As the Director of Media, Communications, and Technology, my job requires me to manage many different tasks. I’m responsible for creating CDs and DVD messages, creating and updating multiple sites, creating advertisements, running social networks on the internet, and sending our newsletters. It is necessary to be able to use many different applications in all of these tasks. This is often a question that I am asked. After being asked this question a few times, I decided that all the relevant information should be compiled into a list. Since not everyone can afford Photoshop and other expensive apps, I decided to offer cheaper and more free alternatives. While this is not the best or easiest or most popular method, it is how we do things at the moment.
Adobe Photoshop is our number one graphic design program. Photoshop is the most important program in graphic design. Photoshop is used by all professional graphic designers. If they don’t use it, they are the exception to this rule. Photoshop is used for any visual print, web graphic and some DVD menus. Photoshop is also used for our advertising, message inserts and other items. The’more’ will be covered later.
While we are proficient in Photoshop, not everyone is able to use it. Photoshop costs between $500 and $1500, depending on the version and the suite. There are two options: the standard Photoshop version or the extended Photoshop that does 3D. The latter costs more. The design standard suite includes Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Bridge, and InDesign. Bridge is a program that organizes files. Illustrator creates vector files and edits them, while InDesign does desktop publishing. Acrobat creates and edits PDF files. These programs are professional standard software. All of these programs can be used to make magazines, which you will see on Walmart shelves. Photoshop Elements has a lighter version, Photoshop Elements, that I recommend you skip if your serious about graphic design. If you need an alternative, you can search “free alternative Photoshop”. Gimp, a program that allows you to create and edit photos in a variety of formats, is one of the most popular alternatives to Photoshop. It’s a free program and I’ve heard great things about it. Krita, Adobe Photoshop Express (free website-based program), Photoscape (among others) are also available.