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Graphic design Software

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ksl
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Graphic design Software

Postby ksl » Sun, 29 Mar 2009 10:10 pm

I'm just curious what other graphic designers recommend in the software industry.

I have a designer friend in Denmark who explained to me why he uses what he does, for his graphic design work and I was wondering if graphic designers ever upgrade to better software, because it takes such a long period of time to master one package.

I'm only a novice when it comes to software, although i have tried quite a few packages like corel, bryce, seriff, Illustrator, and a couple of the not so well known ones.

I'm interested in remarks from banana, UK design, addadud and anyone else with interest in graphic software.. I am about to purchase a package, which is very cheap and surprisingly very easy to use, but very surprised that not many know of it here in Singapore, which makes me think some people maybe too conservative to try new things, and they just prefer Illustrator, which appears to be the norm in Singapore, but i may be wrong. I found Illustrator far too expensive for my needs, even the educational package which is around 1200$,

I'm also forever told about incompatibility problems, by some of the designers and printers, although i have never had a problem to change a file, into another application.

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Postby Addadude » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 9:01 am

In a word, InDesign.

In my experience, the really popular software here for design is/was Freehand. Every agency I've worked in used it. But now Freehand is being phased out and replaced by InDesign.

Actually I started off in Ireland using Pantone markers - the ultimate freehand software! Then I graduated to Quark Express 1. Came to singapore in 1994 and had to learn Pagemaker. 3 years later I had to get my head around Freehand (and various incarnations thereafter) and around 1999, I did on on the spot 'crash course' in Photoshop when one oy my designers quit at an inopportune moment. (Not bad for a guy who's supposed to be a copywriter!)

But, yes, InDesign is the new industry standard. (And everybody I know who's changed over to it, loves it.)
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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 2:57 pm

I use Adobe Creative Suite which incorporates InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and not forgetting Acrobat Professional.

People always forget about the last one but it does have some very important features.
I used to use Quark but when I went to upgrade they wanted over £1000. That didn't include illustrator or photoshop.

So I cheated and bought an old copy of Photoshop and then upgraded to the CS Suite. InDesign is now the pretty industry standard. Far superior in my opinion to Quark now and with it's integration with the other 2 items it works flawlessly.
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Postby ksl » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:27 pm

Thanks guys, that was quite informative for me, professional packages for sure, which are very costly. I have found a light weight i can play around with called Xara extreme apparently, it is more suitable for the novice like me, for 89$ so i have decided to play around with it to develop my own concepts, of course they can be polished up, by the pro afterwards, but it's much easier than trying to explain a concept and the files are easy to convert.

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Postby durain » Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:43 pm

how about paint.net?

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Postby cbavasi » Tue, 31 Mar 2009 2:23 pm

I second Creative Suite - in particular I really like working in Illustrator. It is an investment - but if you are using it for personal use and not as a company package it's about 1/3 the cost. The only thing is I've been told you can't get the upgrades - not sure if this is accurate. I'm not sure how the others feel but I don't find there is a huge difference between CS2 and CS4 (?)

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Postby ksl » Tue, 31 Mar 2009 3:23 pm

cbavasi wrote:I second Creative Suite - in particular I really like working in Illustrator. It is an investment - but if you are using it for personal use and not as a company package it's about 1/3 the cost. The only thing is I've been told you can't get the upgrades - not sure if this is accurate. I'm not sure how the others feel but I don't find there is a huge difference between CS2 and CS4 (?)
The vector graphics with Xara are 10 times faster than illustrator cs3 apparently, I'm just watching the movie tutorials at the moment, cheap at 89$ US and converting is easy, although i doubt its used by the pro's.

Xara have an idiot guide to website design also, just drag and drop, couldn't ask for a simpler program, no HTML, just trying the trial period, also very cheap, pro templates, and flash ability too.

Although it can never beat a good pro designer, that's what one pays for.

I quite like this website here www.steaz.com pretty cool

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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 06 Apr 2009 11:54 am

what you need to remember that if you need to pass the designs onto a designer that some of the elemnts might drop out.

No offence but the lesser used programs don't have the same capabilities as the designers choice of programs.

If memory serves me right Xara used to be really strong for design on the pc years ago but then just dropped away. Adobe & Macromedia gave designers a wider choice of tools and pallettes and finishing elements. I think the nearest to Xara these days is Painter but that's more on the drawing side, as in charcoal, painting and that kind of thing.

As far as website design is concerned, no you won't have the same full capabilities as say dreamweaver & flash and the likes of other pro software but if you're not doing high end design then why pay for those kind of programs.

As for speed of the app, that is down to the computer you're using (I'm on a mac and illustrator is speedy enough) and also the tools you're using. The pro apps are alot more complicated and tools heavy but that's what we need and use so therefore the program is bound to be slightly slower.

Good luck on the designs...
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Postby ksl » Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:16 pm

I think it was Corel Draw before Xara, it was taken over by another company, they have been working on the core program to improve it.

Xara have launched a new website build with over 700 pro templates, flash is easy used by adding an embedded object, You get the animated flash program with it. You should download the 30 day trial and play around with it for a while, the movie tutorial is easy, for 89$ it is very flexible, you don't really need any html experience, and the websites are CSS.. Of course those that are already using dreamweaver and creative suit, will be able to manipulate the programs much easier, than those that have no knowledge of dreamweaver..But it's handy.

It was sent to me from a graphic designer friend in Denmark, I didn't know abou it until then, he said it's very handy to have, because of the drag and drop, and the vector graphics, its been updated to work with most applications.
Last edited by ksl on Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby ukdesigner » Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:20 pm

PC only and I hate running windows.... I use windows as little as I possibly can so will stick with my iweb at the moment until I can get Freeway Pro as that's a pretty nice program to use.
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Postby ksl » Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:22 pm

ukdesigner wrote:PC only and I hate running windows.... I use windows as little as I possibly can so will stick with my iweb at the moment until I can get Freeway Pro as that's a pretty nice program to use.


Got to agree with you there too! Windows sucks!


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