Graphic Design software

Hi, We just started using adobe illustrator for our photopolymer plate designs. Is there any other design programs that are more user friendly? Does anyone download vector images from shutterstock? Thanks for your help. If you have a chance check out our blog at We would appreciate any feedback. Thanks…

LOL Letterpress

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There are, but ultimately it’s probably a better idea to bunker down and learn illustrator or photoshop. Adobe’s Creative Suite is becoming more and more of a lingua franca, and you will find that knowing it well will serve you well into the future.

I am still working on learning more about illustrator (I prefer to compose in raster programs rather than vector programs), but it’s a powerful tool. Remember that you’re ultimately manipulating lines that are expressed by mathematics, and it can help to quickly “sketch” out a design with the pen or brush tool, and then alter the anchor points as you see fit. Stick with it, and don’t be one of those people who turns in art drawn in MS Paint!

best Illustrator tip I ever got LYNDA.COM

You will love Illustrator. I’ve been a fan since 1992. I think it was Illustrator 3.

The ability to manipulate type and draw with the vector tool are the best. If you scan in high resolution line art then bring it into Illustrator and use the live trace to turn it to Vector art.

Mike has the best tip using LYNDA.


Mike and Casey, would you recommend subscribing to LYNDA?

I’m not a real fan of Illustrator. Most of my students use it but seemingly for the wrong reason. It is for illustrators. If you need to do page layout, with text and illustration you are better off with InDesign as its typographic controls are far superior, and it will import images from Photoshop or Illustrator as is.

Most graphic designers can detect an Illustrator-ed image that has been run through the auto-trace syndrome. Sort of depends upon whether you want your illustrations to look natural or whether you don’t really care about that. Maybe you like algorithmically derived art? Or you want your typography to look more mechanical and stilted than organic (human based).

Illustrator is just the easy out and is, quite frankly, responsible for most of the problems in film output for photopolymer plates, simply because it is used incorrectly.


Great info…


We use Illustrator and InDesign. Layout - InDesign. Vector illustrations - Illustrator.

I agree with Gerald - please don’t use auto-trace just to convert quickly to vector. It’s so obvious, and a sign of real laziness. Much like tacky Photoshop filters. These all have a time and place and can be incredible tools, but they are just that - tools. You still need to do the work yourself.

I’ve been using the Adobe suite for over a decade and wouldn’t switch to anything else.