A man is only as good as his tools. Emmert Wolf came out with this famous phrase more than a century ago, but it still rings true to this day.

In the design industry, these tools usually come in the form of software. We’ve prioritized five pieces of software that you should invest in to kickstart a career in digital design.

Of course, first and foremost you’ll need to learn how to use these pieces of software. The best option is to take a course at a reputable design school such as JMC Academy. Alternatively, you can find many tutorials on YouTube to help you out.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Best For:

  • Image manipulation
  • Digital painting

When it comes to editing graphics, Photoshop is king. Its popularity has seen it become the go-to software for designers who want to create photorealistic art or retouch photography. Worldwide awareness of the product has even helped turn the phrase “photoshopped” into a staple of 21st century English language.

2. Myfonts.com

Best For:

  • Fonts
  • Font matching

It’s the little things in life that can end up making a world of difference and Myfonts.com is the perfect example of this. When working as a digital designer, you’ll find that clients regularly have an example of a design that they want to mimic. The only problem with this is that they rarely know the name of the font used in the promotional material.

This is where Myfonts.com’s free-to-use font matching software becomes one of the most useful tools at your disposal. Simply upload a picture of the unknown font, and within seconds it will return a host of likely matches.

3. Adobe Illustrator

Best For:

  • Graphics
  • Logos
  • Cartoon drawing

Illustrator is a firm favorite amongst digital artists thanks to the ease in which you can adjust layers, shapes, and art boards. Its flexibility as a software program means that it’s used to create advertising material that comes in all different shapes and sizes. While both Photoshop and Illustrator share many of the same traits, its only in latter that you can create vector images. This is crucial for many digital designers as it allows them to scale up or down the size of their work without worrying about a loss of quality.

4. Adobe InDesign

Best For:

  • Magazines
  • Brochures
  • Any multipage document

InDesign is the publishing world’s weapon of choice as it’s the only piece of software in Adobe’s Creative Suite that easily allows users to setup master page templates. The software takes to text like a duck to water, with columns, margins, and typefaces easily customizable via the drag of a mouse.

5.Microsoft PowerPoint

Best For:

  • Presentations

Many businesses use presentations on a regular basis to win new customers. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for digital designers to be asked to look over a presentation to ensure it looks professional and on brand.

Knowing how to use PowerPoint probably won’t win you a design job. It will, however, make you very popular around the office.

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