My day job responsibilities are split between administration and communication with an emphasis on graphic design and film. In the last two years, I’ve taken on more graphic design projects than ever before and it has really stretched me. I had no formal training, but enough experience over the years to keep a lot of our graphics “in-house” at work.
People have asked what graphic design software I use, and I mostly get things done in Photoshop. For work I have CS6, and until recently Jill and I used CS3 for our personal projects. When Adobe moved toward a subscription model I was initially skeptical, but what turned me around was their Photography plan which is priced at just $9.99/mo. You get the latest version of both Photoshop and Lightroom (the best photo editing/management software out there). It’s a fantastic deal and Jill and I signed up as soon as we found out. This is a great option for small businesses or non-profits looking to save a few bucks. It’s a deal that’s hard to pass up.
What are some alternatives? Is there anything cheaper or free? There are two that come to mind, Gimp and Pixlr. Though after revisiting Pixlr’s site this past week I’d recommend it in a heartbeat over Gimp. They have a free web-based app that works great for small editing projects and web content, but they now offer a “Pro” desktop version for just $14.99/yr with a number of great features.
If you had to choose, I’d say splurge on Photoshop if you can. It’s the cream of the crop, but Pixlr is the way to go if money is tight.