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Graphics Design Software

Posted on 2013-01-14
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Last Modified: 2013-01-16
I have been tasked with finding graphic design software to do the following:

1. Design and Layout Product Brochures
2. Do illustrations / photo editing
3. Create print advertising / internal announcements

I also have approval to send the end user to training to learn how to use it.

I initially thought about the Adobe Creative Suite; Open to ideas / suggestions / feedback from those with similar experience.
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Question by:IT_LabRat
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9 Comments
 
LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 675 total points
ID: 38776123
I think you would be better served with two software packages. QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign for Design and Layout Product Brochures and Create print advertising / internal announcements. And Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro for illustrations / photo editing.

If you try for one package that does both, it will do neither really well.

You can also use GIMP and Scribus which are both free, open source packages.
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LVL 70

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by:Merete
Merete earned 150 total points
ID: 38776291
If costs come into play, and how much time is allocated to do the task, learning curb.
You could do most of this using the Office tools.
1. Design and Layout Product Brochures<< try Office Publishers/powerpoint
How to Create Brochures Using Microsoft Publisher
Create a three-panel or four-panel folded publication
Free Publisher Templates
As per Above I prefer Coral less complex
Creative photo editor
PaintShop Pro X5
Paint dot net very handy to add some extras and free
Image editing in PowerPoint 2010
http://powerpointinfo.blogspot.com/2010/05/photoshop-like-image-editing-in.html
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by:IT_LabRat
ID: 38776292
The Adobe Creative Suite I looked into has both the InDesign & Photoshop included. You can subscribe to is as a "Software As a Service" from Adobe for less than $100 / mth.

@paulsauve Have you used all of the ones you mentioned?
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jmpg_70 earned 675 total points
ID: 38777440
I think you would be better served with two software packages. QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign for Design and Layout Product Brochures and Create print advertising / internal announcements. And Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro for illustrations / photo editing.

If you try for one package that does both, it will do neither really well.

You can also use GIMP and Scribus which are both free, open source packages.

I would agree with the first part of this statement whole heartedly. However I wouldn't feel comfortable offering the the advice about the free and open source packages if you are going to engage with commercial printing and production in anyway.

It is fair to say each application will output a PDF from which you can print from. However you will inevitably run into circumstances where a printer will say send me the Quark file, send me the Indesign file and you can't if you use OPENSOURCE software.

Also the use of Corel and Quark may be a limitation. Although once a standard Quark has lost a lot of favour and support in the last ten years and Corel has has patchy reception in various areas and countries ( I am from Australia and no Offset printer would touch Corel, but Signage shops use to use it extensively).

If you are going to do multi-media or web work you may have difficulties with Quark and Corel. Also these two application have been known to create unusual PDF problems that can be hard to resolve.

If I was in your circumstance I would research the way you will be outputting work and talk to any commercial suppliers and see what they would prefer to work from.

jmpg
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 38781029
@jmpg Open source is NOT my first recommendation either!

@IT_LabRat I use GIMP & Scribus for my work at home (I'm a retired IT guy.)

Inless this is a one-shot deal, I don't think leasing is a good option.

As jmpg says
If I was in your circumstance I would research the way you will be outputting work and talk to any commercial suppliers and see what they would prefer to work from.
I did an extensive study some years ago as to using Mac or PC for our graphics depaetment. I contacted all of our suppliers before making any recommendations.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:jmpg_70
ID: 38781315
@paulsauve


The Platform that you work on isn't the issue it is the software that needs researching, so using Mac or Windows is not really the issue. These days either Platform will produce equal and Platform compatible artwork (apart from font technology).

Generically, there is no point using Product A, if no one in your region will print from product A.

There is no point using Product B if you need web ready artwork if Product B won't generate web ready artwork.

My example of Corel is from personal experience and was a very steep and painful learning curve. Having created a series of brochures usign Corel only to be told that Corel can't be printed from, I then had to purchase the correct software (PageMaker)and re-do the job. You need to know what applications printers will use if you are going to be generating digital or off-set printed material (you will also need to be able to get artwork produced correctly).
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 38784242
@jmpg_70

I agree - It is always a good idea to check with your suppliers to find out what the can handle - my research experience was just an example. Sorry for any confusion :-)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:jmpg_70
ID: 38784859
to everyone

The last point and one we have all missed is the OP needs to send the end user to training.

I doubt there are training providers for any of the open source software.

So to summarise...

Training for OPENSOURCE will be next to impossible, commercial vendors will have any number of commercial and Web based training available.

1. Design and Layout Product Brochures

Adobe Indesign, Quark as the main players, maybe Corel, at a pinch Word.

2. Do illustrations / photo editing

Adobe Illustrator for Illustrations, Photoshop for image/photo editing, then any number of OPENSOURCE solutions

3. Create print advertising / internal announcements

Print advertising Adobe Creative suit ( you'll need some aspect of all the software) internal anounce CS again or MS Word.

cheers

jmpg
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:IT_LabRat
ID: 38784975
Well done, jmpg.

Thanks to all for the input.

We are going with the Adobe Cloud Creative Suite - which allows for collaborating on work, as well as storing documents on Adobe's servers to allow others to access and modify accordingly. Perfect for what we need.

Cheerio.
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