Working in a design field requires some serious talent and creativity, as well as a keen eye for aesthetics and details. On top of that, being a designer means that you should also have the technical skills needed to efficiently use design programs and technologies. As a designer, the editing software you use can make or break your career. Choosing from the countless tools available in the market can be quite confusing. Lucky for you, we’ve already done the legwork so you wouldn’t have to! 

Below, we’ve compiled some of the best editing software every designer should have.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop has long been the go-to software that designers in all creative fields use to edit and manipulate photos and create artwork and other graphics. It contains many incredibly useful editing features such as cropping, color correcting, resizing, rotating, cloning, and blemish removal. While some programs can include similar editing features, Photoshop offers these tools at an exceptionally professional level, which is why it’s the leading software when it comes to high-quality productions.

From basic editing and retouching to intense special effects and complex photo manipulation, Photoshop is an extensive program that can help designers with varying levels of skills and experience to achieve their creative visions at even the largest of scales.

Adobe Lightroom

While Photoshop can be used for graphic design in general, Adobe Lightroom is designed with especially strong photo editing and organizing features, specifically intended for professional photographers. As a result, editing your photos in Lightroom can dramatically improve the quality of your pictures while optimizing your editing process at the same time— especially if you’re a pro who takes dozens or hundreds of photos per session. In that case, Lightroom will be much faster.

Even if you prefer editing your photos using Photoshop, Lightroom still remains a perfect option that you can use side by side with it. If you want to learn how each one can help you edit your photos to perfection, you can read more here where you’ll find a detailed comparison of the two programs. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages that Lightroom has over Photoshop in terms of photo editing is that Lightroom, by default, works nondestructively, while Photoshop does not.

This means that the edits you make to a photo in Lightroom are saved on a separate copy so you’ll have both the edited and the original images when you’re finished. Since the changes you make aren’t saved to the picture directly, editing nondestructively allows you to go back to the original photo any time you want, and undo any changes you made to the edited version as well. Photoshop, on the other hand, will automatically save the changes you make directly to the image unless you purposely apply those edits on individual layers.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is the number one desktop publishing software used to create and edit all sorts of visual materials and layouts for print publications like brochures and newspapers, as well as various forms of digital content for desktop and mobile devices including online magazines and Ebooks. It is the ideal tool to use if you’re working on literally any project that requires layout design.

One of InDesign’s strongest points is its great flexibility, as it allows you to smoothly and quickly drag and drop isolated layers from one page to another. It also enables you to combine text and graphics quite easily. Moreover, InDesign doesn’t take up as much disk space as many other programs, which means that you can enjoy a smooth and uninterrupted workflow without having to worry about the software crashing.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the most popular video editing software amongst designers and video editors in the field of multimedia, and it’s easy to see why. Among the numerous tools, transitions, filters, etc., this program can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. Not only does it allow you to import any number of videos from any source including all types of cameras and VR hardware, but it also allows you to automatically sync all the shots you take from multiple angles which can reduce your editing time significantly.

As you can see, the Adobe Creative Suite is a staple for designers everywhere. While there are numerous other editing tools out there, these are some of the most powerful ones commonly used in the world of design. No matter where you are on the career ladder, you need to, at the very least, have the basic skills needed to use the aforementioned programs if you hope to make it in the design and marketing fields. Even if your job doesn’t typically require using them all, being familiar with a couple of different programs can help make you a more versatile and valued designer.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.