There has been a lot of fire out there about Adobe changing their upgrade policy and some users feeling like Adobe is taking advantage of their monopoly on the design application market. So I thought I would go through and find a few alternatives to Adobe applications. I’m not saying that any of these are better than Adobe’s offerings I just wanted to put out a list of a few alternatives. I’m only going to focus on the major design (No web apps) applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. There are tons of alternatives out there but I decided to focus on a handful from each category. I did not have time to go through and write a description for each piece of software but I did grab their marketing description from their website to give you an idea of what the application is advertised to do. I personally work on a Mac, having that in mind I tried to find applications for all platforms not just focusing on my side of the computer world. I have not used all of the software, but I did go through and make sure that it was reviewed well and generally excepted to be a good product.
The price range on the software I’ve selected runs the gamut. Some are expensive, some are reasonable, some are free and most come with trial versions so the barrier to giving it a shot is only the time you have to invest.
So try these applications and decide whether any of this software will work in your creative process.
GIMP is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and more.
Acorn is a photo editor built for the rest of us. With a simple interface and tools for adding everything from text, shapes, and effects, you can make the perfect picture in seconds and minutes, not hours and days.
A simple but lovely natural media painting and sketching program. Art oriented, but capable of loading/saving photoshop files. A very cheap alternative to Painter, with a stripped down, elegant interface.
Corel Painter is a raster-based digital art application created to simulate as accurately as possible the appearance and behavior of traditional media associated with drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is intended to be used in real-time by professional digital artists as a functional creative tool.