Photoshop Basics For Graphic Design

Fantastic fantasy worlds, realistic 3D typography, mind-blowing line art, and simply images with beautiful bodies and faultless settings are all attainable due to Photoshop. This picture editing program is no longer limited to artists, designers, and photographers.

According to statistics, 68% of individuals modify their photos before sharing them online, while over 15% of women fix every selfie. With over a million selfies shot daily, it's likely that Photoshop will become a common tool in digital cosmetics.

While some assume that only serious professionals can properly operate this complicated program, the Kardashians illustrate that anybody may enjoy its advantages, even those with no connection to the designer's world.

What is Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop offers extensive capabilities for picture editing, text addition, retouching, digital art creation, and animation. You may not only alter existing photographs or artworks, but also create them from scratch. It can also operate with both single photographs and huge groups of photos.

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It is available on both Windows and Mac, as well as mobile operating systems, and has a big fan following that includes brand advocates from diverse niches and skill levels. Although the program was originally designed for creative industry professionals such as designers, photographers, and art directors, it is now available to everybody. Photoshop can satisfy your demands, from creating a stunning poster to creating faultless selfies for Instagram.

What Can You Do with Photoshop?

Photoshop has so many features that it easily overwhelms users. However, all these instruments were created to give you freedom and power to bring any idea to life without extra help from third-party services.

Photoshop is widely used for

  • image editing,
  • photo retouching,
  • resizing and cropping images,
  • creating compositions,
  • creating highly-realistic mockups including mobile renderings,
  • creating graphics, artworks, and illustrations,
  • creating website layouts,
  • creating effects,
  • editing typefaces,
  • creating shapes, textures, patterns, and brushes,
  • creating 3D scenes,
  • creating animated Gifs.

Besides, Photoshop is a perfect instrument for photo restoration. Coming with numerous filters and such helpful assists as Clone Stamp Tool or Vanishing Point, it can do magic with old and shabby photos.

Versatile and multifunctional, Adobe Photoshop allows creatives to complete a wide variety of tasks, thereby coming in handy in such niches as:

  • Website design,
  • Mobile App design,
  • Interior design,
  • Product design,
  • Packaging design,
  • Graphic design,
  • Typography design,
  • Brand identity,
  • Photography,
  • Illustration,
  • Motion design.
What Can You Do with Photoshop?

Pros and Cons of Using Photoshop

Apart from a range of tools, Photoshop has several substantial advantages over its competitors that vastly outweigh its primary cons.

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The biggest advantage of Photoshop is that it gives you the ability to create multiple layers that can be altered independently of each other. Although some serious competitors offer the same functionality, still Photoshop was the first one that populated this feature, turning it into a standard and must-have.

Another significant advantage is that it is an all-purpose software. Although there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but the team behind Photoshop has made an excellent try to achieve this. The program lets you do lots of stuff inside without leaving the working space.

Other major advantages are:

  • It has an extensive base of reusable components like brushes, patterns, textures, custom shapes, actions, and even scripts and plugins.
  • It offers unparalleled editing tools, including instruments for photo editing and video editing.
  • It has an integrated stock library where you can find numerous free images that can be put into work right away.
  • It supports typefaces. You can render them and play with them as a piece of art.
  • It has numerous filters and effects. This library is regularly updated. On top of that, you have access to premium options in various digital markets.
  • It supports numerous image formats and lets you easily edit any of them. You have different options for saving images where you can control quality and size.
  • The recent versions allow you to add and edit videos and animation layers.
  • The Photoshop team regularly gathers feedback from artists and regular users to improve software and fit the growing demands and requirements.
  • It has a mobile version. If you want to edit photos on the go or create a composition from scratch on your way home, you can use the lightweight mobile version of Photoshop. Of course, it can’t boast of desktop version potential; nevertheless, it can be enough to catch the moment and channel your creative juices in the right direction.
  • Last but not least, being with us for more than 30 years, it has a huge base of free stocks in the wild: templates, icons, mockups, and other graphics. Thanks to cross-version support, you may benefit from old PSD files as well.

This list can go on and on. However, what about the cons? Let us consider the three most distinct disadvantages of using Photoshop.

  • Photoshop is expensive software. While organizations and professional artists who use it for a living may easily afford it, it can be a real roadblock for small-time users. To make matters worse, you cannot purchase the program; you need to pay a monthly subscription fee for Adobe Creative Cloud. However, several different options might fit your budget and goal.
  • Poor support for the vector graphic. Initially, Photoshop does not intend to work with vector graphics (you have Adobe Illustrator for that). Therefore, there are no specific tools. However, you can still open vector graphics and do minor designing.
  • It consumes a lot of space on your system’s hard disk. It may also force your system to work to the limit, especially when it comes to rendering high-quality graphics. To use Photoshop on Windows, the computer should have at least more than 2 GB of RAM, more than 2.6 GB of available hard-disk space, and a 1024 x 768 display with 16-bit color. The same requirements go for Mac.

Despite these disadvantages, Photoshop is growing in popularity and continues to dominate the market. With its intuitive interface and powerful and contemporary tools that easily meet current demands and requirements, it stands above the competition in numerous scenarios and situations.

Pros and Cons of Using Photoshop

How to Get Started with Photoshop?

Once regarded as a complicated software for graphic designers only, now nearly anyone can master Photoshop. However, merely opening the program and trying to figure things out on your own may require lots of time and effort; more so, this may not work for some people at all. It is here where you need to seize learning opportunities that are awaiting Photoshop users on the web.

You can take in-person or group live online Photoshop classes, read books, and simply learn new stuff from free Photoshop tutorials. Each way has its own merits; however, the last one is the best practice.

The deal is, it is the perfect solution for people with busy schedules, people who learn at a different pace, beginners who want to test the grounds, and even mature artists who want to know new techniques or quickly get the grips of new features to be on top of the things. More so, it comes without strings attached and free. Therefore, it is the perfect way to get started with Photoshop.

So what should you do? Decide on a technique that you want to master. If you want to get acquainted with essentials, then you need to seek tutorials for newbies. If you want to fill your arsenal with some new or advanced solutions, you may benefit from tutorials made for artists with intermediate or advanced levels. Though the great thing is, regardless of your skill level, you can easily try any tutorial, just stick to a routine and try to do your best.

To help you in this matter, we have built up a collection of free Photoshop tutorials

However, first things first – dive into our short yet helpful list of educational websites where you can learn Photoshop in case our collection of free Photoshop tutorials is not enough.

Websites to Learn Photoshop for Free with Tutorials

Websites to Learn Photoshop for Free

The first place to start your search for free Photoshop tutorials is Adobe. As the manufacturer, it provides a whole collection of valuable materials, guides, and how-tos to advocate its product and onboard as many customers as possible.

The directory is broken into several sections. There are Get Started courses, Quick Start tutorials, Beginner photo editing courses, Beginner selection courses, and even several courses for those who want to use iPad in their creative process. Each tutorial includes sample files and accompanying videos.

Another good thing is that you can filter the free Photoshop tutorials by skill level. This way, you will find how-tos for beginners who are up to learning some essentials and tutorials for experienced artists and graphic designers who want to refine their skills.