General Question

writerini's avatar

Good graphic design program?

Asked by writerini (154points) July 14th, 2008

The catch: A $50.00 budget.

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14 Answers

XCNuse's avatar

my friend used it for his art class last semester and loved it, he said he would have preferred illustrator, but what student has $600 to spend on something like that…?

I haven’t used inkscape myself, i’ve been around illustrator and still have no idea how to use it, but I believe inkscape can do everything, but it just isn’t as UI friendly, but not 100% sure. Check it out!

Oh, forgot to mention.. its free!

writerini's avatar

@XCNuse Is it free?

XCNuse's avatar

“Oh, forgot to mention.. its free!”

sure is!

blastfamy's avatar

Following the trend of vector art programs, you may also enjoy DrawIt.

Demo for free (most features there), or ~$42 for the full thing. It’s mac only. I’ve used it. Inkscape does work on the mac, but it has to run under X11; yuck!

GIMP is good for raster (pixels), and it, too is free. Mac/Win.

You would also be surprised what you can accomplish with Open Office. This free office suite has all kinds of art/layout ability with a free office suite to boot! Mac/Win

Point is, if you are really trying not to spend much money, than you really don’t have to spend anything at all!

benseven's avatar

@XCNuse – This is a dangerous myth – there are student versions of the Adobe Apps for significantly cheaper, search for ‘Student Edition’ on

Vincentt's avatar

I have to second Inkscape, it’s fan-tas-tic. I personally find it very easy to use, very UI friendly, though I’ve never used Illustrator.

It’s a vector drawing application though, if you want a good raster graphics editor, the GIMP indeed is awesome. The GIMP, though, does have an aweful UI, but you can get used to it ;-)

And what’s so cool about both, is that they are largely created by volunteers working together from all around the world, providing those very high-quality applications to you free of charge ^.^

writerini's avatar

@XCNuse Whoops, I’m sorry! Didn’t catch that last part. :)

writerini's avatar

What is UI?

writerini's avatar

And, doesn’t GIMP run under X11?

Vincentt's avatar

UI=User Interface, so the buttons you click, the area you draw on, etc. etc.

GIMP uses at least two separate windows when drawing, though you’ll mostly have three open, and it’s terrible. It can run under X11 I suppose, not sure whether it’s required (don’t think so as it can run under Windows fine, but I’m not too sure what X11 is so…).

blastfamy's avatar

I’m pretty sure that GIMP runs on X11.

For the curious, X11 is an Apple implementation of the X window system on the mac.

It is an environment for X window GUI programs to run in.

Essentially, the X window system is very common for GUIs on linux and Unix environments. Because GIMP is written for the X window system; to port it to mac, the app uses X11 to keep the interface constant.
The Windows flavor of The GIMP has its own GUI. It just looks the same. Windows, to my knowledge has no support for the X window system.

gcoghill's avatar

DrawIt and Inkscape are technically vector art programs. With such a small budget, and if you are using a Mac, you might look at Pages. I have not really used it for layout, but from what I understand, it seems to have basic page layout capabilities.

I am assuming you don’t need something professional-caliber. Otherwise you want to make sure the file that are output by these programs produce files that a print provider can use. I have no idea if any of them are capable of this or not.

PetShark's avatar

As a design professional, i would encourage you to work with the tools the industry actually uses. And if you are a student, then please send the $398 and get the entire creative suite package from a place like this
You will never regret it.

Grabbins's avatar

I agree 100% with PetShark. Adobe Creative Suite tends to be the industry standard for design and other forms of digital media these days, not the freebies!

I have been a Junior Designer now for 4 months and I can honestly say that knowing Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (as well as a little bit of Quark Xpress and Freehand) has given me a huge advantage as a Junior. Not to mention the flexibility you have in software that you know how to use. If you don’t understand the software or don’t know how to use it then it will restrict your creativity and productivity. So learn as much as possible as fast as possible.

If you wish to create digital art, illustration, typography, design etc etc in your spare time as a hobby, then get your hands on whatever you can!

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