When you’re just starting out your career as a graphic designer, you have some pretty important decisions to make, not least of which is which graphic design software you’re going to use. Of course, you may ultimately decide to use more than one product depending on the features you need and if you can’t find one product that will do everything, but in the beginning, it can seem daunting to learn more than one product. These tips for selecting the best software for beginning graphic designers will help you narrow down your options.

Editing Ability

Certainly, as a graphic designer, you want to create your images from scratch and most software products give you this ability. After all, what good would a graphic design product be without this ability? However, some software won’t let you edit existing images and whether you know it or not yet, you’ll definitely want this ability. 

There will be times when you just want to tweak an existing image or someone is paying you to remove something in the background of their photos. Without the ability to edit images, you won’t be equipped to do either of these tasks. You will need to be careful to follow all copyright laws when dealing with existing images, but whenever you are legally allowed to manipulate an image, you want to be able to do it.

No Mandatory Watermarks

A lot of the free software for graphic design comes with mandatory watermarks that have to be included on every design you create or edit. While free is a great price, you don’t really want another company’s logo splashed all over your work, even as watermarks. It’s not very professional and it doesn’t promote your work as your own.

Moreover, as you create your brand, you’ll probably want to put your own watermark on your designs to prevent others from taking them without paying you. Free graphic design programs often don’t allow you to add your own watermark even if they do allow you to remove theirs. Invest in a product that gives you control over what appears on your images to present more professional deliverables.

Intuitive Design

You’re probably eager to get started with your graphic design career, so you don’t want to spend a lot of time learning complex and difficult software. Choose a product that has an intuitive design so that you can find the tools, templates, and other elements quickly. Cutting down your learning curve as much as possible by selecting an intuitive product will result in making money from your work faster. It’s also recommended that you choose a product that includes templates to streamline your projects while you master the software. This way, you can learn and earn at the same time.


If you’re just starting your graphic design career, you probably don’t have a lot of money to waste on software that doesn’t work for you. This is not a decision you should rush. Take the time you need to try out various graphic design products to get the right one at the right price.

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.