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5 Software Programs For Freelance Graphic Designers

by constructaquote - 13 November 2017


What is freelance like for graphic designers?

Life as a freelancer may give you the freedom to control your work-life balance, but it can also be tough to make a living at times. You may find yourself swamped with work one month, then quiet with no paying jobs the next. Work comes and goes when you’re self-employed, so you’ll want to say ‘yes’ to as many jobs as possible when they come along. If a client wants a specific design, do you have the software that can help graphic designers to fulfil their work so that you don’t have to turn away business?

If you’re thinking of going freelance as a graphic designer, here’s a few essential tools you should consider getting to grips with first so that you can say yes to any requests that come your way…

  1. Adobe Photoshop

One of the most popular graphic design programs used by amateurs and pros’, Adobes’ Photoshop has it all. You can easily combine multiple images and even remove certain elements of an image. Photoshop is a great all rounder for designers and photographers and whilst the tools comes with many simple options for beginners, it’s also considered as one of the best programs for experienced designers too. But beware, understanding this software can take a while. Guidance from tutorials is available online but you may even need a course in photoshop in order to really reap the benefits of the software.

Cost: Free trial. Subscription through Adobe creative cloud from £19.97 per month

Compatible with: Mac and Windows

  1. Adobe Illustrator

Also part of the Adobe family, Illustrator is the perfect software solution for those looking to create logos, typography, sketches, icons, and even complex illustrations for video and mobile. The program allows users to create flawless artwork with seamless alignment. Whilst illustrator can be complex to use initially, it’s one of the most popular go-to programs for the most experienced graphic designers on a daily basis and freelancers should aim to master it.

Cost: Free trial. Subscription through Adobe creative cloud from £19.97 per month

Compatible with: Mac and Windows as well as across multiple devices via the cloud.

  1. GIMP

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop. With a variety of professional tools, the software is ideal for beginner and advanced photographers and graphic designers. The photo manipulation feature makes enhancing images and creating crystal-clear graphics a breeze. Many graphic designers choose to use GIMP as their main desktop publishing tool as the interface is completely customizable and comes with a handy full-screen mode which allows you to view and edit work at the same time. Whilst not as extensive as the likes of photoshop and illustrator, GIMP is said to be a great tool for most graphic design work and one of the best choices for beginners.

Cost: Free

Compatible with: GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and other OS

  1. CorelDraw

If you’re looking to work mainly with websites, CorelDraw could be the best option for you. A vector graphics editor regarded as one of the best in the industry, CorelDraw allows users to create infinite amounts of designs with some great easy to use features.

Built in tools such as the Twirl, Smear, Repel and Attract allows simple vector object editing, whilst the alignment guide enables users to position items anywhere – perfect for beginners.

CorelDraw works well even with large files in Corel Photo-Paint, and also supports apps like Barcode wizard, Duplexing wizard, Bitstream Font Navigator, etc making it an essential for new graphic designers, especially ones working with websites.

Cost: Free trial. £599.99 for 1 license.

Compatible with: Windows

  1. Inkscape

Inkscape is a graphic design tool ideal for vector art lovers and designers who use SVG file formats. The software is easy to use if you want to create vector images, sketches, colouring and illustrations and suits professionals as well as individuals with no graphic design experience.

However, whilst the software is free making it perfect for beginners to practice on, it’s also known to be slow too and can take longer to produce work compared to the likes of photoshop and illustrator.

Cost: Free

Compatible with: Windows, Linux, OS, Mac

Are you a freelancer or thinking or thinking of starting your own graphic design business? Do you have the right business insurance to protect you in the event of a claim by a customer, client, employee or third party?…

Checkout our range of small business insurance policies and get a free quote here.