General Question

10dier's avatar

Designers, how much percentage of softwares did you BUY on your PC...?

Asked by 10dier (29points) August 27th, 2008

Designers are using mostly CS3 products like Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign After Effects, Flash etc. They may use 3D softwares as well (Cinema 4D…), Video editing/mixing…

My question is related to them, did you buy 30% of the softwares you use on your pc, or 50% or all? Or any…?

I’d like to make my own survey to know how much designers are buying the software they use.

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32 Answers

crunchaweezy's avatar

I starting designing using Illustrator and Photoshop. That was 1 year ago, I didn’t know anything about design. I didn’t know how to use Photoshop or Illustrator. I pirated them. Since there was no way I would’ve bought them. I was also 14 at the time and though it was outrageous.

Fast forward to today, I do amazing work in both programs and have since bought them both. That’s how I think it should be, and Adobe likes it like that.

Pirate – Find out it works and will make you money – buy.

tWrex's avatar

It’s dependent. If I can use an open source solution to get the job done then I’ll use that. If the job necessitates something different, then I’ll have to go with a…. we’ll call them sketchy… copy of the software. The other thing is, if you’re doing a brief for a client and being paid, you absolutely need a license. I bought one for the first cs (ouch) so I’ll use that if there’s scratch involved. If not and it’s easier to use a ‘sketchy’ copy then whatever. You’re not making anything off it so what’s the difference. As a student… LoL. Everything’s pirated. I don’t think I knew anyone that even owned their OS.

wilhel1812's avatar

something between 50% and 80%
well, saying buy, do you mean that i bought them or legally licensed versions?

damien's avatar

I’d never dream of using pirated software for my business. If it’s needed for my business, then I should be able to justify the cost. If the cost is unjustifiable, surely the need for the software is, too? Or look for a more affordable alternative if it’s really needed.

When I was a student, it was a completely different matter though.

10dier's avatar

Oh I mean buying legally licensed versions, with your name etc.

damien's avatar

Do you mean buying software as opposed to free alternatives? Open Source and the like?

Bri_L's avatar

I used office versions or demo versions to learn them.

I bought them when I started to use them to make money.

wilhel1812's avatar

Well, around 60% of my software is legally, through schools and stuff. the rest is either freeware or pirated…

benseven's avatar

I use pirate at home, official in work.
If I was making enough money, I’d buy for home too.
I seem to get by feeling half guilty.

sndfreQ's avatar

100 percent legit all legally owned/purchased…and when I was a starving student, same as damien said above.

10dier's avatar

The problem under this question is how to do when you want to learn, spend time on these softwares but you don’t have any money?
If you really want to be a designer then, you HAVE to work on Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign etc. You can’t work with GIMP!! Haha.
30 days is not enough (trial) if you really want to SEE, or practice I think. I know these softwares since many years and I still learn everyday new tips…

sndfreQ's avatar

If you’re a student, then all of the software titles you mention are offered at student discount prices. Otherwise, Final Cut Express and Photoshop Elements are essentially the same programs as their full-bore counterparts minus some advanced features/filters/import/export options,, and are usually a fraction of the price. For example Final Cut Express retails just under $200, and provides most of the entry level HD functionality as FCP, minus the “suite” of other programs. Other titles are starting to follow suit.

Bri_L's avatar

What sndfeQ says is true. And the types of things that are missing are so seldom used on so much of what you do if your learning the program and trying to make money at it, it shouldn’t be a problem to budget money in over a few jobs.

tWrex's avatar

@sndfreQ @Bri_L You seriously can’t have students justify spending a few hundred dollars on each program when they can barely pay for the schooling itself. I mean seriously, the discounts are a nice gesture, but there’s no way a student can afford all that software. Again, if you’re making money, you should be paying for the software or using open source software. But it’s crazy thinking a student paying 8 grand a semester on loans for the next 50 years can afford another grand for software. That’s not even including books!

Bri_L's avatar

@ tWrex – I went to college so you really don’t need to remind me what the costs are, thanks. I also recall what else college students spent their money on. You could save $200 in food, music, clothing, beer, gas and other bull for the programs so please stop with the persecution act. People do it.

And yes, if you want to have legitimate copies you have to pay for it. Your circumstances don’t matter. When you graduate do you think the professional world is going to listen to you whine like you did up above?

I noticed you put our answers down without making a suggestion. Do you have one?

tWrex's avatar

@Bri_L My apologies with the reminder. I OBVIOUSLY overstepped my boundaries. And let me be clear about what college students I was referring to. Not the ones that have the money to buy the music, clothes and beer. I was referring to those who aren’t living the life. And where in the hell did I persecute anyone? Just curious.

And while I may be in school, I also AM a professional in the professional world. My company buys my software and things work well. And I already made suggestions above. My apologies for not repeating them again so you wouldn’t have to read my original post. Here’s what I first said:

“If I can use an open source solution to get the job done then I’ll use that… The other thing is, if you’re doing a brief for a client and being paid, you absolutely need a license. I bought one for the first cs (ouch) so I’ll use that if there’s scratch involved.”

I sure hope that this post is up to your standards as I would hate to disappoint you again and end up whining.

{edit} I just realized that in my above post I did post a suggestion: “Again, if you’re making money, you should be paying for the software or using open source software.”{/edit}

sndfreQ's avatar

Here’s the thing: most of the major software developers (namely Apple, Adobe, Autodesk, Avid) already work with campuses who have identified programs of study in the arts; in most cases the cost of full-blown software (CS3 Design Premium for example) goes for as much as 85 percent off of the full commercial price. That is the equvalent to the coat of a textbook or two (have you seen the price gouging happening with texts?). Software can be categorized as supplies for a student who is a declared major, and often find financial aid I support that investment (in the same manner as textbook stipends). In the fie art department at my college the painting class requires $400 in art supplies to be purchased; for a whole suite of digital ink & paint, photo and layout tools, plus web publishing/multimedia to all cost less than a single class’ expendible supplies, I’m just not seeing much in the way of the “I’m a struggling student so I should be entitled to steal software because I’ll pay for it eventually” argument.

Ultimately we’re just in a different age of tech and education…just my opinion…YMMV

tWrex's avatar

@sndfreQ Ok. I’m gonna be done defending my point. It’s obvious that me and several of you cannot see eye to eye on this and that’s cool. Not a big deal to me. And yes textbook prices are ridiculous. Had a friend spend 500 bucks on a math book. Like it’s changed in the past 20 years, right?

I understand having to spend that type of money on fine art supplies as well, since when you need these types of programs you normally are an art student needing to take traditional art classes. And yes software can be categorized as supplies, but financial aid only covers so much of that. And finally, the cost of an educational license for the ‘whole suite of digital ink & paint, photo and layout tools, plus web publishing/multimedia’ does not cost less than those supplies. That’s a main supplier of educational software. It’s a nice discount, but… ugh. Even if you went with the honed down version it’s still more.

Again, people can use open source software. It’s pretty much all I use and all I recommend. Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, Blender, VI or emacs and Open Office. There’s your photoshop, illustrator, quark, maya, dreamweaver and office. All mainstays in my workflow.

10dier's avatar

● IMac _{3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-4 GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM – 2×2 GB-1TB Serial ATA Drive-NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS w/512MB GDDR3-Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
-Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) + User’s Guide-Aperture preinstalled}_ > $2,898.00

● Final Cut Studio 2 > $1,299.00

● Final Cut Studio 2 – Upgrade from Final Cut Studio > $499.00

● Office 2008 for Mac – Home and Student Edition > $149.95

● Adobe Creative Suite 3.3 Master Collection > US $2,499.00

- TOTAL $ 7.344,95 – This is the “minimum” configuration that a professional designer need. Of course there are plenty of little softwares/Apps etc. and also Lots of Plug-ins, effects etc. for Final Cut Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop…

I’m not a student, I work since 12 years in Branding and design fields. But it’s still pain in the “knees” to buy legally all that stuff… But you NEED it. Because your company use these, so you need to have the same at home to improve your skills or to continue to work on some files…
I would like to know which kind of student can afford this… Even me with a salary, I can’t !! Wouahaha ; )
Seriously, I was wondering if it was not a strategy of the Adobe etc. companies to “allow” easy cracking codes for their softwares in order to be the first worldwide…(?)
When I ask to all my friends or professional around me in the same job, I can say NO ONE bought 1 software legally. (should I change of friends? haha). Even the ones are working in freelance. It’s BAD, baaaaad. But it’s the truth…
We HAVE to pay these softwares in order for them to continue to improve, to pay the research etc; but will it be a solution to give 2 prices: 1 for the companies and 1 less expensive for the “public”?
I don’t know the solution for now.
But I’d like to thank you all for your interesting answers and… Please, stay polite and respect the others even if you don’t agree with them?

damien's avatar

I’m sorry but that’s no “minimum” configuration. Far from it. If you’re doing a varied course with video editing, photo manipulation, illustration, print design, web design, etc, etc. then you wouldn’t need the pro versions just to practice at home on. And “NEEDING” a beasty 24” top-of-the-range iMac to run them on? It’d be nice, sure. But it’s not needed. Not for a student. Plus, as sndfreQ pointed out, you would get the cheaper student editions. Making that “minimum” even further off the mark.

benseven's avatar

I agree. That machine is over-spec’d, and could even be a PC (did I really just say that!?).

If you’re going to make a case, make it realistic.

AlbertKinng's avatar

90% paid 10% pirated. True

sndfreQ's avatar

You’re entitled to your own opinion but regarding high pricing, pirating is the reason we have the problem. I prefer to be a part of the solution, not exacerbate the problem.

Truth be told, the majority of labor sectors using that kind of tech are high-wage because they require high skill and an foundation in arts and media. I got to where I am on my own and took out many thousands of dollars in Stafford loans that I’m still paying back, but in spite of this, I have purchased my own software and hardware from day one. After a year or two of pirating early on in college, I realized the error in my ways and as I started to earn income saved, sacrificed and prioritized necessities over luxuries.

It was difficult but not impossible-if you spend wisely.

Bri_L's avatar

@tWrex- My sincere apologies. I did read your first post and, in the mix of the answer, there was an answer, sort of. You do what you need to do.

Also, as you did, I was referring to students in general.

I couldn’t care less how you post. But if this is any representation of how you do business, I would not call you a professional. I would be hard pressed to call you a grown up.

As far as the topic. It comes down to morality.

Most schools have the programs available for those who can’t afford them as well. In the end, what are you able to convince your self is ok.

tWrex's avatar

@Bri_L You seem to have some issue with me, which is obvious since you continue to attack me personally, so here we go. There was no “sort of” answer. I said use open source software. Done. Secondly, you’d be hard pressed to call me anything considering you don’t know a damn thing about me. A grown up would know when to just bow out of the convo, since I said I was done defending my point. You’re trolling for an issue. I said we couldn’t see eye to eye and I was done ‘cause it was no big deal. Now you continue to attack and slander me. And you’re the grown up here? Seriously, get bent. You want to debate morality; find a new topic. Finally, I don’t have to convince myself of anything. I was answering the posters question.

benseven's avatar

I couldn’t care less how you post. But if this is any representation of how you do business, I would not call you a professional. I would be hard pressed to call you a grown up.

If I did business the way I post, I’d have no clients, and no full time job. This is the internet, and in the absence of being able to read someone’s body language, facial features and tone of voice… as well as the ability to be a jackass with very few reprocussions (which is what I seem to spend a lot of time doing…)

Just my two cents…

Bri_L's avatar

The morality point was for this question, not for you

@ tWrex – I am going to do this here because it should be public. Some of what I typed was over reacting and uncalled for. I apologize. I have been working on that. I am sincerely sorry for that. I also apologize to the other people in the thread for wasting there time.

Ask benseven what an ass I can be in private. I know he wont hold back and I don’t want him to. It is all true.

As far as the topic I wont completely disagree with you. I believe these statements are correct.

“It’s dependent. If I can use an open source solution to get the job done then I’ll use that.”

“The other thing is, if you’re doing a brief for a client and being paid, you absolutely need a license. I bought one for the first cs (ouch) so I’ll use that if there’s scratch involved.”

I do stand by my point that schools have computers with the programs. and it is a persons (not yours specifically) choice as to wether they want to use the “sketchy” versions.

@ benseven – your right on. thanks!

tWrex's avatar

@Bri_L I’m easy, so it’s no big deal. =) I appreciate it though. And you are right the schools do have the computers with the programs, so that is another viable option for people to use. (If they’re being paid for it though, they can’t use them because those licenses are educator licenses and not intended for professional use.) I respect your opinion and understand where you’re coming from with it. Again, no worries.

Bri_L's avatar

Thanks dude.
And VERY good point about the payment. That is a line not to cross!!


What a love fest this has become.

tWrex's avatar


This topic went waaaaay off topic.

Response moderated (Spam)
AlbertKinng's avatar

If you dont buy your tools you are not a professional, and I dont care if you got talent designing or editing.

People like the one you point out in your question that doesnt buy any softwares or any tools for designing hurt pros like us. How? They sell you a logo for 20 bucks and that’s just for a start.

The apps I didnt paid are games or stupid apps for one time use. But never for design or for my real designing works.

I have been in this business so long, and at the end people come to me to fix cheap art they paid or help them formating art designs to be use in the real press world.

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