Admittedly, designing graphics and websites are a fun job for me. It’s more play and an artistic outlet than an actual grueling J-O-B. Once upon a time I knew absolutely nothing about this craft. I even had to call my ISP to find out how to check email (this was back in 1999.)
I was so enamored with the how-to’s of website building and design that I had to learn how to do it myself. I remember so distinctly way back when I happened upon a group of “professional” designers. I say this with my nose in the air along with my pinky finger raised as I lift my little cup for a sip. (No offense to those who have gone to school and graduated as certified webmasters and graphic designers). But back then I was naive, poor, filled with envy and had a huge desire to learn how to do it.
I asked this group how to go about becoming a web designer. I was told “Go to school” (I attended online training classes). I was told that “professionals” use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. These programs, back in the day and now too, aren’t cheap. In fact they are not for the faint of heart at all.
It took me nearly four years of work to save up enough money to buy these programs. I did purchase them, after breaking the bank account. I then set out to learn how to use them. It wasn’t easy. Along the way I’ve met others who wanted to learn the biz, but backed off due to the hefty investments they felt they had to make in order to “design a website”.
I discovered that there are alternatives for simple design jobs, which makes it a lot easier and more affordable to become a true designer. Of these Adobe Photoshop Elements (my personal favorite) is a good program, that does a lot of what the full Photoshop does with exception of being able to do vectors and a few other features that simple graphic designing doesn’t need. Paint.net is another free graphics editor program that can pretty much make good graphics for websites with all ease. Even the “Paint” program that would come with all Windows OS can come a long way in helping a person to create nicely designed graphics.
Free Graphic Editors
You can do a search online for “free graphic editors” and there are dozens out these days. Some are downloadable right to the hard drive and some are run on websites, where you can log in and start creating graphics. The most important feature you need is the ability to optimize graphics for websites. This can be done with most online graphic editors. Optimizing graphics makes the graphic images download faster on web pages and still look good.
Just Go For It!
You don’t have to be rich and own a lot of pricey software to be a web graphics designer. You can be a good designer on a budget too. You just have to have initiative to learn how to design and the guts to go forth and put your designs out there.