For both newcomers and experts in the world of graphic design, the price of some of the software ‘required’ to make it in the business is enough to make them balk. With software from titans like Adobe often costing hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, it is difficult for many taking their first steps in the graphic design world to do so without spending massive amounts of money. Even worse, veterans of the business often cannot afford to buy the latest versions of software due to their expense – something that hurts both themselves and their work.
Many advocate illegally downloading graphic design software, but graphic design is an industry that depends on one’s rights to their creative works being respected. Many graphic designers find it a highly hypocritical discourse when they try to defend the copyright to work created on stolen software. I’m here to say that it is possible to get graphic design software cheaply, if you know a few of the tricks of the trade. By following these 5 tips, you can support the creators of great software and create amazing work of your own all at once.
1. Look at the alternatives
If you are a beginner, you might not want to splash out on the most expensive pieces of kit like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator straight away. A good search of the internet often turns up cheaper or free alternatives that may not be as complex, but still make great pieces of software for you to begin experimenting with. Try GIMP – it’s free, it’s easy to use and it is great if you just want to master some basics like photo manipulation.
If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, try Adobe Photoshop Elements. It’s a great and relatively cheap piece of software that introduces you to many of the main features of Adobe Photoshop.
2. If you are in education, take advantage
Adobe don’t go to great lengths to advertise that their software comes at a reduced price if you’re a teacher or student, so if you’re looking to buy a new version of Adobe’s software then make sure you take advantage. Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended is just $249.00 for students and teachers, compared to the original price of $999.
Adobe also currently has a special deal for students offering $100 off Creative Suite 6 before the end of August. Get hold of that bargain!
3. Keep a lookout for coupons!
Many electronic stores often have special deals and coupons that you can use to have money off certain pieces of software. Before buying any software, have a look around couponing websites to see if any retailers near you or any online stores are currently running special coupons or offers. Acquiring a coupon or finding an offer may allow you to get graphic design software at a reduced price.
4. Check if your office has a license
Businesses often buy volume licenses for software, so you might find that your own office already has a license for graphic design products – meaning you could get a copy for free! If you know that some part of your place of work involves graphic design, get in touch with the chief technology officer and check if there is any spare licensed products for you to use. If you never ask, you’ll never know!
5. Buy the upgrade instead of the complete software
Many companies (including Adobe) offer an ‘upgrade’ price, meaning that you can get the newest version of a piece of software cheaper if you already own an older version. Many people do not realize that and buy the full version of software each time a new version is released, wasting tons of money. Double check when you are buying the latest version of a piece of software to make sure there is not an upgrade version available at a much cheaper price.