Recently, a musician friend of mine asked about alternatives to Photoshop. He’s dabbled in poster design and promo work for his band and can’t afford the Adobe Suite. I’ve colleagues who are far more knowledgable than I with open source software, so I asked them. When I was an early teen, my mom had been laid off from a pulp mill, returned to school (thanks to union dues), and became a graphic designer complete with Photoshop 5, or whatever was the latest in the late 90’s. Point is, from a young age I’ve always known Adobe for design projects. And as far as the profession goes, Adobe is the means. However, it is expensive. And for those who design on an occasional basis, I should be able to reference non-designers or anti-CS types to photo editing alternatives. I know we’re all heavily invested to our beloved Adobe CS, be it for Mac or Windows, but there are solid alternatives that are worth investigating. From what I’ve gathered GIMP, Krita, and Chocoflop are the best freeware options for photo editing on the market. One friend said he often prefers GIMP over photoshop for certain applications. We may not need to know any other software than Adobe to succeed professionally in design, though it can’t hurt looking into other options, especially when they’re free.

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