What programs are used in graphic and advertising design and why the trend is changing

There is no doubt that Adobe has led the software market for designers, mainly in the graphic and advertising design industry. Users who are dedicated to creating audiovisual content tend to choose “Creative Suite” to carry out their work, where we can find the different design and editing software from Adobe, although we find the main disadvantage that its price is subscription is quite high, which means that a large number of private users cannot afford to pay the fee, at least legally, which currently amounts to €725.85 per year or €90.74 per month, depending on the modality.

The inaccessibility due to price contrasts markedly with how widespread the use of this suite is, which raises the question: why the Adobe suite? Are there valid and cheaper alternatives for Photoshop and Illustrator? We have created a list of alternatives for those users who cannot afford to pay for Creative Suite or who simply want to try alternatives to Adobe software.

Photoshop, Illustrator and Creative Cloud, why have they become the most used?

Nowadays it is very common for users to choose the Adobe suite, for several reasons. It is the preferred package for design training, as well as the suite that you should know how to handle in a job interview. But how has it become the benchmark for design software? It's simple: they were part of the birth of this type of software.

Design software and the arrival of Adobe

Adobe has been around since practically the beginning of computer-aided graphic design. One of the first graphic design software for computers was Sketchpad, developed by Ivan Sutherland in 1963, which is why it is considered the father of graphics software. The operation of this software was based on a photoelectric system that detected the movement of a photosensitive pen that was synchronized with each other. However, digital graphic design as we understand it today did not arrive until the 1980s, when the union of three technologies gave rise to a revolution in production and graphic design: the Post Script language, the launch of Macintosh and the incorporation of the Post Script language in printing equipment.

  • On the one hand, the creation of the Post Script language in 1976, also known as Page Description Language (PDL), which led to the creation of ADOBE in 1982, which allowed the generation of high-quality content, with text, images and line art, and provided the possibility of printing the work done. However, for this new language to be integrated into the common use of users, two other elements were needed.
  • The launch of the Macintosh in 1984 and its powerful marketing strategy They were fundamental, since after certain agreements between Steve Jobs and Adobe, it was decided to include the Post Script language in their equipment. This, added to the fact that the computer's graphical interface finally allowed friendly use of language, made it possible to launch the first editing program that uses this language: Page Maker.
  • The third factor was a strategic issue. Also in 1984, Steve Jobs managed to convince the creators of Apple Computers to sell permission to use printing technology that they had developed for other manufacturers, and of course they also implemented it in the Apple Laser Writer.

In addition to Adobe, we could long ago find certain software that competed very validly with those of the suite in question, such as developed by Macromedia Freehand. However, due to commercial issues and influences, Adobe ended up eclipsing that company, destroying its main competitor.

What programs are used in advertising design

As a general rule, as we have mentioned a little before, the favorite suite for advertising design and editing is Adobe, since it is very versatile in terms of operating systems and its use is common among users, so has become the “norm” in design software. However, there are agencies such as Hare Graphic who choose to use Free Software and, in fact, promote it, going so far as to make it part of their brand personality.

In fact, the trend indicates that more and more users will opt for this modality, since to the economic disadvantages that we mentioned above, we must add the new download rules for the Adobe suite. Last May, they announced from their official blog that users would only be able to use the latest two versions of each software – only the latest in the case of Acrobat – so those who continue using versions older than established will face the possibility of being legally sued by the company.

This has unleashed chaos among users, who have publicly expressed, in numerous cases, their intention to cancel the subscription and switch to using other editing and design programs.

Alternative design programs to Adobe. Free or paid

Of course, there are free graphic design software. Below we propose a list of free software as an alternative to Adobe for those people who do not have the resources to make such a high financial investment or who simply want to try new programs. If you miss any of your favorite free software in the list we offer, do not hesitate to comment with the one that convinces you the most.

Free graphic design software

  1. Gravit Designer – Online, Windows, Mac, Linus, ChromeOS
    It is a vector application for various purposes, from logo design to the creation of illustrations, animations or presentations. Workspace measurements can be set manually, although there are default measurements that make designing easier, such as standard iPhone measurements or Facebook or blog covers. It allows you to generate vector paths manually, with tools such as the pen, and also has an autocompletion system for the path, as well as the combination of different objects to generate composite vector shapes. Allows export of PDF, SVG or bitmap files.
  2. InkScape – Windows, Mac, Linux
    This is one of the best free solutions as an alternative to Illustrator. In terms of functions, it has less variety than Illustrator, but it is capable of generating or editing complex layered paths, creating GIF animations or text editing. Although it focuses on SVG format, it allows you to import and export many other formats, such as AI, EPS, PDF, JPEG or PNG. In addition, it has several tutorials created by the developers themselves that help the user get used to the user interface.
  3. GIMP – Windows, Mac, Linux
    This program is presented as a quite valid and functional alternative to Photoshop. The interface, although it can be adapted to the view of Adobe software, is far from that of Photoshop. Features a list of drawing, coloring, and photo editing tools. The file manager does look very similar to Adobe Bridge.
  4. Vectr – Windows, Linux, Mac
    It is a simplified vector content editing tool. It allows the creation of paths, text editing and import of images in different formats. It is also compatible with the import of EPS or AI formats to continue working from the Vectr platform.


Video editing programs

In terms of video, Adobe offers us the famous editing and post-production software Premiere Pro and After Effects, respectively, but They are not the only video editing option that exists and, in fact, in certain training centers and job offers, specific software such as Final Cut Pro is required, due to the preference of the center itself.

    1. Final Cut Pro
      It is Apple's advanced video editing software. Its functions are practically the same as those of Premiere Pro, although the interface is not identical. Although it requires an initial fee of just over €300, a single payment is made that is far from the subscription.
    2. iMovie
      It is Apple's video editing software, installed by default on Macs. Its interface is very easy to use and allows video recording, inclusion of transitions and titles, as well as sound effects. Although the features are reduced compared to Adobe software, for a particular user's use that does not require excessive features it can work perfectly.
    3. Lightworks
      The first edition of this software was launched in 1989. This system presents the main features of editing programs – multi-camera editing, adding effects in real time, modifying the speed, using keyframes... There is a completely free version that reduces the benefits. The full version adds a total of €50 per year as a subscription fee.

Create your logo with free vector design software

If in your case you don't opt for any of the Adobe software because you don't have enough preparation to get to work with them, don't worry. Also There are much simpler options to carry out your own personal projects. Software that offers extensive possibilities at a professional level also requires more learning time in terms of use. Luckily for users, there are more and more programs and applications that allow you to create logos in a simple, intuitive way and, most importantly in some cases, completely free. Here you can find a proposal of the best programs for generate your free logo online.

Applications to design on Android or iOS. The new era of design.

If we analyze the current trend we realize that, increasingly, private and professional users tend to use mobile applications for editing images and videos, and for creating vectors. Photography and mobile design are a reality, since they save time and resources and for certain publications it can be the perfect solution.

      1. VSCO Cam
        One of the favorite mobile applications for users for editing images and using predetermined filters. It archives the images that have been imported into the application in an internal library, and thanks to the thumbnails and classification by categories, searching for images in the library is much faster. In addition to tools that allow the editing of certain fundamental parameters, this application also makes various packages available to users, some paid and others free, which offer greater editing freedom and special features depending on the package chosen.
      2. snapseed
        Although the interface of this application does not look like that of VSCO Cam, the functions they offer are very similar. It allows you to take photos directly from the app, modify parameters and add effects such as grain, vignetting or predetermined frames. In addition, exporting allows you to resume the editing history of a previously edited image in Snapseed to add or delete editing steps on an already exported image.
      3. Lightroom Mobile
        Adobe's mobile photo editing app that, contrary to everything we have discussed in this post, is free for users. Although it presents the functionalities of VSCO and Snapseed, it also offers a payment method in which user catalogs can be synchronized through the Adobe ID.

We prefer to promote the freedom of choice of each one, because we believe that creativity comes from breaking the norm, but also from knowing how and when to do it. Therefore, although we train our students to perfectly master the most powerful software on the market, we are aware that only when you feel comfortable with the tools you work with can you develop your full potential. Do not hesitate to ask us any questions about our advertising courses and masters and we will be happy to help you decide how to guide your future career.

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