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An Easy Checklist For E-commerce Business Startups

Posted: November 27th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business | No Comments »

Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

The world has moved towards online sales in a big way. The events of 2020 have accelerated this trend even more, and it looks as if there is no turning back now. With this in mind, a lot of people are starting e-commerce stores of their own. While this is a great idea, and you can often launch one with a limited budget, you still need to ensure that you are doing it the right way. After all, you will find yourself facing stiff competition on all sides. Taking this into account, here is a checklist of some of the things that you need to bear in mind before you get started:

Choose Your Business Name

All of your marketing and promotional activities will center around your business name, so make sure you choose one that adequately reflects your company and everything that it has to offer. Since people will be searching for you online, you don’t want it to be too difficult to spell. While clever wordplay can sometimes be a nice touch, you don’t want to try too hard. Ultimately, you want to make life as easy as possible for your customers when they are trying to search for your business online.

Establish the Domain Name and Website

Ideally, your domain name needs to reflect your website as closely as possible so that people can find it by typing it into the search bar. You can then get to work designing and building the website. There are many platforms that aim to make this as straightforward as possible to do yourself, but you may want to enlist the help of a professional depending on your technical skill level. If you are looking to give this a boost, you could always take a course, such as AWS certification training. Remember, while the design of your website should be stylish, this shouldn’t mean that it loads slowly or you sacrifice integral aspects, such as the navigation.

Choose Your Selling Structure

Some people choose to house all the products on-site, while others will take part in what is known as ‘dropshipping’. Both approaches have their own individual positives and negatives. When you take care of your own stock, you need to first have enough space for it. Then you need to think about all the proper security and insurance provisions to ensure that it is all properly protected. On the plus side, you do have direct control of it, and you are able to send it out whenever needed. As for dropshipping, this means that you use certain partners to dispatch your products. You have the obvious advantage of not needing to invest in anything directly, so there is a limited amount of risk here. You also don’t need to worry about the storage space to hold everything. However, you are very much reliant on these external partners and you can bet your bottom dollar that customers are going to blame you directly if anything goes awry with their order.

Start Your Marketing Activities Early

There are several aspects involved in marketing, but you should start all of them at the earliest possible opportunity. Even if your site is not yet ready to launch, it is still a good idea to start generating a buzz around it. For example, you can easily start up your social media profiles and begin trying to accumulate some followers. Similarly, you can start writing a blog as this is useful content to share, as well as being helpful to the overall SEO of the website. Of course, you may not want to begin more serious marketing, such as online ads and PPC, until you are ready to launch. When you do kick off your business activities, it is a good idea to include an introductory offer or a welcome bonus of some kind to introduce the world to your brand and everything it has to offer.

Invest in the Right Software and Hardware

While an online business can be launched with just a laptop and a stable internet connection, you may well find that you need a little bit more to give yourself the best chance of success. So, research your software options thoroughly before making your choice. While there are many good programs that are available for free, you shouldn’t worry about being too frugal at this stage. Sometimes, the better software options are worth paying for. You may also find that your old hardware options are simply not cutting it and you need to invest in the latest technology for a higher level of performance. Alternatively, you may feel like you need a degree of separation between your business and personal lives, so you may decide to invest in a phone, or a laptop that is just meant for business purposes.

Increase Your Customer Loyalty

It is certainly an exciting moment when you start generating some sales. However, your best course of action is to make sure that these customers come back to you time and time again. There are several ways of increasing customer loyalty. One of the most effective is by creating an email list for them to sign up for. Of course, you don’t want to bombard their inboxes, but some well-placed messages can prove to be highly valuable in creating the loyalty that you seek. Then you have all your social media accounts, which give you a direct means of communication and a way of nudging your customers back towards buying your products.

This checklist gives you some of the basic ways that you can get your online store up and running. Ultimately, you need to put a lot of focus on the design and build of the website, and ensure that you start marketing at an early opportunity. Not only this, but you have to consider carefully what you are going to sell and how well it is going to appeal to potential customers.


5 Brand Surveys Your Graphic Design Business Should Be Running

Posted: November 26th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business, Design | No Comments »
graphic design laptop chart design

Image courtesy: https://unsplash.com/photos/pypeCEaJeZY

Setting up an agency is hard. But, keeping it in business, harder.

No matter who you are as a business, a solopreneur, or an agency, with the industry reaching new heights of competition each day, hitting the nail on the head is becoming more challenging.

So the million-dollar question here is how do you address the problem?

Enter Branding!

Branding is the one-stop sustainable strategy that enables you to establish a long-term relationship with your consumers making sure your agency garners the strength to glide during the next wave of disruption. But setting up a brand identity is much more than a cluster of visual identity; a set of logo, color scheme, typography, and a catchy tagline.

As Forbes explains it, a brand is everything that sets you apart from your competitors. It is the tool that helps you communicate with your audience and an opportunity to be an indispensable part of their lives.

So the question here arises how do you overcome this critical point?

The answer lies in brand surveys.

Brand Surveys make it easier for you to understand your consumers; their preferences, likes, and dislikes. It gives you a complete understanding of the lives of your target audience, and their motivation towards a relationship with your brand.

1. What Is A Brand Survey?

A brand survey is a valuable tool for gathering information about your target consumer’s business, product, target market, competition, and other valuable information that gives you an insight into how you can add value to their business.

A brand survey typically hosts a series of questions related to the service you provide as a service provider. It often has questions related to feedbacks of previous services, past brand experiences, and how the audience feels about the brand.

2. What Is The Purpose Of A Brand Survey?

There are two primary goals of a brand survey: provide a thorough understanding of how your brand is perceived by your audience and understand your target consumer preferences.

graphic design meeting

Image courtesy: https://unsplash.com/photos/bzqU01v-G54

After all, it is your audience whom you are trying to serve with your products.

Brand surveys act like a guide leading you to ask the right questions to your audience to better understand them and come up with improved products and level up your brand value.

Here are a few merits that you can readily achieve:

  • It helps you measure the brand image in the eyes of the stakeholders from time to time
  • It helps you to measure the efficacy of your brand policies
  • It helps you devise a strategy to boost your brand equity in the long-term
  • It tracks campaign effectiveness
  • Keeps you informed about your competitors
  • Helps you measure R-O-I of marketing initiatives
  • Keeps you connected to your customers

3.    5 Brand Surveys for Graphic Design Business

No matter if you are a newbie design agency or a very established one here are 5 brand surveys that your graphic design company cannot fail to execute.

a)    Brand perception survey:

This type of survey allows you to understand your audience’s perception of your brand. It gives you a clearer picture of how your customers think and feel about your brand and products.

  • A brand perception survey is an important tool in brand management That assists you in building the right image of your agency.  Also, it is a one-stop solution for receiving real-time feedback from your stakeholders. 
  • Some of the key benefits of this survey are:
    • Tracking brand performance
    • Competitive advantage analysis 
    •  Delivering superior customer experience
    • Improving brand loyalty
    • Optimizing target audience communication

Here is a sample questionnaire that can give you an insight into a typical brand perception survey:

  • Are you familiar with our brand?
    • Are you familiar with our product or service?
    • When you think of our brand, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
    • How likely are you to recommend our product to your friends?
    • How was your last experience with our brand?

b)    Brand positioning survey:

This survey is a critical data collection tool for improving brand equity. It helps in the strategic alignment of your brand addressing business organizational decisions.

brand design

Image courtesy: https://unsplash.com/photos/gSnyL1T935o

The data obtained from a brand positioning survey is critical in determining how you present your product or service to your audience. This survey should essentially solve the unique challenges of your organization,  the vertical you operate in, and the target market.

Some of the key benefits of this survey are:

  • Helps in developing brand strategy
  • Helps in developing a unique selling proposition for your target audience.
  • Reinforces unique brand features and helps to develop a key differentiating factor in your product or service.
  • Strengthens your core business and establishes you as an industry differentiator
  • Develops an emotional connect with your stakeholders

Here is a sample questionnaire that can give you an insight into a typical brand positioning survey:

  • Why do you buy from us?
  • What kind of brand appeals to you?
  • What are the brand qualities that stand out for you?
  • How would you read your experience with our brand?
  • What is unique about our product that appeals to you?

c)    Brand awareness survey

This survey directly helps to measure the level of awareness or popularity of your brand in the industry.  This survey gives you a better idea of devising a strategy for improved outreach to your target audience.

Few of the key benefits of this survey are:

  • Understanding the brand’s stand in the target market
  • Increasing customer awareness about the product and brand
  • Improving customer engagement with the brand

Here is a sample questionnaire that can give you an insight into a typical brand awareness survey:

  • Are you aware of our brand?
  • Are you aware of our product or services?
  • When was the first time you heard about our brand?
  • How did you come to know about our brand?
  • When was the last time you used our product?

d)    Brand identity survey

This survey entirely focuses on brand communications. It helps you to understand how well your organization communicates its core values and image to its direct stakeholders maintaining a positive overall impression, authority, and credibility in your domain of service.

Some of the key benefits of this survey are:

  • Tracking brand communications
  • Empathizing with your audience
  • Crafting the right brand image
  • A detailed insight into consumer preferences

Here is a sample questionnaire that can give you an insight into a typical brand identity survey:

  • When was the last time you used our product or service?
  • How would you describe our brand to another person?
  • What is the first thing you associate or brand with?
  • What unique value does this brand serve you?
  • How long have you been our customer?

e)    Brand loyalty survey

This survey deals with measuring the probability of your customers repurchasing from you. It also tells you about how strong your brand communications are on the level of emotions.

brand loyalty design

Image courtesy: https://unsplash.com/photos/RzLBQH73I7Y

Some of the key benefits of this survey are:

  • Tracking customer retention
  • Measuring brand equity
  • Mapping highest-performing products
  • Mapping the lifetime value of a customer(LTV)

Here is a sample questionnaire that can give you an insight into a typical brand identity survey:

a)    How much do you trust the brand?

b)    How happy were you with your last purchase?

c)    Would you prefer our brand over a competitor?

d)    How likely are you to depend on our brand?

e)    How much likely are you to switch to another brand if its alternative was cheaper?

4.    Tips To Optimize Your Next Brand Survey

Conducting brand surveys is expensive. However, if performed right, they can bring you extensive rewards. Following are a few guidelines that can make sure all your brand surveys drive your business to the next level. 

a)   Define the purpose of the survey: Make sure you align the primary objectives with the type of survey that your participants take. This sets a clear expectation for the survey respondents.

b)   Map your audience wisely: No matter what kind of survey you indulge your brand in, your survey participants should always be the ones who have some level of brand awareness.

c)   Map the feasibility of the survey: A good set of questionnaires in your survey is of no use if no one is willing to take your survey. The first metric to keep in mind is to make it hassle-free to participate, opt for online surveys. This not only helps you collect data from a large amount of audience mapping qualitative analysis but also improves the dropout rate dramatically.

d)   Organizing is key: One of the primary reasons for the high dropout rate of surveys is their incapability to motivate respondents to take the survey. So what’s the solution?

Make it human. Make it fun for your respondents.

Empathize with your target audience and design the structure keeping both the usability and desirability in mind. Use color schemes, layout, and graphics to balance the goals of your questionnaire in alignment with the taste of your audience.

5.    Avoid asking leading questions

Data is no doubt the most critical point of running a modern-day business. It is the fuel on which your business runs. 

Biased misleading data can break it beyond repair. Loaded questions are a big no. Avoid asking open-ended questions. Make it simple and direct.

To Conclude

Humanize the process of your survey. Make it exciting for your respondents.

Remember not to make the brand survey feel like an interrogation. Instead use this powerful tool to eradicate future disputes and improve chances of brand interactions. 

Let this survey be an opportunity for you to develop a long-term relationship with your customers.


How to Use SEO techniques in Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Posted: November 16th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, SEO Marketing | No Comments »

We are all aware of the importance of presence in the search engine for a brand and the results. A successful online business is never possible without a good position on the search engine results page.

For example, if your site ranks on the 5th page of Google, then you wouldn’t get the traffic because the majority of users stay on the first page to get their query answered.

But what is required is the marketing plan and the techniques that would elevate your position upwards.

Various factors such as digital marketing, SEO, content marketing influence the digital presence, and all of these factors are directly related to the quality of a higher ranking.

Before you proceed with the knowledge of SEO techniques in your digital marketing, you should know that the search engine or any other publisher is always looking for high-quality user experience.

To do this, the quality of the content must be high, while the layout of your website should be friendly.

Here are some of the techniques that might work for you:

1. The quality of the content

Not only in SEO but also digital marketing, there is a demand for high-quality content that positively influences the audience.

If you want your audience to stay longer on your website, then quality is the fact that could help.

A normal user usually stays on a website for less than a minute, and during that stay, your content should be such that the user stays on your website for longer.

Professional authors usually write the content that is compelling for the user to stay and read the full article.

Most SEO factors depend on the content, while this is also an SEO factor for your site.

The content is the fact that the visitor is transformed into a permanent customer, which increases your traffic, turnover, and leads.

2. Optimize your content with the paraphrasing tool

If you are thinking about the quality of the content, the paraphrasing tool can help you.

It is available online, which replaces the usual words with the synonyms most suitable for the standard form that’s why it is also known as phrase tool.

Rewrite the content for uniqueness

Not only the optimization, but also the content you post must be unique, and in this sense, the rewrite can also help you.

For example, if you write the content by copying articles published on the Internet, the rewrite would make it unique.

This tool will rephrase sentences without changing the actual meaning of the content.

3. Keyword research

Keyword research is the foundation of SEO for your site because this is the word your site might appear for. Keywords are mandatory to attract a particular audience.

Choosing a keyword, however, is difficult as you need to have certain criteria, thanks to the technology that supports keyword searches through online tools.

For example, the Ahrefs can help you get the statistics of a particular keyword, and you can also get keyword suggestions from these tools.

Ahrefs can tell you the search volume of multiple keywords along with the CPC and the difficulty level.

Keep in mind that the CPC and volume should be high, while the difficulty level should be low to allow for easy ranking.

4. On-Page SEO

To strengthen your position in the search engine and improve your user experience, on-page SEO is very mandatory.

On-page SEO has the factors that are applied directly to your site while it holds the majority of SEO optimization.

On-Page SEO has factors like URL structure, Meta title, meta description, image optimization, speed optimization, image alt text, and many more.

All these factors help the search engine to better recognize your website and rank it higher.

If the crawlers find your website according to the recommendation of the search engine, then it would index your web pages and rank it higher.

5. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is a process that takes place outside your site, but for your site. For example, backlinks are one of the main components of off-page SEO and its place on the other site that refers to your site.

The off-page SEO is also mandatory because it creates a reference for your site by connecting to other websites.

More reference for your site from others would give the search engine a positive impact to rank your site higher.

Off-page SEO also has some other factors such as guest posts, back-linking, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and other features.

You can get backlinks through blog comments, form submissions, directories, infographics, and backlink generator.

6. Image ALT text

We all know the importance of images in digital marketing and this is not only beneficial for digital marketing, but also the SEO of your website.

Images are considered as a ranking factor in the search engine for a website, especially when you add the image alt-text.

Image-Alt-Text is the text that explains the purpose of the image to the search engine. Google images also use the image-Alt-Text to display the images via certain queries.

7. Easy navigation

Digital marketing needs decisive facts quickly, as when the user visits the Facebook ad, then you should have the post that explains your entire brand quickly.

Not only for social media, but the site also needs navigation that is easy and convenient for your users.

The search engine recommends easy navigation because they want your site to display enough content for users.

This allows you to navigate your user to another helpful article to better understand him.

Remember, the reason internal and outgoing links are important for your website is that they generate better navigation.

8. Analysis

The analysis is essential to make your SEO campaigns successful. As you invest your time, effort, and time in SEO campaigns, you need to monitor your campaign to make it efficient.

For example, by analyzing, you can easily see which of your campaigns are successful, while which modifications are needed to run successfully.

There are various tools for analyzing your site, including the Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, UberSuggest.

These tools work to monitor campaigns such as keywords, backlinks, traffic, top sites, countries, and content marketing.

However, you can also know your competitors and their strategies through these tools, which would help you easily defeat your competitors.

You can use their keywords and make an effort to rate them.


5 Ways Graphic Design and Usability Testing Can Improve Your Conversion Rates

Posted: November 16th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Design | No Comments »

Customers, whether they visit your website or step in your store, turn away to competitors when they don’t find the information they are looking for. 

That’s where the concept of conversion rate optimization of your website and physical marketing comes into the picture. Bringing visitors to your brand is one side of the coin but converting them to customers is another side. 

Source With companies spending only $1 on conversion rate optimization for every $92 on customer acquisition, it’s clear that preference is given to bringing traffic over converting the traffic to customers.

Creating intriguing landing pages, leaflets, pamphlets, and presentations impresses the customer, making you look professional and memorable. To strike a balance between the conversion rate and optimization, you need to develop a design that sells.

5 Ways Graphic Design Can Improve Your Conversion Rates

We’ll walk you through five ways of improving your physical marketing and website conversion rates.

For physical marketing

  1. Create flyers and posters with selling capabilities

The best flyer marketing starts with the way you present the offer visually to the target audience. A strong flyer or poster design is one that is beautiful, thought-provoking, and memorable. As your customers can touch and feel a handout, it creates a lasting connection with the customers, resulting in higher conversion rates. 

Steps of creating a flyer and poster

  • Use software like Piktochart’s presentation maker to create professionally and aesthetically looking posters with brilliant colors, the right font style, and size.
  • Focus on the benefits you offer in the poster. Use powerful words such as ‘free,’ ‘save,’ ‘discount’ and guarantee to keep the customers interested.
  • Keep the content simple by using bullet points and catchy titles.
  • Use images that lift your flyer or poster.
  • Finally, remember you’re selling and not telling. So, close it with a call-to-action. It could be a prompt for the customer to purchase, participate, or register.

Source

With 48% of customers responding to flyer advertisements creating a beautifully designed flyer that sells is imperative for businesses looking to build their customer base.

2. Create memorable business cards

Surprisingly, a little card can make a massive difference in the conversion rates.

For companies small and big, these little cards are handed to potential clients, left on the windshield of cars, pinned to a board at a coffee shop, slipped into magazines or books at a store, or left in shops relevant to your business. A business card provides incredible marketing value. 

Source

According to data, 72% of people judge a company based on their business card’s quality, and 39% of people prefer to ignore businesses with a cheap looking card. And, with sales increasing by 2.5% for every 2000 business cards handed out – you’re missing out a lot if you ignore an aesthetically designed and eye-catching business card. 

For websites

3. Use the right colors

Of all the visuals cues, color is probably the one that differentiates a successful brand from an unsuccessful one. What color comes to your mind when thinking about Airbus

Blue, right?

Visit their website, and you will see the brand using shades of blue in their web and graphic design to relate with the customers. In the above picture, the designer presents a contrast between text and background colors. It ensures the legibility of the text, which is essential for conveying a business message. 

Performable increased their conversion rates by 21% on changing the CTA button from green to red. 

Apart from improving readability, using the correct contrast psychology helps you create an emotional impact with the customer. In website design, follow the 60-30-10 design rule for increasing conversions. It’s a scheme of using colors to create the maximum effect. 

60% – dominate hue, 

30% – secondary color

10% – accent color

This helps in striking a balance allowing the eyes to move from one focal point to another effortlessly. 

Using too many colors is one of the most common graphic design mistakes. It’s more like trying to convey a million emotions on a single webpage. Therefore, before choosing the color on your website, study your target audience because men and women like and dislike specific colors. Many colors have opposite effects in different parts of the world. White is considered positive in western culture, but it’s an indication of sadness in the Asian region.

Rely on the power of usability testing to gather information about the customers and make an informed decision.  

4. Use direction cues toward your CTA.

Visual cues are a part of graphic design that draws attention to the critical areas on the website. It helps the website visitor to interact with the brand. 

Here’s a great example of a visual cue from Google’s marketing platform. These people are talking to each other. Just near to their hands is the CTA to talk to the sales team of their marketing platform. 

The way they’re seated makes your eye look towards the bottom of the page to the CTA. 

From the above example, it’s clear that visual or directional cues help direct a person’s attention to a particular area for increasing the conversion. Instead of searching the entire webpage, the visual cues narrow the scanning space of the visitors. The visitors know where to click to get more information. 

According to research, there are two types of visual cues in graphic design, which drives maximum customer attention, and they are:

  • A human-looking at the CTA or the form
  • A hand-drawn arrow pointing towards the CTA or the form

Human beings are naturally inclined to follow traditional cues like eye-gazes, arrows, and more as it helps figure out the next step. Whether it’s a signup form, CTA button, or a social media share, visual cues have come a long way to help the website increase their conversion rates.

Source

Finally, focus on performing usability testing to understand the directional cue resulting in maximum clicks on the CTA. 

5. Religiously follow the 8-second design rule

Websites have just 8-seconds to grab the visitor’s attention. With such a small window of opportunity, make every millisecond count. From using action words to making large CTA buttons, leave no stone unturned in creating a positive first impression through your design. 

Focus on including eye-catching images, interactive content, or information videos for winning their attention. You can even use animated exit-popups to re-engage a customer who loses interest. 

The few seconds of customer interaction are crucial for boosting sales and conversion rates.  

Conclusion

Graphic design is not bread and butter, and getting it right in an uphill battle as it differentiates a successful business from an unsuccessful one. 

According to Adobe, 66% of time-starved and skeptical customers crave content that is beautifully designed. Such is the power of design. 

Whether it’s infographics, web design, leaflets, presentation, flyers, landing pages, or posters, the need for the hour is creating a design that resonates with the customers. 

Using these five graphic design principles, you can give a massive boost to both your physical marketing and website conversion rates. 

After implementing these principles use usability testing to test actual customer behavior and validate against your instincts. It helps in understanding what’s visually attractive and what’s not.

Try and test to increase the conversion rate exponentially. 


Brandon Cole Photography

Posted: October 2nd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Really Cool Stuff | Tags: | No Comments »

Dallas based photographer with a passion for analog cameras and alternative processes. 

Branddon Cole Photography

Brandon is a good friend of CreativePublic, show this up and coming photographer some love! – Jason V.

Visit Site >


There are no Standards on Pay for Graphic Designers

Posted: September 1st, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Finance and Loans | Tags: , | No Comments »

What happened to Aiga.org, they used to serve this industry fairly well 10 years or so ago fighting for designers, but they’ve become a useless organization for creative pros.

I think it’s time we build an organization or create a Union to help designers get the pay they deserve. This is hard to do, but this industry is suffering more and more every year.

So many designers have bachelors degrees, or years of experience, but the market does not back them up, businesses just want cheap labor.

Designer pay has been about the same as it was since about 2003. Almost 20 years later and the majority of salaries or freelance wages have staid the same.

Just remember this, you would not have your business without graphic design. Your brand would fail, your marketing collateral would not exist, your product packaging would never be on display nor would you have a company website or online presence.

Graphic designers are a crucial part of a business. Treat them with respect.


Graphic Design Slave Labor

Posted: August 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Quick Blurbs | No Comments »

My rant for the day….

Low class company (The Social Robin – Dallas, TX) offering slave labor wages for a graphic design position in Dallas, TX. They want to pay up to $10 per hour for 1-2 years of experience as a graphic designer. You have to travel some which will take up your entire $10 for one hour just to drive to Dallas. Plus, you have to bring your own equipment. What a bunch of cheap ass wipes!

These companies should be ashamed of themselves. I will shame every company I find online doing this to graphic designers.

View the job post below and pass along the shame!
https://tinyurl.com/y5oveary

@thesocialrobin


Design by Committee

Posted: August 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Funny Stuff | No Comments »

And more corporate idiots making design decisions.


The Process – Designing a Stop Sign by Committee

Posted: August 24th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Funny Stuff | No Comments »

The failure of working with a group of corporate idiots!


Top 6 Design Programs for Businesses

Posted: August 19th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Design, Software | Tags: | No Comments »
Graphic Design Software
Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether it is through the beauty of a book’s cover art or the glitter of a commercial poster, the power of images is invaluable to businesses for marketing, communications and other essential functions. To create stunning images, you’ll need a reliable design program and there are certainly many of them around.

This large range of choice, however, presents its own issue. How do you know which program is right for your business? Let’s take a look at the 6 best design programs for businesses.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a graphic design and editing program that started primarily as a raster graphics program and soon grew into the most prominent name in the industry. Its popularity has led to its name being used in connection with design and editing software in general as in: ‘a photoshopped image’, ‘a good photoshop program,’ or ‘I want to photoshop a picture’.

Photoshop is capable of multi-layer editing and can be used with various colour models including RGB, CIELAB, CMYK, and Duotone. It also supports masks and alpha compositing. From a student working on their academic project, to a business organisation that creates stunning, professional-level stickers, to a photographer looking for that refined touch to the captured images, no one can deny the enormous value of Photoshop.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a leading program for layout and page design which can be used to create and publish books, e-books, colourful digital magazines, interactive PDF documents, posters and more. The publishing industry was greatly influenced by its introduction in 1999. Today, millions of professionals rely on its wide range of features to take their publishing endeavours to the next level.

It allows you to use images from Adobe Stock or other sources and with Adobe Experience Manager, handling production is a breeze. You can use it in tandem with Adobe Creative Cloud to easily share your work across all your projects.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite is an excellent graphic design and editing suite for MS Windows used for professional vector designing, high-quality typography and photo editing. Its pen and touch functions, support for Microsoft Surface Dial and Windows colour management make it a perfect Windows companion. It is an all-purpose tool finding application from apparel design to technical schematic creation and from signage to branding and marketing.

The graphics suite is a basket of various CorelDRAW programs such as the primary CorelDRAW itself that provides graphic design and layout capabilities and Corel PHOTO-PAINT that incorporates photo-editing into the workflow. Other components in the package include CorelDRAW.app, Corel Front Manager, CAPTURE and Aftershot 3 HDR. Leveraging emerging technologies like AI and compatibility with countless file formats have made it a universally powerful digital design tool.

Affinity Designer

Though a new entrant in the field launched only five years ago, Affinity Designer is an award-winning program from Apple, PC PRO and Digital Arts. It focuses on real-time functionality, smooth workflow features and a high level of flexibility. The file formats work seamlessly across different platforms such as Windows, Mac and iPad.

The software provides an amazing collection of elements for smooth vector design, photo-editing, typography or game creation. With capabilities of handling thousands of objects without lag and highly complex documents, it is indeed a program suitable for today’s fast-paced design world. Single-click switching between diverse functions, more than a million times zoom feature, and unlimited artboards are other valuable features.

Inkscape

Inkscape is a powerful and at the same time free-to-use digital design tool for creating vector graphics of excellent quality. The program has ‘Draw freely’ as its tagline and works reflecting its open source standards. It is free to download and use and is compatible with GNU/Linux, Mac OS and Windows.

The major specialization of Inkscape is vector design which has a large number of applications including branding/ marketing, cartoons and games, web design graphics and engineering and CAD drawings. Inkscape is a place where you can learn, develop and contribute, all for free. It also has a thriving community of enthusiastic users including developers that keep improving its features. The Community Gallery showcases the creations of numerous active members.

Sketch

Sketch specializes in features facilitating teamwork and high levels of collaboration. You are free to use the existing readymade components or build your own. Moreover, you can create your own custom rules and system that can be understood easily by your team and collaborators. With Sketch, you can design, create and modify in a combined fashion with your team, whether you are building an interactive prototype or a functioning vector.

Scalability is one special feature provided by Sketch that helps you create something small and easily develop it into the full-fledged form you want. You can then replace it with all elements in the previous form with a single function. Live data interactions is also possible, thanks to a collection of useful plugins and integrative features.

Regardless of your business or sector, you’ll find a graphic design and editing program that suits your needs. Though these programs have common features such as photo editing, vector design and typography, the approach and presentation can differ from one to other. Each program can also have a specific orientation or focus on a certain philosophy or methodology like team collaboration, smooth workflow or cross-platform functionality. That’s why it’s important to do your research and find the perfect design program for your business.