» What is the meaning of graphic design?
In technical terms, graphic design meaning represents the communication of messages or ideas utilizing visual means. Graphic designers use multiple elements, such as illustrations, colors, typography, and shapes, to make an impact through their design.
» What is Graphic Design Software?
Graphic design involves the art and science of communicating the messages in the best visual format. Businesses can take this opportunity to build and send the marketing messages which the target audience can receive quickly. Graphic Design Software simplifies the task of creating the artwork. It also brings in the uniformity of design across the organization.
Graphic design has not completely gone digital. But to complement the designs the best graphic design software is always a must. Many of the repetitive tasks can be simplified using design software. The use of a template is one such example. It saves a lot of time in recreating the same things and also it provides a uniform look and feel.
» Is it worth investing in Graphic Design Software?
Definitely Yes. Graphic Design Software will help an organization in many ways. It helps the marketing team by providing various options for showcasing the product. Instead of using the boards, pencils, and sketches, the graphic design software will provide easy to use user experience which includes drag and drop features. Maintaining a standard template across the organization for any presentations will make the company look more professional in all ways. And also, it shows that various divisions like marketing, sales, and others work as ‘One Team’ instead of silos to the customers.
» Before you choose any Graphic Design Software
So before going out for a market survey to check for the best graphic design software, it is important to understand the needs of your organization. Also, understand the standards and the best practices to be followed at the industry level. Get to know the needs of the actual team who will be using this software for their daily activities. They are the best judge, as they understand the pain points which they face daily and can come out with the actual product requirements and features that they are looking for, to make their job complete faster and better.
Meeting other stakeholders like the business owner, product owners, leads from different departments can help in providing more details. Though they might not be the actual end-users of the software, they can help in finalizing some of the required features of the software. And above all, they can help in arriving at the budget, which can be allocated for this purchase and maintenance of the design software.
Adapting to the new software will have some amount of learning curve by the design team. They need to transition all the current ongoing projects from the existing system on to this new system. This may lead to some unproductive time. So, choosing the system which has less time for the transition can also be one of the factors which can be looked upon before choosing the graphic design software.
When all these groundworks are complete, you will have the requirements document ready to go in for the software. At the initial search for graphic design software, you may find a huge number of them. It’s always better to list down or study the pros and cons of each such software and make a decision matrix with the requirements and the software. This would help in finalizing the best fit for graphic design software for your company.
» Key features of Graphic Design Software
With lots of graphic design software available in the market today, each one tries to offer various features in their product. But overall, there are few key features to look for in any design software. Below listed are few of the key features:
› Easy to use GUI:
The software must provide an easy to use graphical user interface. This will make the software look more intuitive and help the designers to work in a collaborative manner. It should be easy to start with the basic building blocks of the software by more drag and drop features. The advanced tools and features can be added on a need basis.
› Easy to Learn:
With an intuitive GUI comes an easy to learn features. The new software must offer an easy learning path for the designer. This would reduce the learning curve and also the non-productive time for learning and picking up the new software features. This is always an added cost for the organization, and this has to be factored.
Look for the software which supports various tools for complete graphic designing. The software must have all the basic tools come as out of the box features, and some of the advanced tools can be an add-on and purchased as required. But look for a versatile and robust software that can offer the latest trending tools, so that you don’t have to look for an alternate software for any particular tools.
Creating anything new in the design area from scratch will always take a lot of time. This is where the templates can come for help. Graphic Design Software comes with pre-defined templates. They provide a basic foundation on which the design work can be built. These templates also provide a uniform look and feel for all the projects and give more professional looks. Many design software offers templates that can be customized as per the needs. Also, you can build new templates and use them across the projects.
› Image Database:
A design project would need lots of Images to make the idea look complete. Imagine how helpful it will be if these images are all part of the software itself. Many of the Images might come for free and need to have to pay any royalty charges. So as you shop for the graphic design software, look out for the image database which the software can offer. Also, this Image DB should allow you to keep extending and enhancing by adding more images to it. This also allows the team to share the images across the team members.
› Collaborative Tools:
Graphic design is always a team project. Teams should be able to share their projects, images and other related files with their team members. Latest design software offers cloud-based services that help to share and edit the files in real-time. You can restrict access to the files at any level. Collaborative tools greatly boost productivity, accountability, and success.
» Key Benefits of Graphic Design Software
Graphic Design Software provides a platform for creating world-class designs for an organization. The key benefits of using design software are:
› Boost Employee Productivity:
Graphic design Software offers the latest tools and technologies which can boost employee productivity. The Collaborative tools help the team to work more closely by sharing and speeding up the project.
› Saves Time:
Many features like templates, image database will save a lot of time in reinventing the wheel. Templates will provide a platform on which the designs can be based on. The image database will provide access to all the standard images needed for the design.
› Saves Money:
Without a good Graphic Design Software, a company will be highly dependent on other vendors for all their graphic needs like logo designing, website designing, and other design needs. With an efficient in-house graphic designers team and world-class graphic design software would save a lot of money that would have to be spent on other vendors for the company’s project.
› Graphical Communication:
The marketing and sales team are very much dependent on the graphic design team, who in turn are dependent on the software they use. Good graphic design software can bring in the ideas of the marketing and sales heads into a graphical representation. Graphics are always more appealing and catch the eyes of the customers more than the words.
› Brand Building:
No company can be imagined without its brand logo and the names. Good graphic design software can help in designing a crisp and clear logo for the company, which reflects the company’s vision to the outer world.
» How to choose the best Graphic Design Software?
As already understood, there is no ‘Perfect’ software which can meet the requirements of all the organizations. So, try to choose the ‘Best Fit’ design software as per your company’s needs. By spending a little extra effort in understanding the company’s needs, and then carefully comparing all the advantages and disadvantages of all the software, you can arrive at the best fit software.
The following 2 factors can also help in choosing the best fit design software for your organization:
› Software Support:
Every product purchase will come with a support mechanism to it. It is always good to understand the support features, the available days and timing, and the cost of the support – annually. A good support team is very important to answer any queries or issues faced by you. Ensure to purchase annual subscription support for better pricing.
› Updates and Upgrades:
None of the Software products comes as complete. There will always be updates and upgrades planned. Try to understand the update cycles. There can be some downtime also planned during an upgrade. So, all such considerations are a must to be factored for.
Also, try to explore the option of demos or free trials from the vendors. This would make a big difference. As the actual end-user (Design Team) puts their hands on the software, they can provide a better judgment in the selection criteria. Their feedback can help in making a better selection.
» Questions to ask a vendor when buying best Graphic Design Software
1. How simple would it be to implement the graphic design software?
2. Is it flexible enough to meet the needs of my industry?
3. How frequently do you release product updates?
4. How much time would it take for you to fix issues, if and when they arise?
5. How efficient would the product be when multiple users are using it simultaneously?
6. Can you break down the pricing structure?
7. Where does the system store my designs?
8. Do additional features come at extra cost?
9. What are your support and maintenance services?
10. Does the software offer customization?
11. Is the product scalable?
» Pricing of Graphic Design Software
There are a number of graphic design software available in the market. Each of them offers various features and hence the pricing is not uniform across the software. Below are a few of the top graphic design software available in the market, along with their offer prices.
› Adobe Illustrator CC:
This is a vector graphics solution, which is very well suited for professional graphic designers and artists. It offers a wide range of tools that can be used for logo design, website design and gaming. The software offers various templates that can be easily used for creating new designs. It has out of box integration with Adobe Creative Cloud making it easy to share the projects with other team members. The pricing starts from $29.99/month
› Adobe InDesign:
This is a page design and layout solution, used by both print and digital media, for the creation and publication of documents. It can be used for the design of posters, brochures, flyers, annual reports, magazines, and other things. It can also be used for creating eBooks, Interactive PDFs, and digital magazines. The pricing starts from $29.99/month
This is a cloud-based platform. It comes with Intuitive GUI which offers drag and drop features, and access to a huge library of graphics, images, and fonts. Since this is an online platform, it provides a collaborative way of working by sharing projects with other team members for viewing and editing purposes. It offers low-cost plans to start with, and quote-based enterprise plans. The enterprise plan offers various features, unlimited storages, and advanced tools.
GIMP is a free and open-source software which comes with tons of features. It is giving a tough competition for all other paid software. The platform offers lots of pre-installed and downloadable plugins and supports third-party plugins as well.
The graphic design software can begin around $7/month/user to $25/month/user.
The rapid change in technology has brought in a lot of changes in the way we are looking at things. Things which were once thought to be impossible or used to take a lot of time to design, are now just a few clicks away. To catch up to this changing trend, companies cannot imagine having the Design team without a good Graphic design Software.
A good Graphic Design Software can bring in lots of benefits. They Boost team performance by making teamwork more collaboratively. It can save a lot of time and effort by making use of templates and Image databases.
To Conclude, a Graphic Design Software that is Best Fit for an organization is a must to have in an organization to boost its brand image and make the best use of their marketing and sales team.