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3 Adobe Creative Cloud Programs For Beginners To Start With

by Aimee Chanthadavong
Posted: September 13, 2016

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There is some truth to the old adage: A picture is worth a thousand words. If you think about it, these days advertisers through to print and digital publishers use images to tell stories to their audience.

While the images they choose to use involves some creativity, a lot of the magic happens when it’s combined with technical and conceptual skills, of which are all put to work when you’re using Adobe Creative Cloud, otherwise formerly known as Adobe Creative Suite.

Adobe Creative Cloud is a collection of all creative applications designed especially for graphic designers to help them bring more life to a picture with a few clicks on their desktop or mobile screens.

Currently, there are more than 25 applications that make up the Adobe Creative Cloud. These are all now accessible on a monthly subscription base. In fact, earlier this year, Adobe revealed there are now more than 7 million total subscribers using Adobe Creative Cloud, believing the number will surpass 13 million users within the next two years. 

More interestingly, over 30 percent of Creative Cloud subscribers are going through the mobile apps. So if you're a graphic designer beginner and are looking for a basic introduction to some of the main programs in the Adobe portfolio, we’ve broken down three Adobe Creative Cloud programs that all graphic design beginners should start to get familiar with, and why.

1.    Photoshop

Graphic design enhancements made to photo of children in a mushroom forest

Photoshop is an old favourite for experienced and beginning graphic designers out of the Adobe Creative Cloud collection, because it gives the opportunity to introduce more sophisticated edits to your images.

These edits can be as basic as cropping, correcting exposure, adjusting colour and lighting through to more advanced edits such as moving subjects within your image, adding blur effects, or combining multiple images to create whole new scenes. You can also retouch old photos or edit a portrait. 

However, you will not be limited to editing just 2D images - you can even use the program to create 3D designs. There are also video tools that lets you edit how you would a still image, including removing unwanted objects from frames, repairing the video using cloning and healing tools, and adding effects

It’s an opportunity to be as creative as you like for when you’re designing a web banner, an app, a poster, a flyer for an event, an image for social media, a business logo, movies, or even paintings and illustrations. 

2.    Lightroom 

Beautiful pier sunset with silhouettes of people strolling on it, sunlight filtering through clouds

Sometimes even with the most sophisticated cameras, you still think your photos can do with a little bit of editing. This is the reason why Lightroom is included as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud; it’s the essential tool for editing, organising, and sharing your photos. 

The edits you can make include punching up the colours to make dull shots vibrant, removing distracting objects, and straightening skewed shots, as well as making other adjustments such as brushing over areas that can be lightened, darkened, or needs more sharpening.

The other aspect of Lightroom is that it’s also an organiser, too. Prior to the days of digital images, we’d print our our photos and keep them in photo albums. But these days with so many devices, it’s often pretty difficult to keep track of all the photos we take; some might be on phones, others on our tablet or desktop. 

But with Lightroom you can create a photo library that lets you store them all in one place. Additionally, it also keeps details of when you took the photo, where you took it, and who is in the photo, so that way, the memories you’ve captured will always be there.

Now that your photos will be all in one place, it’ll be easier to share them with others, too. This is particularly handy if you’re working on a design project and you want feedback from others, within Lightroom they’ll have the opportunity to comment on your photo or ‘like’ it. 

3.    InDesign

Graphic designer using InDesign, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud programs to design a digital layout

InDesign is an industry-standard page design and layout toolset designed to help you craft elegant layouts to create and publish everything from printed books and brochures to digital magazines, iPad apps, eBooks, and interactive online documents. 

More specifically, these tools will allow you to create documents with multiple columns using a combination of text and graphics, including the ones you’ve edited using Lightroom and Photoshop. 

InDesign also comes equipped with a library of typography that you can choose from, to include as part of your design. Or alternatively you can add your own, all of which you can customise with colours of your liking and ensure it remains consistent throughout your document.

Other tools within the program allow you to wrap text around objects, input tabular data in a way that can be easily read, and insert other digital content such as audio, HTML, and slideshows for when you’re designing digital documents.

Thinking of a career in graphic design?

Male and female graphic design beginners smiling at camera in their trendy warehouse office space

In learning how to use Adobe Creative Cloud taught through Open Colleges’ Graphic Design Pathway Program, you’ll have an entire portfolio of work you can use to show off in your next job interview. 

That could be for a role as an assistant designer in online advertising, desktop publisher, digital content artist, or graphic designer in fields including digital and web design; television, film and computer graphics; brand and identity strategy; set and exhibition design; corporate design; book and magazine design; and advertising and illustration. You can research the average wages and job prospects for all of these roles here.

Before you know it, you’ll be progressing towards positions such as design director, art director or creative director. 

Want the most current information on career salaries and job stats in the graphic design industry? Check out the big picture, here.


Aimee Chanthadavong

Aimee Chanthadavong is a magazine Journalist who believes there’s a creative and original story behind everything, jut waiting to be told. Aimee was also responsible for launching RetailBiz magazine, which was a finalist of the Publishers Excellence Awards 2012 for the Launch of the Year.

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