My Graphic Design Tools

Welcome to my design nook of the internet.

Throughout my expedition to create the best graphics (for my perfectionist eye), I've struggled to find programs that are free, easy to learn, and easy to use. By now, I think I've found the one that satisfies all criteria--Adobe Illustrator CC. But obviously, right? It's a paid subscription service and provides the most professional use. For those who don't have the budget to splurge on a design program such as Adobe, I've got your back! Below, I've listed some of the design software I've encountered and acquired throughout my journey that I hope you find helpful and applicable for you!

1. Canva (FREE)

Canva is great for creating banners for event pages, promotional material, or presentations! It is free of charge (with a user registration), but I wouldn't say the resolution is the best--this is a good substitute for a quick graphic. It's used through a browser so no download is necessary (other than for the graphic itself).

2. Aviary (FREE)

Aviary was one the first online browser design program I ever used! This is free (other than an online registration) and it's evolved to more of a photo editing software. However, I've used Aviary for video-editing, audio-editing, graphic-making and much more--it's that versatile. 

3. Photoscape (FREE)

Photoscape is one of my favorites among this list. It's not exactly the most eye-candy software you'll lay your eyes on or work with but it's very functional and provides all the basics. It's mostly a photo-editing software; however, there are elements to create a simple graphic! It's a free download with no sign-up necessary. I've edited countless photos with this (with the many filters, borders, and sharpening elements) and can vouch that this software is very reliable. 

4. Vectr (FREE)

Vectr is a program I accidentally stumbled upon while browsing for free software. I personally have not used it but the results look promising. It definitely imitates the look of Adobe Illustrator and Canva but is a severely stripped-down version. Options look limited but it looks like the given templates are customizable and it's a free download (no sign-up necessary!).

5. Adobe Illustrator CC ($29.99/month)

At last, we've arrived at my favorite! The largest downside would be its price point (about $30 per month). However, Adobe Illustrator is the tool of professionals and provides the most options and versatility. The possibilities are endless but the learning curve is a little steep for the average beginner. If you are serious about pursuing graphic design, I highly suggest investing in this program and get it under your belt!

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