Arlington, VA

1100 N. Glebe Road Suite 1010
Arlington, VA 22201

by Townes Haas
4/13/2015 9:25:23 AM

For most design work, you probably want to engage a professional graphic designer—no one wants to see an annual report or other vital documents look like they were cobbled together on a shoestring. But whether you are whipping up small items to use on your company's social media pages or simply want to express your intentions more clearly, it is a very good idea to invest some time in learning the basics of Adobe Photoshop. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

First of all, it's cheap, if you play your cards right.

It is true that for professionals, the software can cost upwards of six hundred dollars for all the bells and whistles, but you don't need to learn how to be a graphic designer; you just need to learn to tinker with your images every now and again. That means you can pick up a package like Photoshop Elements for less than a hundred bucks, or register with Creative Cloud as an individual and pay just ten bucks a month. Here's an even better idea, if you're cash-conscious—clear two or three days off of your calendar and take advantage of Adobe's thirty day free trial for Photoshop. In no time, you will be cropping and sharpening and filtering with the best of them, and you can use that base knowledge every now and then without a major investment.

Everyone wants to teach you how to use Photoshop. Really, everyone.

Even though Photoshop is the industry standard for manipulating and augmenting photographs, the truth is that its basic interface is pretty easy to figure out. Standard functions like cropping photos or adding text can be figured out by simply using the software's help function or utilizing Adobe's product support. But in the age of the Internet, information is often free and there are literally hundreds of tutorials out there for every single function that Photoshop offers, and some enterprising designers have even figured out innovative new ways to employ Photoshop's many features. Whether your learning style is geared more towards text instructions or video demonstrations, there are tons of ways for you to learn how to use Photoshop's more complex functions. It can even be entertaining from time to time. When you get done learning the basics at sites like “You Suck at Photoshop," you can even seek out funny educational courses like “Graphic Design for Entrepreneurs…Who Can't Draw."

Learning even a little Photoshop will help you communicate better.

The truth of the matter is that if you wanted to be a graphic designer, you would have become a graphic designer. But you wanted to run your own show. It's always possible that you might not have an artistic bone in your body, too. But learning to use Photoshop gives you a new vocabulary that you can use to communicate your ideas to a professional graphic designer. If you know the basics, you can also use Photoshop to draft mock-ups that better communicate the layout and mood that you have in mind. Knowing the technical names for digital manipulation processes and understanding how it all works will also improve your relationship with similarly creative types including graphic designers, website creators, printers, and publishers.

Learning to DIY like a boss saves time and money.

DIY (Do It Yourself) was an idea that came out of punk rock. It was the idea that anyone is capable of performing a task and champions the idea of seeking out that knowledge. It's an idea that should enable and energize you to learn to make your own tweaks to photos, documents and designs. Waiting for a freelance designer to make a small adjustment can be frustrating when it's more likely that you could put in the fix yourself.

Ultimately, investing in learning the basics of Photoshop not only adds to your roster of entrepreneurial skills but can even help augment your skill set by improving your communication skills, technical understanding, branding and strategy.

Additional Resources to Help Grow your Small Business

White Paper

How Mail Services Help Entrepreneurs Succeed

In today's mobile economy, digital entrepreneurs often work from varying locations. While this can help save money and increase agility, it comes with one big drawback:

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants Provide a Competitive Edge

Countless small business owners rely on remote assistants or offsite receptionists to help with critical organizational duties. While some are content to offload simple tasks to self-employed, stay-at-home support people, others demand more comprehensive services...NULL

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Assistants & Remote Assistants: A Comparison

While the traditional virtual assistant is likely to work from home, an executive-level virtual assistant is part of a greater brick-and-mortar presence. This fundamental difference opens the door for extensive training opportunities that broaden the professional's support capabilities.

Read More >
White Paper

Overview of Virtual Offices, Executive Suites and Co-Working Spaces

Work has changed. In an age of instant communication, cloud-based applications, and workplace versatility, the era of the traditional office culture has come to an end. Providers of virtual offices, executive suites and co-working spaces have effectively liberated the nation’s work culture, adding dynamic and energizing new choices...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 1 of 4: Introducing the SBA

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, navigating the tricky terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a major challenge. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs and operators have access to one of the most effective resources in the worldwide market...

Read More >
White Paper

Part 2 of 4: Starting a Small Business

Navigating the complex terrain of creating a sound business plan, forecasting for growth and developing an operative growth strategy can be a challenge for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Fortunately, American entrepreneurs have access to one of the most effective resources in the world via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 3 of 4: Managing a Small Business

Congratulations! You have gotten your small business up and running. Now what? This part of our four-part series on leveraging the Small Business Administration to help you launch and manage a small business will focus on the operational aspects of running a business. Whether you need leadership strategies, day-to-day decision making skills
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Part 4 of 4: Marketing, Sales and Contracting

Understanding marketing and sales as well as the technical complexity of our Internet-driven society gives entrepreneurs a distinct advantage over the competition. This final segment of our four-part report will take a deeper dive into the logistics and philosophy of marketing and sales and their impact on your business success.
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

DIY Marketing Tools

If a business isn’t marketing, its potential customers are not finding it. Small to medium size businesses often struggle with spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. New DIY marketing tools, however, have eliminated the need to spend astronomical amounts on online and traditional marketing. These tools
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office for Legal Professionals

Law firms (large and small) and solo legal practitioners alike can use virtual office services and spaces to run their entire legal operations or as a supplement to a home office or traditional brick-and-mortar offices. Virtual office services can be particularly useful during trial preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Finance & Tax Professionals

Finance and tax professionals, whether they work solo or as part of a larger firm, can use virtual office spaces and services to stay on top of their workloads, especially during the busy tax season. Professional virtual office spaces can be particularly useful when back-to-back client meetings are necessary...

Read More >
White Paper

Traveling Entrepreneur

As business people and entrepreneurs continually strive to grow their business, doing so frequently involves traveling around the country to attend networking or tradeshow events, meeting clients and prospects on their own turf, and getting some face-time with colleagues, contractors or employees who may operate in a remote location. Preparation
... Click to read more

Read More >
White Paper

Virtual Office Eguide

Have you ever wondered why some small businesses are successful and others are not and what do these successful companies do to gain an edge over their competition? Through our years of experience
... Click to read more

Read More >

Additional Intelligent Office locations near Arlington, VA