The Graphic Design Evolution
The art of Graphic Designing has taken a very positive evolution from the days of an artist sitting at his desk and meticulously drawing designs and then transferring them to his computer by means of a scanner to the technology of computer generated renderings, pre-fabricated clip art and peripherals that are either attached to the computer or touch screens and stylus.
However, even with these time-saving advancements there is still no substitute for imagination and talent. I have observed designs that belie the economical attempts of clients wishing to save money but create extremely amateurish renditions; to the most sophisticated and thought provoking displays.
On the high end there is the software suites made available by Adobe which is referred to as the standard and other medium priced suites from Corel, Serif, Microsoft, Summit and Broderbund to the less expensive ones that can be purchase for only a few dollars.
Being both an Instructional and Graphic Designer, I have been exposure to software at both ends of the spectrum as well as having to draw with pencil on paper. I speak with at least 15 years of experience as both a personal and professional designer and I find that when a person possesses true talent, he or she is able to create designs using any type of media.
In my earlier college days, I was exposed to Macromedia Studio Mx (2004 Education Version) which consisted of Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks and Freehand. It was designed to be used on the Mac, Windows 98SE, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. I truly enjoyed the somewhat ease of use and integration of the various components. Although a little intimidating in the beginning, I was happy with the outcome. Notably, I have kept this software in my library.
In 2005, Macromedia was acquisitioned by Adobe and I later purchased InDesign CS. Talk about a learning curve, I spent many painstaking hours pondering over a book entitled: Adobe InDesign CS Classroom in a Book as well as several CDs. Although I was able to successfully use the software; I could never quite master it. I felt awkward and clumsy and I began looking for substitutes at a more reasonable price.
My experience with CorelDraw 12 and upwards was more successful and I find Corel PaintShop Pro series not only a powerful photo editing software with stunning creative results but also much easier to use. I do quite a lot of photo editing and I need software that will get the job done both efficiently and economically.
This is not an attempt to recommend one particular software package over another, but to document my experiences and share my love for both designing and photo editing. For those who are faithful users of the Adobe series—I congratulate you on your mastery of a fine suite of designer products. I have just found that I can achieve the necessary results using a different product.
I was recently introduced to the PagePlus and PhotoPlus software products under the Serif brand. I found PagePlus 6X and X7 to be both wonderful in the creation of brochures and booklets. I enjoy following the guided tutorials and create ideas on the website and I have been successful in producing some very impressive materials. As for the PhotoPlus X7, I personally feel that it has great potential however I am still a very loyal user of Corel PaintShop.
Broderbund’s Paint Shop Pro series has also been a favorite of mine for at least 15 years. Its many templates and thousands of clip art and photographs are invaluable in creating hundreds of greeting cards, calendars and business cards. I have made countless products with this software and it has generated numerous satisfied clients.
I recently came across a book that contained many of my drawings and I was delighted to see that I was quite the creative designing lady during my youth. I must admit that I have limited my doodling to the occasional boring meeting—I am glad to know that I still possess these skills.
In conclusion, there are many very fine software products on the market for the Graphic Designer to choose. If you work for a large company and are not constrained by budget limitations, then choose the industry standard. If on the other hand, you operate a sole propriety or partnership—perhaps you may want to investigate some of the other alternatives which offer great results at a reduced price.
Whatever you decide, be yet another happy Designing Woman or Man and enjoy a pastime or career that gives you an enormous amount of pleasure and profit at the same time.