Graphic Design – Tips on the Tools

Graphic design is a fundamental part of every business. From business cards to website, the design you select makes a statement about your company. If you are starting a business or perhaps looking to reinvent the look of your company I highly recommend working with an advertising agency or a freelance designer to establish a brand kit – business card, letterhead, website, and brochure. Keeping these elements consistent will help present a professional look to your customers.

Once you have your branding kit, at some point in time you’re going to need to make some changes. Depending on your design skills (and budget) you may want to try to make the changes yourself. Photoshop is the universal program to make these changes. Through Photoshop you can edit text, change colors, add images…basically, if you can think it, it can be done in Photoshop. The diversity of this software can make editing a document a little cumbersome and the program is not cheap. But, if you’re interested in making a long term investment, both in the software and tutorials on how to use it, Photoshop is the way to go.

For those looking to make some basic edits, check out the free design tools offered at download.com. According to the reviews, GIMP seems to be a close match to Photoshop and it’s FREE. You can’t beat that price!

Once you’ve got your program, the one thing to keep in mind when designing is it’s all about what you like. Design is very subjective so you can’t please everyone. If I can give 1 tip, it’s to make sure your text is legible. Many beautiful brochures are ruined because customers can’t read the text (too small, to light of a font color, etc.).

Don’t forget, if you have design related questions post a comment. I’ll definitely respond.

- Derek

Photo Courtesy of syazamst

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