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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Musician »

Permalink Anybody do their own graphic art and what do you use (software)?

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I'm pretty artistic but not a "graphic artist", that said I'm considering buying some software that would allow me to do our own band logos, playbills, handouts, etc..

Is anybody else doing this and what can you recommend?

Thanks in advance.

METEOR IV on reverbnation
Doug's Island Vibe Guitar Soirée

I haven't done anything in a while, but I've always used Photoshop and had good results. A bit of a learning curve, but there's a lot of info online that should help get through about anything the program can do.

I've heard good things about, it's basically a simplified photoshop as a free download.

My wife used Adobe Illustrator almost exclusively when she was working on graphics in college, though I haven't spent much time with it.

How many guitars are enough?

Just one more...

Monument Music

Paintshop Pro is an easy to aquire, fully-functional program. It is also very intuitive.

THE KBK ... This is the last known signal. We offer Sanctuary.

it really depends on what you want the final product to look like

if you are going for a photographic look you want something like photoshop

if you want clean looking logos/ icons/ graphics you want vector based software like illustrator

theres is a learning curve for photoshop, and a really big learning curve for illustrator

Thanks for the advice.

Since I'll be a complete newbie, I'm going to say the easier and more intuitive the better.

METEOR IV on reverbnation
Doug's Island Vibe Guitar Soirée

I use Illustrator for drawing, and Photoshop for effects like blurring and shadows. I almost always use both applications for a project. Illustrator (vector) files are not bound by resolution so you can print anything as large as you want and it will still look crisp. With Photoshop you have to pay attention to resolution, 72ppi files from the web will print blurry or pixelated. You can open Illustrator files in Photoshop and manipulate them. I don't think many people learn everything those applications are capable of, I'm still learning and I've been using them since their birth.

As mentioned above, it's best to handle both formats: bitmap and vector.
One way to use it is to design/modify the elements (like photos, scans or complex graphics) in bitmap (PS for example) and then import them to the vector software as an element, then add texts, backgrounds, graphics etc.
The opposite also works, depending on what you wanna do.

I use PS for bitmap, and I like Corel-Draw better than AI for vector. Corel-Paint is also a great alternative to PS.
One free bitmap software is GIMP, one free vector software is Inkscape, check them out, it may be all you need.

. .. ... ....
A single, double, triple, quadruple song

theres a certain under appreciated charm to hand made graphics too, make something by hand, scan it into a computer for digital use

I use pages, the apple thing. very intuitive, if you're a mac guy.

Matt Heaton & the Electric Heaters
"Dick Dale meets Dennis Lehane"

I use Photoshop pretty much every day of my life, and Illustrator from time to time. In my opinion these are the best in the business, but they are pricey. Given you are a newbie with this, and might not want to drop a bunch of money on software you don't have the warm and fuzzies about, I would second the recommendation of Gimp and Inkscape. They will likely be all you need. At the very least, they will be an excellent intro into this medium. In my experience, free and cross-platform makes a lot of sense when you're testing the waters.

I use Illustrator and Photoshop pretty heavily. These would have to be the industry standard IMHO, but very pricey. has a ton of tutorials as well about Photoshop and Illustrator, one could teach thy-self rather effectively with todays technology.

Knarle Tide

Wow, I'm really confused! Too many choices!

METEOR IV on reverbnation
Doug's Island Vibe Guitar Soirée

Like some have mentioned though, before you dump a lot of hooch into something your not entirely sure on, try out the cheaper software suites that are out there. I personally prefer the Adobe suites only because thats what I use religiously and have used religiously for years.

Knarle Tide

I use Photoshop exclusively. But, as said here, there is no reason you can't start out with the awesome GIMP. It is totally free and very powerful. As well, the strong similarities between GIMP and Photoshop mean that you could learn one and be able to use the other quite easily.

Last edited: Feb 17, 2012 16:28:31

I use Photoshop and/or Microsoft Publisher. Lean more towards Photoshop these days.

I use AutoCAD, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. You can check my sample of work:

Photoshop is the industry standard for a reason.

But if you dont feel like dishing out the dough, or stealing it, then go GIMP.

The best tool is your BRAIN and a PENCIL.

Then Photoshop, Illustrator and all that other crap.

Atomic Mosquitos
Bug music for bug people is here!
Killers from Space

A slightly off the wall solution might be Inkscape. That way, you have SVG for the web, and convert back into PDF for print. It won't munge photos very well, but works good for vector stuff.

Made a mental note when reading this thread, and GIMP in particular, a year ago. At that time my OS wasn't updated to run the program, but last week with a new updated system I download the GIMP and it's super badass, so belated thanks to the GIMP recognizers.

Twisted Evil > Angel

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