Thursday, December 2, 2010

Of Mice and Men ...

Not everyone has access to Adobe's Creative Suite ... or even something compatible. I hate Microsoft products by principle as any good little graphic artist should, but when working on a template for a group of friends who have no reason (or domestic justification) to casually purchase a 1K bundle, I realized I would have to commit a sin — one usually reserved for my day job, where I have to make files for users who never venture beyond Powerpoint. It is possible to make elaborate templates in Word ... and although the finished product can be fickle to format changes, it does work.

The point to this is that the existing software, as flawed as it is, exists for the masses (PC- and Mac-users alike). As a graphic designer, I have a professional obligation to provide templates and usable documents in a format that is familiar to my client. If my work is going to be used, it has to be usable by all, not just other designers.

So, my friends have a nice template they can use ... I still have the Indesign version with the rocket-fuel injection engine.

This really is a "mouse" mouse ... click on the image to make your own.

How much was that?

There was a time when only graphic artists knew what Adobe was ... now, the name is more than industry standard — it's household... that is until the everyday computer socializer sees the pricetag. It's no wonder that Apple can gather it's flock to rally against the grand-daddy of graphic apps. I digress ... this short blog entry is not to bash the next Microsoft, it's to give the curious would-be desktop designer a resource that won't break the bank. One particular suite of applications that I've always recommended to friends and associates is produced by Serif. Their site offers many free alternatives to the high-end Adobe applications and a few unique applications that are fun (like the scrapbook application). To the professional, they are no substitute ... but for everyone else, they are a godsend.