Purchasing Graphic Design / Web Design Software & Hardware

by CreativePublic

Well, this is the part that costs so much money. Most designers, or those wanting to get started, have little money to spend on these products. Listed in this section are areas you can go to purchase software and hardware at discounted prices. Make sure and "price shop" for deals. Some software packages now come bundled together with all programs ranging from design to the Web.

If you are a student, you might consider purchasing a student version. This will allow you to save a substantial amount of money. Keep in mind that there may be software restrictions that may hinder you from using the software for commercial use. Always check with the software manufacturer for restrictions before purchasing anything.

As for hardware, Mac or PC will do the job the same; however, I am a Mac man myself and after working on both platforms for several years, I have concluded that the Mac offers a more stable environment and is less clunky. Again, this is my personal preference.

When purchasing hardware you should consider what the industry standard is. For most print designers, Mac is the way to go. For Web, animation and TV, its a close battle between Mac and PCs. Most print shops are Mac based and prefer to receive Mac files but many now days it does not matter if you are on a PC or Mac. If you have a PC, make sure your service provider can take your files. Whether you're on a Mac or PC, make sure you're able to cross platforms. This is vital if you are to be a flexible designer.

Below is a suggested list of hardware and software to get you started in business. Click on the shopping links for vendors that can help you with these purchases. (Adobe offers bundled packages for web and print software):

Software for Print:
• Adobe Illustrator (Illustration and page layout program)
• Adobe Photoshop (Photo alteration and special effects)
• Adobe InDesign or Quark XPress (Page layout)

Software for Web:
• Adobe Dreamweaver (Web site design programs)
• Adobe Illustrator (Illustration and page layout program)
• Adobe Photoshop (Photo alteration and special effects)
• Adobe Fireworks (Web design image editing program)
• Adobe Flash (Web animation software)

Other software:
• Microsoft Office (word-processing and presentation)

• PC or Apple (Mac) computer system
• 1GB of ram or more (the more ram you have, the more programs you can have open and the better the applications will operate)
• 100 Gig hard drive or larger
• 17 inch monitor or larger
• Graphic card with resolution up to 1152 x 870 or higher
• USB and Firewire ports
• Scanner with optical resolution up to 1200 x 1200 or higher (HP, EPSON or UMAX - both offer quality scanners)
• CD burner 32 speed or higher
• Keyboard and mouse
• Color printer (prints up to 11x 17 or larger
• B/W laser printer (prints up to 11x 17)

It will cost you in the range of $3,000 to $7,000 to get set up with all the equipment needed to get started. All of this depends on the model types and prices of additional items. Shop around to find the best price, but watch out for "too good of a deal" and be careful for remanufactured products. These products come with a limited warranty and may not last as long as you think


Article posted with permission from:
Art Space