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I have so far used nothing but GIMP for photo touch-ups, logo designing, etc..etc.., Now I have seen that many use illustrator for logo designing, lightroom for photo editing so on...

Should I practice then on using other opensource alternatives(since I can't afford adobe suite) for different things? say Inkskape for example? I am not a professional graphic designer/photographer but I do like my hobbies too much, a word of advice is much appreciated!

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    Why do you think you need to use other software? Just because you notice other designers use them, or because you feel your current tools are lacking? I'd say, if you are happy with Gimp (although I'd definitely try Inkscape, as they are different), why change? – Yisela Aug 7 '13 at 6:28
  • @Yisela yes, I have become curious because others use them, I thought one ought to use appropriate software for appropriate projects. I am going to try Inkscape now though. – user14316 Aug 7 '13 at 11:41
  • What OS are you using? – Brendan Aug 7 '13 at 14:03
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    ahem.. windows vista ( -_ -) – user14316 Aug 8 '13 at 4:13
  • Give Paint.NET a try. It won't meet all of your needs, but it will meet some of them quite well. It's a lot more lightweight than GIMP. – Brendan Aug 8 '13 at 13:23
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Well the recommendation of software depends on the type of design work you are doing. If you are designing logos for print I would certainly suggest you use a vector program. Since you mention you can't obtain Adobe for personal reasons, I would suggest Inkscape as you have stated.

If you are doing primarily web designs such as sites, banners, email flyers than Gimp will serve a purpose and I don't see why expanding beyond Gimp would be necessary unless you just want to learn other design software.

Now preference wise, I try to only use a vector program for certain tasks. I say this because I am allowed to take a vector logo and use it for print work or I can import it directly into my site designs. I have seen and started using Illustrator for even web design but it is a learning curve and pixel accuracy is some what difficult over custom guide shortcuts for Photoshop.

If you are interested in comments on the alternative solutions to Adobe you can head over to alternativeto.

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By all means yes, do practice on Inkscape as well.

Inkscape is to Illustrator as GIMP is to Photoshop, though in my opinion Inkscape is even more capable and polished in comparison to its commercial equivalent than GIMP is.

For real graphic design work a proper vector graphics editor is, in my opinion essential, for:

  • Resolution-independent graphics, symbols, signs, etc.

  • Logos and wordmarks.

Inkscape's interface strongly resembles and imitates that of CorelDraw, a commercial product that is a competitor to Illustrator, and (in my humble opinion) has a superior interface to Illustrator when it comes to editing shapes with nodes and control points.

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