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Graphic Designers Blog is a bit of a side project for me. Basically it’s a place where I can post cool stuff I find on the internet that doesn’t really mesh with posting on my personal graphic design site. I also post nice works of art and graphic designs from other artists on our Facebook page, Graphic Designers Blog Facebook. Give us a like on their to be VISUALLY OVERLOADED with cool imagery – by me and other artists from around the web.

You can also follow Graphic Designers Blog on Twitter if you are so inclined, but Facebook is where I post the cool stuff. Thanks again to the two fans of the this page for following us! We’re at 79 fans on Facebook! HOORaY!

This is the Most Viewed Image on the Planet

This seems like a pretty shocking headline, but when you check out the actual image you’ll have a little “aha” moment. Well here it is, the most viewed image on the planet:
Bliss

You probably know where you’ve seen it from: Windows XP, one of the most widely used operating systems in the world. This was the default background wallpaper after you installed or started the OS. You could of course change it, but few people did especially businesses. For graphic designers and anyone who uses the Adobe Suite on a regular basis you’ve probably seen this a lot if you’re on a PC.

The man who actually took the picture was Charles O’Rear, an American Photographer. When Microsoft purchased the picture it was  “reportedly the second most expensive photo license ever”.

Many people (including myself) thought the image was computer generated, but Charles took the picture driving through Napa County in California on highway 12/121. After he took it, he submitted the picture to Corbis which is owned by Microsoft. Microsoft only slightly edited it.

You can read more about Charles O’Rear here. I wonder what the first most expensive image license is?

5 Free Alternatives to Adobe Software

With all the hubub of Adobe going Creative Cloud only, a lot of users have expressed interest in getting off the Adobe train. The problem is it’s really tough when a lot of their software is the industry standard.

I’ve listed just the best free graphic design software here, but there are some great low-cost paid alternatives as well. If you’re a serious graphic designer though it’s going to be hard to ween yourself off of Photoshop as there is a reason it’s an industry standard. You can still purchase a perpetual CS6 license though and don’t have to move to the Creative Cloud. I think Adobe will end up offering some sort of perpetual license solution at some point as 90% of their customers are completely unhappy about this move. Listed below are some free design software alternatives you can use in the meantime.

1. Free Alternative to Adobe Photoshop – GiMP (www.gimp.org)
GiMP has been around for awhile – I know it  has a terrible name – but it’s about the most full featured alternative to Photoshop that I’ve come across. It has color correction, support for layers, cloning tools, painting tools and suppport for .psd files.

Another Free Alternative to Adobe Photoshop – PAINT.net (www.getpaint.net)
PAINT.net has been around for awhile as well, it started off as a more fully featured alternative to Paint, but grew into something bigger. They’ve recently started working on it again and are on track to update it to version 4.

2. Free Alternative to Adobe Illustrator – Inkscape (www.inkscape.org)
While not the sexiest looking website, Inkscape is a solid alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It supports Layers, Filters, Blend Modes and even has a “dark” interface option like the recent Adobe CS6 updates.

3. Free Alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver – BlueGriffon (www.bluegriffon.org)
BlueGriffon is a solid little WYSIWYG HTML editor and great free alternative to Adobe Dreamweaver. It supports HTML 5 and CSS 3 and has a good selection of extensible plugins for it. Again, not Earth shattering but if you need tools to do basic HTML editing BlueGriffon will work well.

4. Free Alternative to Adobe InDesign – Scribus (www.scribus.net)
Scribus is a great alternative to InDesign. It supports spot colors, can export to pdf, multiple page layouts and much more. I’ve used it a little bit and it’s a good alternatve if you need to layout basic pages.

5. Free Alternative to Adobe After Effects – Blender (www.blender.org)
While Blender is mainly a 3d design program, it has compositing features as well. While the tools and interface may be a little daunting, you can use it to edit video and composite effects like in After Effects.

 

All of these Adobe software alternatives are free and open source. Open source means a community of developers works on these projects so new features and options are added in regularly. While this may not exactly replace your Adobe workflow, it can very well compliment it. With that being said there are paid alternatives to Adobe Software, but that’s another article

If you have any questions or comments please let us know! It only takes a second to comment!