With all the great online education and learning opportunities in our digital world, it can be challenging to figure out what you should focus on learning. And, if you do decide to learn a specific skill, how you’ll be able to use it.
Right now, software skills are in high demand. If you can learn Adobe Photoshop, for instance, those skills could open the door to opportunities in quite a few fields—even some you might not guess use photo editing software on a regular basis.
Here’s how five major industries use Photoshop in their everyday workflow.
Graphic design can feel somewhat vague as an industry because there is a multitude of professionals doing a wide array of projects.
At the most basic level, Graphic Designers are professionals who communicate through visual representations. They can inform, inspire action, and connect directly with their audience through beautiful graphics.
There are graphic designers who specialize in almost every type of design work and work within different industries. Some work on business branding like logos & letterhead. Some design promotional materials such as flyers. In a growing digital market, there are virtually limitless options for skilled graphic designers.
With creativity being at the heart of what they do, Photoshop comes in handy for everyday work, particularly with manipulating images and creating composite images. A few common Photoshop tasks within the graphic design industry include: preparing images for print, retouching, color correction, creating composites, and designing graphics for digital displays.
Prepare Images for Print
At its core, Photoshop is a photo editing software. It has a long list of interesting features to create artwork, but many graphic designers still use the basic functions on a regular basis. Tasks like cropping and rotating an image are simple and Photoshop makes it a breeze. There are also many aspects of images Photoshop can adjust, such as brightness, contrast, and saturation. These functions make it easy to get images ready for a picture-perfect print.
Color Correction & Retouching
In graphic design, all aspects of an image matter. Photoshop offers many ways to correct color to create a certain mood or effect. There’s also a comprehensive suite of healing tools to retouch small spots you may not want in an image. These tools are commonly used for items such as removing unwanted blemishes or touching up damaged areas on a digitized photograph.
Creating Image Composites
A composite image is one that’s created using multiple graphics or images. Most creative images you see in magazines and on ads are created by graphic designers through this compositing process. Photoshop has excellent capabilities for taking bits and pieces from one image to another to create anything you want, whether it’s a simple piece of artwork, adding someone to a photo they weren’t actually in (or taking out an unwanted photobomber), or an ad.
Graphics for Digital Display
According to Adobe, Photoshop transforms images into “flights of pure imagination.” It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that it’s great at creating graphics specifically for digital displays. With the ability to add creative elements and manipulate almost any individual part of images, the quality of graphics you can create, specifically for digital use, is incredibly high, which makes it an indispensable tool among graphic designers.
Photographers capture life’s special moments and turn them into tangible memories of a specific time.
With all kinds of specialties from portraits to weddings to newborn to nature photography, taking the photos and working with them is what unites the profession.
Photoshop is one of the longest-standing industry-standard tools for photographers. Common tasks include: retouching photos, and creating photo composites, and creating artwork & art prints.
Photoshop retouching tools allow you to alter images slightly, for instance correcting red-eye or smoothing skin in a photograph. They can do things like “heal” or “erase” imperfections such as wrinkles and pimples, as well as repair rips and tears on old photos. Photographers use these features regularly to ensure professional quality photos their clients will love.
One of Photoshop’s most popular and well-known features is compositing images. This means you can put multiple photos together to create a new image. This is one area Photoshop performs best in (and is sought after by photographers) because of its ability to work with the individual parts of any image down to the individual pixel. Compositing allows for beautiful, creative images and artwork.
Artwork & Art Prints
Although Photoshop excels at editing photos, it can also be used to create beautiful original artwork. Through almost limitless customization down the pixel, and the way artists can utilize layers, professionals can create complex art within the program. Digital artists, and even photographers if they’re familiar with the nuances of Photoshop, have the ability to create high-resolution images and sell prints from them.
Web design is a large and continuously growing industry, especially in an age where you can purchase and learn almost anything online.
Professionals who work in the field are most often focused on making websites easily navigable and visually appealing, although they sometimes write content or do back end coding work depending on their specialty.
For these techy creatives, Photoshop is a must-have software. The most common uses for Photohop in the web design industry are optimizing photos for web display, mocking up web pages & HTML email designs, and creating animated GIFs.
Optimize Images for Web Display
Web designers work hard to create the perfect images for projects, and because of their expertise, they know what will look good on a website. Not all photos or images are high quality, though, and part of web design is making sure that any images used will be optimized for the web. Photoshop has a built-in saving command called Save for Web that allows users to see what various file types would look like with different optimization settings so they can select the perfect one.
Mock-Up Web Pages & HTML Email Designs
Web designers spend quite a bit of time mocking up web designs, and even HTML emails, before building them or sending them out to be built by a developer. While Photoshop is a great place to create logos, it also offers a sort of play space for using shapes, color, and different kinds of typography. The customization is almost limitless, meaning web designers can create exactly what they envision in their mock-ups before sending the visuals to receive feedback.
One feature that may seem surprising about photo editing software is that it can create simple animated GIFs. Photoshop allows you to create simple GIFs with frame by frame style animations. It doesn’t do more complicated animation like Adobe After Effects, but if web designers want to create a little motion in an image, or create a dynamic moving background on a website, Photoshop has some capability in that area.
Marketing & Advertising
Marketing gets a bad reputation due to the sales-y nature of advertising. Although the two are not the same, they typically work together, which is why many people don’t see a clear differentiation between them.
Marketing is the overall industry, and advertising is a practice that falls within it. The reason this is an important distinction is that a marketer’s job is to figure out what customers want and need, and how to best meet those needs. Advertising is one strategy marketers use to sell products and create brand awareness.
Because professionals in the industry work with many types of graphics and visuals, Photoshop can be a helpful and desirable skill for future clients or employers. Some of the most common tasks the marketing industry uses Illustrator to complete are: creating brand elements, creating graphics for promotional materials, social media & website images, and email marketing graphics.
Marketing professionals are often in charge of developing and maintaining a company’s brand - how they appear to their customers and clients. This includes items such as logos, icons, color palette, fonts, and any variations the business might need. Photoshop is helpful because of the level of design customization you can do with individual elements such as shapes and color. Out of the mainstream Creative Cloud apps, Photoshop is the most flexible in the assets it can create.
Graphics for Promotional Materials & Email Marketing
Have you ever been to a presentation and received a brochure or flyer? Or gotten a mailer in your mailbox? That’s promotional material. In marketing & advertising, promotional materials are shared to boost brand awareness and sales. Some other common forms of promotional materials include brochures, pens, keychains, and branded packaging. Photoshop is an effective tool for creating graphics for these kinds of highly designed promotional materials because of the flexibility and ability to be custom and creative down to the smallest detail.
Social Media & Website Graphics
Social media sites and websites are digital hotspots for bringing in customers and clients. With numerous platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, professionals in the marketing industry have to be able to design striking graphics in all sorts of sizes and formats. Not to mention websites designed to convert sales. Photoshop is a great place for marketing professionals to design these graphics because of the way they can work creatively with layers and add imaginative elements that capture the audience’s attention.
Motion graphics are everywhere: on TV, movies, social media videos, and Youtube. They’re simply graphics that are moving in some way.
Whether short videos or full-length feature films, motion graphics are created using similar processes and software behind-the-scenes. With the many creative technologies available, tasks in the motion graphics industry are usually done digitally.
There are several programs used specifically for creating animations and adding the motions within motion graphics, such as Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro. But before motion is added, the images and artwork need to be completed. This is where Photoshop comes in handy. Common motion graphics tasks completed in Photoshop are creating assets for After Effects and preparing images for screen display.
Assets for After Effects
Adobe After Effects specializes in motion graphics creation, in particular, it excels at adding special effects and animation to graphics. Photoshop works well in conjunction with After Effects because of the number of original images and graphics it can create, particularly photo composites and web-optimized images.
Prepping Images for Screen Display
Within the motion graphics industry, images are displayed across many sized screens, both large and small. It’s important for images to look sharp on any size screen. Preparing these images is often done in Photoshop because it’s easy to adjust the size, colors, space, and resolution to whatever is needed.
Where to Learn Adobe Photoshop
If you’re ready to learn Photoshop, there are options for in-person and live online learning, as well as specialized topics.
Noble Desktop offers several Photoshop courses. From Photoshop in a Day to Photoshop Bootcamp to Advanced Retouching, there are classes for beginners and more advanced users.
Want to learn online? Find live online Photoshop courses using the Noble Desktop Classes Near Me tool. The Classes Near Me tool offers a concise way to see what training courses are available from multiple different training schools. You can use the same tool to locate Photoshop courses in your area.