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Need help on graphics software


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#1 Hillaryben99

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:51 AM

Hey guys!
I am new to this forum and also I donít have any knowledge about graphics software. I am planning to buy a new laptop for my brother as his graduation gift. He wants to build his future in graphics designing. I am also planning to install graphic software in the laptop. I was just confused as to which software should I go for corel draw X4 http://www.checkoutsoftware.com/corel/core...-suite-x4_p4441 or illustrator CS4 http://www.checkoutsoftware.com/adobe/adob...r-cs4-win_p4811? I want to buy him the best software available in the market so price is no issue. Guys please help me in picking the right stuff from the right place. I am sorry if you find this post unprofessional. Many thanks in advance.

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#2 Vaerli

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:39 AM

Adobe is considered the professional standard. I've never used corel, and i don't really want to try after using many adobe products.

The problem is that he may want a different type of program, like Photoshop. Ask him what he uses right now, or thinks is the best.

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#3 txtchr

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 09:46 AM

If your brother is a student, you have better options for a better price.

Adobe Design Standard CS4 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat Pro) are available for an academic price of under $300. Proof of status as a student is required.

Campus tech (here's the link to the software on that site: http://www.campustech.com/itemDetail.asp?ItmNo=44031033) is a reputable site that I have used often.

Some colleges also offer great discounts, too. He'd have to wait, however, until he actually was registered, had a student ID, and a course schedule to use the campus software store, though.

#4 K-Pock

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:17 AM

txtchr has a good option for you. I got my copy of Adobe Creative Suite 2 for $400 with my academic discount several years back. You also need to keep in mind what type of graphics software he's needing. If possible, the Design Standard suite that txtchr posted would be a definite good starting point.

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics program. This is great if he's planning drawing up logos, working with type, among other things. However if he's looking at doing photo editing or things like that he's going to need a raster graphics program (Photoshop in this case). Depending on what type of work he's doing, InDesign is an amazing piece of software as well. Great for anything destined for publication and print (brochures, business cards, books, catalogs, even digital booklets).

I definitely suggest to stick with Adobe though, personal preference!

#5 txtchr

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:09 PM

Thanks for the affirmation, K-Pock. My son graduated from college with a degree in Art (graphics arts and photography). We bought him a workhorse of a computer upon graduation (still cranking) and Adobe Design Suite (the version that was currently available when he graduated from high school). This gave him the full Adobe Suite at the time: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive, Acrobat. He used every one of them in his college coursework. [GoLive has since been replaced by Dreamweaver, since Adobe bought out Macromedia].

The majority of the colleges and art schools use the Adobe Suite. I have taken multiple training courses at our local campus of the Art Institute -- and all of their labs are equipped with Adobe.

FYI, though, most of these graphic design labs are Macs. Be prepared for that. Many Windows-based users who have grown up using the 3D-based programs that run on the Win platform then go into graphics design (so different from architecture and engineering) and are thrown for a loop when they have to get used to Macs. The Art Institute was completely Mac equipped, as was my son's graphic arts lab at a UT campus.

#6 Vaerli

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:48 PM

Adobe Design Standard CS4 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat Pro) are available for an academic price of under $300. Proof of status as a student is required


Ah, if thats the case then if i ever win some prize money from something, i know where its going...

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#7 txtchr

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:40 PM

If you'd like the Design Premium (with Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks added) in the CS4 version, it's listed on Campustech for $389.98: Campustech: Adobe CS4 Design Premium

A steal if you need the whole package, compared with what you'd pay with a non-academic price. It's the full version, even though it's labeled "academic." Definitely worth it.

#8 Vaerli

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:47 PM

oh yeah, i'll look for it around. Isn't most this stuff for college only? I'm still in high school, so i'm looking at this fall moreso. I'm still probably not going to go into anything in that area, but i can and know how to use it.

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#9 K-Pock

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:08 PM

FYI, though, most of these graphic design labs are Macs. Be prepared for that. Many Windows-based users who have grown up using the 3D-based programs that run on the Win platform then go into graphics design (so different from architecture and engineering) and are thrown for a loop when they have to get used to Macs. The Art Institute was completely Mac equipped, as was my son's graphic arts lab at a UT campus.

Yeah, that's gonna throw me off if I do end up finishing a design degree. I've always used Windows, I have very little experience with Macs. Too pricey for me, haha!

oh yeah, i'll look for it around. Isn't most this stuff for college only? I'm still in high school, so i'm looking at this fall moreso. I'm still probably not going to go into anything in that area, but i can and know how to use it.

Yeah, the Adobe stuff to the best of my knowledge is college only. I think when I got mine they had it for high school students too if I'm not mistaken, but that Campustech store, and Academicsuperstore (where I got mine) say it's for higher education students only.

#10 Vaerli

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:23 PM

Yeah, that's gonna throw me off if I do end up finishing a design degree. I've always used Windows, I have very little experience with Macs. Too pricey for me, haha!


They aren't hard to learn, and they're easier than windows to move around. Hotcorners and the new feature of multiple desktop working spaces(like linux) is really nice. I dislike their mice, love their keyboards, love the operating system, but hate the compatibility and price.

Yeah, the Adobe stuff to the best of my knowledge is college only. I think when I got mine they had it for high school students too if I'm not mistaken, but that Campustech store, and Academicsuperstore (where I got mine) say it's for higher education students only.


I'm not dissapointed, I'm happy with GIMP right now anyways. I can use Photoshop at school, and right now i've got the 30 day trial on my computer.

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#11 txtchr

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:46 AM

The same price is available for educators. If anyone in your family is a teacher, they can obtain the software for the same price. That's how I got it for my son.

I'm not sure what the requirements are for high school students. You'd have to look on the eligibility page to determine if you qualify. Remember, higher ed may encompass grades 9-12 as well. Read the fine print. Again, this is a reputable site, as I have ordered many pieces of software from them, including the Adobe packages.

Edit: apparently that price is for higher education (college) students only. The version available for K-12 and educators is priced at just under $600 for the CS4 Design Premium Suite: Campustech CS4 Design Premium K-12/Educators This is still a savings, but not as much as I thought originally.

Edited by txtchr, 26 March 2009 - 08:14 AM.


#12 lfdow

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 02:44 AM

While itís true that Illustrator is the professional standard vector drawing program in the U.S., I prefer Xara Xtreme. Itís a fast program thatís a bit cheaper than Illustrator and can do essentially the same things. Iíve used it for many years with lots of success.

#13 Vaerli

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 06:51 PM

While itís true that Illustrator is the professional standard vector drawing program in the U.S., I prefer Xara Xtreme. Itís a fast program thatís a bit cheaper than Illustrator and can do essentially the same things. Iíve used it for many years with lots of success.


Its gonna have to be a lot cheaper for me to consider it to go down from the professional standard to something lower. If its 50$ less, its probably not worth it to me because why not go for the most compatible and updated version?

You do realize that you bumped this when its a month old? Thats never encouraged on forums.

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#14 lfdow

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:29 PM

I donít think Xara is anything less than Illustrator. I can't think of anything Illustrator can do that Xara can't and can't do faster and with smaller files. Itís just not yet as common in the U.S. Sorry about commenting so late, I didnít mean to offend. I think Xara is an excellent program and should be included on this list, even if added late.

Edited by lfdow, 15 May 2009 - 08:32 PM.


#15 Vaerli

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 08:44 PM

can you get me the website for it? i'm interested to learn about it some.

Well, you can always get inkscape, which is free like GIMP.

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