Graphic designers need three things to be successful: creativity, a steady hand, and an intricate piece of software that will allow them to edit images as they see fit. While only Mom and Dad can truly do something about the first two details, there are several options of software for graphic designers to use. As each one develops, more and more features are included that make graphic designer’s jobs much easier. Though each has their benefits, no program has been more reliable for booth simple an advanced editing than Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop, during its inception, had a fraction of the capabilities that it does today. At first release, there were hardly any artistic features, and the toolbox was half the size. Layering was a pain for most graphic designers. By today’s standards, the first release of Photoshop would be quickly tossed in the trash and disregarded. However, at the time it was first released, it gained immediate popularity for its functionality in both the professional and personal worlds.
There have been several attempts at copying Adobe Photoshop with little to no success. Most of these copy attempts have been open source, or free, versions of software that are built and programmed by a community of both graphic designers and programming specialists who were simply looking for a way to create a community outside of Photoshop. The two most popular pieces of software are Paint.net and GIMP. Paint.net is often considered a simplified version of Adobe Photoshop. You’re highly limited in what you can do with Paint.net, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll ever be able to catch up with what the makers at Adobe have been able to accomplish over the last several years. GIMP is a much closer version of Adobe Photoshop, but the interface can often be a hassle, with all windows popping up separately, rather than all at once. This is a feature that often turns away most graphic designers from the get go.
If you’re going to get into graphic design, and would like to eventually do it professionally, consider going right into Adobe Photoshop before any other program. While it’s true that the software can be expensive, even for a personal user, most companies are strictly users of Photoshop, so learning on another piece of software is usually not an option. Eventually, you’ll come to find that you made a worthy investment, and would never turn to another piece of image editing software again.