Alternatives to Using the Adobe Creative Suite

December 3, 2012by NormSoftware0

There has been a lot of fire out there about Adobe changing their upgrade policy and some users feeling like Adobe is taking advantage of their monopoly on the design application market. So I thought I would go through and find a few alternatives to Adobe applications. I’m not saying that any of these are better than Adobe’s offerings I just wanted to put out a list of a few alternatives. I’m only going to focus on the major design (No web apps) applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. There are tons of alternatives out there but I decided to focus on a handful from each category. I did not have time to go through and write a description for each piece of software but I did grab their marketing description from their website to give you an idea of what the application is advertised to do. I personally work on a Mac, having that in mind I tried to find applications for all platforms not just focusing on my side of the computer world. I have not used all of the software, but I did go through and make sure that it was reviewed well and generally excepted to be a good product. The price range on the software I’ve selected runs the gamut. Some are expensive, some are reasonable, some are free and most come with trial versions so the barrier to giving it a shot is only the time you have to invest. So try these applications and decide whether any of this software will work in your creative process.
GIMP is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and more.
Price: Free
Platforms: Mac, Windows and Linux
Pixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images.
Price: $14.99
Platforms: Mac
Acorn is a photo editor built for the rest of us. With a simple interface and tools for adding everything from text, shapes, and effects, you can make the perfect picture in seconds and minutes, not hours and days.
Price: $49.99
Platforms: Mac
A simple but lovely natural media painting and sketching program. Art oriented, but capable of loading/saving photoshop files. A very cheap alternative to Painter, with a stripped down, elegant interface.
Price: $29.90 to $59.90
Platforms: Mac and Windows
Corel Painter is a raster-based digital art application created to simulate as accurately as possible the appearance and behavior of traditional media associated with drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is intended to be used in real-time by professional digital artists as a functional creative tool.
Price: $429.00
Platforms: Mac and Windows
Autodesk Sketchbook Pro drawing software features an artist-friendly, gesture-based user interface that is so fast and intuitive even new users can be productive within minutes.
 Price: $59.90
Platforms: Mac and Windows
An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.
Price: Free
Platforms: Mac, Windows and Linux
With vector illustration, page layout, photo-editing and tracing software, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 is ideal for professional and occasional designers tackling any type of graphics project. Precision design tools, market-leading file compatibility and high-quality graphics content help you turn your creative ideas into professional results.
Price: $499.00
Platforms: Windows
The vector tools and basic shapes are a fantastic starting point for any drawing, whether you design for web, icons, and more. Sketch has more advanced layer style options than you can dream of: multiple shadows, multiple fills, gradients, noise, blending, blur, and more. To top it off, Sketch has boolean operations to combine multiple shapes into much more complex ones — all of this is non- destructive.
Price: $49.00
Platforms: Mac
Boost your productivity, drive automated design, and go digital with QuarkXPress — the most reliable print design and publishing tool that is now the easiest, most powerful tool for digital design and publishing.
Price: $849.00
Platforms: Mac and Windows
Scribus is a desktop publishing (DTP) application. Scribus is designed for flexible layout and typesetting, and the ability to prepare files for professional quality image setting equipment. It can also create animated and interactive PDF presentations and forms. Example uses include writing small newspapers, brochures, newsletters, posters and books.
Price: Free
Platforms: Mac, Windows and Linux
I’m sure there are plenty more applications that I missed and this is just a small sampling. So if I missed something major please leave it in the comments and I can go back and add in any major omissions.

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