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Art Programs for cutoms overlays and sideart??

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Of course, there's also Photoshop Elements, which has 80-90% of the features of Photoshop, but costs less than $100.

That's what I use, and I've really grown to like it.

If you're going to acquire software to produce graphics, then GIMP might be your best choice. It has 99% of the functionality of Photoshop, at a GNU price (i.e. only how much your bandwidth costs).

Adobe Illustrator is hard to beat for vector graphics. Corel Draw isn't bad, but it is very different from Illustrator. Given the price differential, if you're buying Draw, you might as well get Illustrator. AFAIK, there are no decent GNU vector packages. If you're shopping for Draw, you used to be able to buy the Draw enging "i.e. the program" without all the clipart, in a package with other Corel software, for much less money.


Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator and FreeHand are all excellent programs that I've used. Older versions like Photoshop 3,  Illustrator 7 and FreeHand 5.5 can be dirt cheep and still work great. My dad sticks to Paint Shop Pro and my brother swears by GIMP and Killistrator  ;D

I use Photoshop 7.0, great stuff in there.  Adobe really knows what they're doing, although they overprice like no one else, so you might as well pick up the *trial* copy since you're probably bout as poor as the rest of us.  Photoshop has a lot of really good tutorials out there, and if you want to spend the extra time learning it, Illustrator can be good as well for extremely clean lines, although I'm good at improvising.  I've heard PSP 5.0 is fine, but I've kinda grown up with Photoshop since like 5.0, and it hasn't let me down yet.

I do Signs and Graphics for a living.  I myself use some sign specific software for initial vector (layout) work and then Photoshop to add effects.

I have used Illustrator and Corel in the past and the FACT is the results that can be achieved in Corel as far as quality are NO different from those that can be achieved in  Illustrator.  It's just two different means to an end.  Your skill and comfort level with any program is more important than who makes it.


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