If you're preparing for a graphic design career, how do you know which tools you should learn to use? Designers in advertising, magazines and other print media primarily use QuarkXpress or Adobe InDesign. Packaging designers use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. To widen your own options when entering the graphic design industry, here are the five graphic design programs you may choose:
Jamie de Anda has worked in package graphic design for the past seven years. She prefers to work with Adobe Illustrator because "[y]ou're creating vector-based art, so there's no limitation to it, whereas when you're dealing with pixels on Photoshop there are a lot more restraints."
For designers just starting out, she advises: "It's industry standard to know all the core Adobe software, and either Quark or InDesign, although it's good to know both of those if you have time."
Jessica Ikenberry, a graphic designer for the past six years, disagrees slightly: "Adobe has a hold on the market. There's no two ways about it....InDesign and Quark are pretty comparable, but if you're just starting out and could learn either one, why not learn InDesign?" The Adobe Creative Suite (CS) Master Collection, her personal preference, bundles InDesign together with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash.
Jessica also strongly advocates attending design school in order to master these programs, especially since "the programs are all very different. When you learn how to do something in Illustrator, the pen tool doesn't function the same way in Photoshop, so you have to understand the different programs. For me, that wasn't going to come out of a book."