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Open Source Design Software

Discussion in 'General Software & Hardware Forum:' started by Munni, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Munni

    Munni Member

    Just some curious questions . . .

    I've heard about designers using open source software for professional work! Can this be serious?

    I understand about the mainstream brands being expensive, so can see why someone starting out would use this freeware stuff, but seriously?! I know that the software/computing side is only the tool to release a creative idea, but can freeware really produce work to the standards of those produced in say Adobe or Corals programs?

    I've looked at some tutorials/work produced on such programs on YouTube, and some of it seems impressive. Thing is, I've downloaded the software (Inkscape/Scribus/GIMP) to see for myself, and have to say that I'll be sticking to the Creative Suite.

    I'm just interested to hear what other people think of open source software, and whether you've tried it, used it for profesh work, or would consider using it? Can a professional designer REALLY only use freeware?

  2. Arhiann

    Arhiann Member

    A bad worksman blames his tools ;)
    It's what you know I guess. I don't use open source exclusively, but I can produce professional output without any great difficulty. There are some things I would always end up dropping back to Corel Ventura for, but in general since I don't use Quark/InDesign/Photoshop they aren't a great loss.

    I just wish they would make ClaraLX open source.
  3. jamjar

    jamjar New Member

    Open Source

    Open Source software is often really very good, and the popular packages like GIMP have huge communities who work out of love and devotion, not cash which often yields better results and faster bug fixes.

    Having said this, I use the Adobe Suite as it is industry standard (especially important when working with legacy files from other designers) and the best by a long stretch. I do however use the following freeware tools which are fabulous;

    InkScape - has very good tracing and vector drawing tools
    Blender - amazing 3d modeling, rendering, game development, seriously amazing
    Font Forge - create and adapt fonts - a pain to set up on Widows but worth the time, it's actually brilliant
    Firefox - need I say more
    Firebug plugin for Firefox - web developers dream
    Apache - ditto
    WordPress - more dittos
    OpenOffice - just as stable as MS Office and it can open & save Microsoft files too

    There are so many others that I use but I can't remember them all off the top of my head. Hope that helps.

  4. Helen

    Helen Member

    A big fat YES!

    linkyAll made my GIMP, a free photo manipulation program that will give photoshop a run for its money.

    I have seen some cracking vector images created by inkscape too.

    I only use photoshop/illustrator cause I was given an old copy for free. Otherwise, I wouldn't have paid for it..... almost all programs/scripts I use are free.
  5. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    There's an awful lot of useful Open Source software available. Where commercial programs tend to have the edge is not so much in the results as in things like work flow and interfaces - they're easier to use and particularly they're easier for groups of people to use, because companies like Corel and Adobe have the resources to put the software together more quickly than the open-source community can and because that's where the market is. I don't think anyone could tell just from the image whether a photo had been Gimped or Photoshopped, for example (proprietary filters and things apart). That's why there is no real open-source alternative to Dreamweaver - it isn't its WYSIWYG editor, which is only so-so, it's the templating and other stuff which puts it on another plane.

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