DesignCap: a simple yet professional-grade graphic design software
We at IndianTopBlogs are big fans of professional image software such as Photoshop. In the hands of an expert, these create fascinating, stunning images. However, we also are aware that for many real-life jobs that do not need image editing finery, these sophisticated software are not required. In fact, they take much more time and energy than you may have at hand. Luckily, modern-age cloud-based software are often much easy and fast and yet produce almost as good results!
Let us talk of graphic designs. As a graphic design professional or a design or art-work agency or an avid social media user or a marketer/ one who needs to make presentations, you need to create designs/ art-works that look professional yet do not take all your time.
Traditionally, there was monopoly of some design suites. These were very expensive, and a lot of practice was needed before you mastered them. Whether a simple graphic or a complex one, unless you mastered the software, your product would appear amateurish.
Then came a number of free or paid or freemium online graphic designing programs. They do not need much knowledge of technology and do not need mastering different tools or mugging up keyboard shortcuts. There are a number of them on the web, and almost all of them have many ready-made elements that make it possible to create even complex posters and flyers quickly.
Let me introduce a rather new but promising online graphic design software, DesignCap. Some of its features make it a compelling candidate for a discerning user of graphic design software. Whether a casual user or an avid user or a professional who sells designs to others, you should have a close look at this software before you choose a graphic design software.
How do the online graphic designers compare with the established biggies?
We have professional drawing and image editing programs/ suites that can do the work of illustration, drawing, graphic design, graphic art and complex image editing (also animation, 2D modeling). These include Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Serif Drawplus, to name just the top ones. Each of them is a highly specialized program and often is good for only one type of work rather than taking care of all aspects of a graphic design. For example, Photoshop is an enormous giant when it comes to image editing but does not have very good drawing/ illustration (vector) capabilities. So, such programs usually suit big design companies with separate departments that supply specialized components for a complete design.
When it comes to graphic designing, now there is a great choice from online (cloud based) programs, which are much simpler to use. The beauty of these programs is that they produce professional-quality designs using hundreds or thousands of ready-made elements very fast. The established ones in this genre include Canva, Fotor, PicMonkey, Stencil, Piktochart, Easil and Visme. DesignCap is a new entrant.
Of course, these online programs do not have the overwhelmingly big toolset to create graphic art. But in most cases, such finery is not required in graphic designs. For example, if you have to make a presentation template, you already have hundreds of them in MS Power Point and other such programs. These presentations can be customized but only to an extent. That is one end of the spectrum. On the other hand, if you were to create the same template on CorelDraw, you would need to be well-versed with the program. With online graphic designer programs, professional level of designing can be achieved with ready-made templates, customizable elements and one's own inputs (own fonts, own images). No expertise is needed except for an understanding of design concepts.
In addition, these online graphic design programs are either free or cost much less than the professional programmes such as CorelDraw.
To sum up, for creating graphic designs, as compared to the top established programs, the online programs mentioned here are
- much easier to use
- must faster to produce design
- free or less expensive
The next question that comes to mind is:
What are the main features of online graphic designers?
I have listed online graphic design programs above. It is true that most of them have similar features, and some are specialize in one aspect more than other. The most common features include:
- Ready-made design templates. You choose the type of design (poster vs Facebook banner vs flyer) and then choose one of the ready-made templates and you already have a design made for you!
- Element based designing. You pick up elements such as closed shapes, lines and arrows, backgrounds, images and text and place them on a clean slate or a template, and the design is ready.
- Intuitive and user-friendly editing, The moment you click on an element, you get tools to change its size, color, fill style, position and so on.
More and more features are being added on these programs. However, in some cases, it is leading to cluttering and bloating of the program.
Almost all of these programs have a free version. Main tools are usually available in free version also; however, there is a limit on the number of designs one can save without watermark, size and type of formats in which one can save, etc.
One limitation of these programs is that they usually do not have an offline version. So, internet availability is a pre-condition for using them.
Look at the main features of DesignCap:
- It is very simple and intuitive to use. You go to the site and start creating your first design! (You will of course need to sign up -which you can also do with your Facebook or Gmail account.)
- The free version has many features, which are good enough for amateur art-work or design.
- Any number of graphic designs produced using the free version can be downloaded, without a watermark or compulsion to buy.
- It can create a wide range of designs: posters, flyers, infographics, charts, reports, invitations, logos, graphics optimized for specific social media entity, many more. Within some categories, there are sub-categories too.
- Each category of design comes with a large number of ready-made templates in which design elements are optimally styled.
- It comes with a huge library of stock photos, backgrounds, text styles etc.
- The chart feature of DesignCap is exceptionally good. You can put data in the embedded table to create dynamic charts. You can also import data in MS Excel or csv formats.
- Besides the commonly-found elements (shapes, arrows, images, backgrounds, text), it has modules available in paid versions. Modules are like pre-fabricated blocks created out of basic elements such as icons, lines, text and images. These are very handy for data visualization, e.g. a timeline, progression or hierarchy.
- Its premium versions are cheaper than other comparable graphic design software.
- DesignCap is available in 5 Latin-script languages, and also in Chinese and Japanese.
- Being new goes to advantage of DesignCap in an interesting way: the templates of the more established programs have become common-place by now and a professional graphic designer would not like to use their ready-made templates. In the case of DesignCap, their templates are yet fresh - more so the templates available in the paid versions.
|DesignCap comes with templates for different types of designs.
Comparing DesignCap with other similar programs, we found it as good as the more established ones but cheaper. As said above, its free version itself is quite useful (and you can upgrade it once you feel the software suits your needs). It is also light-weight and works fine with large files even with low internet bandwidth.
Free versions of some other programs don't let you download your work. Some allow downloads but put watermark on the design. In some, the free versions are highly stripped down, with no worthwhile features. In some programs, there is focus on one aspect (e.g. Piktochart focuses on chart making) and thus do not serve as a program that would serve all types of design needs.
DesignCap closely competes with Canva, the most popular and established one. Canva, of course, has some more features, but is much more expensive. The two premium plans of DesignCap cost you $5 and $6 per month while Canva's paid plans come at $10 and $30 per month respectively.
The free version of DesignCap has limits in terms of available templates, stock photos, number of own images you can upload and number of designs you can save in your account. In additon, you can export designs only in JPG format and presentation in PPTX format.
Which graphic design software will you go for?
If you need graphic designs for social media, school projects, office projects, presentations or data visualization, start with a free account. Among the available programs, go only for a sturdy, feature packed program that does not embed a watermark.
If you need to make graphic designs for clients, either for quick presentation of your project/ offer or submit a professional design, go for a premium plan of a rich design software that is feature-rich, has a wide range of design types and templates and a big library of resources, and is highly customizable. Do not choose one that is good only in a few aspects (only chart/ only vector graphics/ no dynamic chart making capability).
If you are already working with one of the traditional graphic design software, give up the common notion that the new breed of online graphic designers are not professional enough. That would be like saying that digital cameras are no match for the SLRs. (That is what photographers would say, when digital cameras came into the scene. Only the photographers who did not adopt the new tech suffered badly.)
If you decide to use/ buy an online software and are in a location/ situation where internet and electricity are erratic, download completed designs on your computer, so that you are not left helpless when you need the design but there is no power/ internet. Also keep some image software in your tool kit, for special effects and exceptional customizations.
You can go to the homepage of DesignCap here to start with your first graphic designs through it.