I have the good fortune of being able to use the Adobe Creative Suite and CS5 is a really, really impressive suite of software. However, there are a couple of things about Adobe that make it really impractical for light work. First, it’s really tied down. I have 3 computers I use (one at the office, one at home, and a laptop for the road). Adobe’s license restrictions mean I can’t use that software on those machines. Frustrating, and I’m not really all that thrilled about shelling out even $600 for the learning or student additions. There are other things I’d rather spend $1800 on.
Secondly, Photoshop is slow to open, and Illustrator while powerful, is really, really cryptic. How do I convert a point to a bezier or a corner? Why isn’t it obvious?
Enter Two nifty little programs available through the App Store on the Mac that for my use, really do a nice job.
Acorn as they describe it, is a great Max image editor, built for humans. It is simple, easy to use and the introductory price of $30 felt like a bargain. For all the image editing I do (and it’s not a lot), I found this to be very useful and powerful. It’s like a lightweight version of Adobe Fireworks which suits me just fine. Except its easier to use and more powerful that Fireworks because it supports filters.
The second replacement is a neat little package called VectorDesigner. I got this a while back through a MacHeist bundle, and I am very grateful that they continued to provide free upgrades. It is available in the App Store for around $30 and I have to tell you, it feels like a pretty nice deal. The application ran flawlessly for me and I find it much simpler and easier to use than Illustrator.
So for about 1/10th the price you can get some really nice apps that will let you create and manipulate images till your hearts content.