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Graphics Design Software - A Look Into The Alternative Options Accessible

- - Sanny Tendilla

By Arthur Vargas

It's no longer the case that a graphic designer's tools consist of pencil, pen, brush, exacto knife and illustration board. Designers nowadays rely on expensive and constantly changing graphic design software. At some point or other, the designer has to decide to upgrade his or her present software or change to another brand. And, then the designer must learn all the new functions of this version of software. Changes in the look and feel of a program can have a dramatic effect on the graphic designer, as they may spend more time re-learning how to use the program than actually using it to design. On top of that, there's different graphic design software for desktop publishing, web design, illustration, and photography.

For much of the last decade, the desktop publishing arena was ruled by Quark Express. With In Design, Adobe has been seriously trying to regain its superiority in desktop publishing over the past few years. If Adobe squashes Quark it will pretty much have a monopoly in graphic design software, having already swallowed up Macromedia and much of its other competition.

At the end of 2005, Adobe concluded its acquisition of Macromedia which made it the owner of Dreamweaver - usually acclaimed as one of the best and sometimes the most difficult to use web design software available. Within the field of professional Web design, Dreamweaver has little competition. Microsoft's Front Page still provides services for non-professionals and some professionals who are old-time PC users. Although, Adobe, with the Dreamweaver application, has gained a semi-monopoly in this area also.

Adobe Photoshop is the undisputed leader in graphic design software when it comes to photography. A lot of design programs exist for your computer and for the user, it is always important to know about these graphic design programs. Some companies will only produce plug-ins for Photoshop, until Adobe is forced to buy them.

To illustrate, could graphic arts software be used? Again, Adobe is the leader, with Adobe Illustrator used and recognized by the most professionals it usually wins hands down against the competition. It is not always, the easiest to use program or the program which has the most functions. You should look for the greatest overall compatibility. Corel Draw, Canadian illustration competitor to Illustrator is acknowledged by many to be easier and have more functions - but the files are hard to use anywhere but with Corel. So that limits across program functionality and thus its popularity.

One of the reasons InDesign is gaining so much ground is the ease of use with all of the other graphic design software programs in the Adobe family. You can move between them quickly and smoothly. Adobe now has all it's programs together as a "Creative Suite" which makes it easy for one-stop shopping.

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