As Director of Media, Communications, and Technology, there are many things I need to do. I’m responsible of creating CD and DVD Messages, updating multiple web site, creating advertising, managing social media networks and sending out e-letters and newsletters. I’m required to use many different software applications during all this. This is something I’m often asked. After being asked many times, I decided to compile all of the information in a single list. And because not everyone has the funds to purchase Photoshop and other high-priced apps, I added some more affordable and free alternatives. It may not be best, most popular, or the most efficient way to do things but it works for us.
Adobe Photoshop is the number one program we use for graphic design at work. Photoshop is the best program to use for graphic design. Professional graphic designers either use it or wish they did. If they don’t, they are an exception to the rule. Photoshop is used to create every visual print or web graphics, as well as some of our DVD menus. Photoshop is used for all our message inserts, advertisements and many more. I’ll get on to the more things’ later.
Even though we use Photoshop, it is not for everyone. Photoshop prices range from $500 to $1500 depending upon the version and suite. An Extended version of Photoshop, which can do 3D work, is available for a higher price. When you buy the design standard suite, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign are included. Acrobat is also included. Bridge is a program used to organize files. Illustrator creates or edits vector files while InDesign does your desktop publishing. Acrobat edits and creates PDF files. All these programs are standard professional software. These programs are likely to be found on magazines at Walmart. Photoshop Elements is also available in a lite version. But if you are serious about designing graphics, I wouldn’t recommend it. Google “free alternatives to Photoshop” if you’re looking for an alternative. Gimp is an alternative to Photoshop. It is free and I’ve heard amazing things about it. Krita, Adobe Photoshop Express (free Web-based program), Photoscape (amongst many other) are all available.