of functionality and very easy to use. Within the main menu, you can select ready-made templates. In addition, there is an option to choose an image for a Facebook or\Instagram post or story, poster, business card, and other graphic solutions. Canva will download it in a customized resolution when you finish the project.

The creators offer free and paid versions with a more extensive selection of ready-made content. However, the free version is enough for an average student. When we consider all Canva’s possibilities, you can produce professional graphics with a bit of time and effort.

5. Inkscape

Inkscape, with its WYSIWYG interface, allows excellent freedom of graphic expression. As with other programs, it is possible to design basic shapes (ellipses, rectangles, stars, polygons, and spirals), transform them by rotating, stretching, resizing, and more. Also, Inscape allows manipulation of objects by precisely adjusting curve nodes.

The author’s primary goals were compactness and usability, and Inkscape has an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Since it does not require a lot of disk space, is not hardware-intensive, and has many quality options, Inkscape deserves to take a few hours to download, install, and briefly test. After that, judge for yourself whether it deserves to stay or should be deleted.

6. GIMP

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is the most popular image processing/creation application for the Linux operating system, also available as a commercial application. This program has excellent support for various filters used when working with computer graphics, so it is even comparable in quality with Adobe Photoshop.

Extremely powerful, GIMP is ideal for amateur and professional photographers, web designers, or people who want to study graphic design on a professional level without spending a lot of money on commercial software.

7. Pixlr

Pixlr is a pure Photoshop lookalike, as displayed by its interface and capabilities. Pixlr is primarily intended for editing and contains tools such as pencil, brush, paint can, gradient, clone, magic wand, photo collages, and more.

Pixlr is the only program that reads PSD files, and effects (drop shadow, inner shadow, bevel, outer and inner glow) can be applied to layers. However, the program has only the essential ability to transform objects in scaling, skewing and rotation.

A feature supported here, which is not present in all programs, is the access to fonts installed on your computer. We must also praise the existence of keyboard shortcuts, which significantly speed up any project.

Ben Heine

Ben Heine

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