We all start as beginners: beginners at life, beginners at eating, beginners at talking, even beginners at thinking. Our success at each endeavor we attempt comes from the work we put in, especially when the prospects for success look bleak.
Before Michael Jordan became a basketball superstar, he was cut from his high school team.
Before he published Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce spent over ten years crafting his literary masterpiece.
Before she published the successful Harry Potter book series, J.K Rowling was jobless and on government assistance.
As a Zazzle designer, it can be daunting to look at the millions of designs in our marketplace and try to find a method of building your success if you are just starting out on-site. It can be even more daunting if you are new to graphic design.
Success can be achieved, though. Sometimes you just need a little help. We’ve found five online tools for beginning graphic designers that we’d like to share. The best aspect of these programs? They are either free or have a small subscription price, and they also have an easier learning curve than those programs.
PicMonkey – A tool that works for photo editing and graphic design. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or an annual plan, but each comes with a 7-day free trial. PicMonkey’s tools let you edit and touch up your photos, create a design from scratch or one of their templates, or build a collage from a group of images.
Pixlr – Another free photo editing tool. You can download Pixlr on your desktop, or use the app. This tool is great for beginners because of the intuitive toolbar on top, as well as the toolbox that runs along the left side of the program. No more hunting aimlessly for what you are looking for: everything is organized for easy use.
Inkscape – This tool is a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator. They have a fun set of features for artists and graphic designers, including:
- A pen, pencil, and calligraphy tool
- Object manipulation
- Color selector
- Color picker
- Gradient editor
- Multi-line text
- Different file formats like PNG, DXF, PDF
An additional aspect that makes Inkscape perfect for graphic design beginners: they have free written and video tutorials!
GIMP – GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free graphic design alternative to Photoshop. With this tool, you can retouch and restore images, create logos and icons, and manipulate your images using C, C++, Python, and other programming languages. Like Inkscape, you’ll find free tutorials on how to get started with the program, work with the editing tools, or use scripting languages to manipulate images.
Canva – If you are looking for a tool to help you create banners and social media images, this is the one to start with! Canva offers templates that fit the dimensions for headers and posts on your favorite social media channel. There are also templates for blogging and e-books, documents, ads, and emails. The free account is robust if you are looking to test it out. You can also sign up for a premium account which offers access to 300,000 stock photos, plus other phenomenal perks!
Success doesn’t come overnight. We all have to start somewhere. Make your start with one of these online tools for beginning graphic designers. Happy designing!