With great power comes great responsibility

And now a post for aspiring designers.

One simple lesson you need to learn:
Photoshop does not make you a designer.

Buying Photoshop will not make you a designer.

Learning to do a drop shadow in Photoshop will not make you a designer.

Photoshop is a powerful tool to enable design, not design itself. You want to be a designer? Learn design.

Subscribe to design magazines. Read every design website you can find. Last resort, take some classes. Do whatever is needed to learn the fundamentals of design. Then learn Photoshop.

You can always tell when someone doesn’t know good design but knows how to use Photoshop. It’s like when you’re watching a movie and the special effects happen and you say, “Hey, look at the special effects.” Same thing here. You see the ad and say, “Hey, look at the Photoshop.”

The art of Photoshop is making it look like you didn’t use Photoshop.

That being said, Photoshop is an industry standard tool (along with InDesign, Acrobat, Quark Xpress, etc). If you’re using any program that starts with the word Microsoft to produce professional layouts…well, there’s an ancient samurai tradition of throwing yourself on a sword to restore honor to your family. You should seriously look into that one.

This episode of Design-Snobbery brought to you by Adobe.



  1. says


    don’t be looking at my graphics- you might hurt me.
    No, I actually know what you mean. I almost wish that I had spent my college years in some sort of DESIGN/Communication element–but the Business school looked promising–then seminary and now here I am dealing with Graphics, Media, Print, Lighting, Stage Design, Music, etc. etc.

    But thanks for the reminder–it humbled me 🙂

  2. says

    Amen. Same can be said of any tool really. Buying a band saw doesn’t make you a carpenter, buying a sports car doesn’t make you good driver, buying a fancy camera doesn’t make you a good photographer, etc.


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