41

LaTeX is meant exactly for stuff like this. LaTeX is a programming language of sorts, designed with the explicit purpose of typesetting documents... like, say, an essay template. It spits out nice, vectorized PDFs across Windows, OSX, and Linux, and it's also possible to define your own custom formats and commands. There's a wealth of documentation ...


38

Nice question! In theory, any of those (plus others you haven't mentioned, like the open source alternatives Gimp and Inkscape) let you design a business card. If you are particularly proficient with one of them, you might want to consider going for that one to save time. While the three Adobe products have some similarities of use, they all require some ...


29

To create a font, you need a font editing program. FontCreator is quite popular and inexpensive. FontForge is an open source font editor, if you're up to the somewhat dense documentation. FontLab has a utility called TypeTool, a little more expensive but has a good reputation.


29

Lots of great answers but I'm surprised none of them have talked about batch production of business cards with data merge templates. Even if you're designing for a 2-person startup, with any luck a year or two down the line they'll be coming back to you for business cards for their 8 newly hired employees, then coming back a few years later with a much ...


26

Screenshots of PDFs are going to be limited by the density of your monitor and (I'd assume) rendering settings from the PDF viewer. There are many tools for converting a PDF file (or pages from a PDF file) to a PNG file. Adobe Acrobat is able to do this. Imagemagick, which is free, is also able to do this. With Imagemagick installed, the command below ...


25

Use imagemagick: Imagemagick's own watermarking tutorial. Watermarking a single image looks like convert logo.jpg -font Arial -pointsize 20 \ -draw "gravity south \ fill black text 0,12 'Copyright' \ fill white text 1,11 'Copyright' " \ wmark_text_drawn.jpg For dealing with multiple images, see How to ...


24

Don't be guided by personal preference like 'effects', 'not fun' and 'clunky interface'. They are not relevant. As a designer you should pick the right tool for the job. This is not only about business cards. But applies to all pre-press productions. Adobes big three have overlapping tool space. But all three have their own specialty. If your design ...


24

After trying a bunch of Windows applications, I haven't found anything equivalent to Sketch for Windows. And no, Illustrator and such are NOT Sketch alternatives. Fireworks is probably the closest, and it's no longer supported by Adobe. It seems that they are now creating a copy "heavily inspired by Sketch" app: Project Comet. We'll see how it goes, but ...


23

Yes, in Photoshop you could batch process the images in a folder using an action. Simply: Open the image Open the "Actions" panel and hit "Create new action". Name the action and hit "Ok" You should now be in record. Most anything you do will be logged in the action as a step until you hit the "Stop" button in your actions toolbar menu. Create your ...


20

I suggest that you use BirdFont and follow these steps to import your work in the editor. Draw a triangle and a rectangle. Use them as test shapes to decide what your x-height should be. Compare your test glyphs to other fonts using the preview tab. (Ctrl+p) Turn on grid and guidelines for x-height and margin. Create four rectangular markers at the bottom ...


20

Free online options For something quick, there are a growing number of (usually SVG-powered) free online flow chart tools. Here's a few that don't require log-in, all pretty basic but user-friendly: Draw.io (free and open source) - straightforward, allows saving straight to Google Drive or Dropbox. Also has a Desktop version. Gliffy (free up to 5 public ...


19

Open Source Font Editors: FontForge gbdfed Bitmap Font Editor BirdFont Freeware Font Editors: Font Struct Bit font Maker Type light Font Constructor Raster Font Editor Commercial Font Editors: FontCreator (Fontlab Studio) Font Management: 25 Font Management Tools Reviewed Search results for font management: What is a good free font management tool ...


18

Designing infographics is a large portion of what I do. Here's a rough breakdown of what I use. Probably 95% of the work on infographics I do is in Illustrator. You'll want to keep everything in vector format as much as possible because accurate scaling, aligning, grouping, tweaking and changing are so important. If it's a good presentation of good ...


18

InDesign gets my vote. It does all the tasks you're describing, and is meant for layout. However, as a general note, do NOT over-design your résumé. Even if you're a designer applying for a design job, please, make your CV clean and straightforward. If I'm reading through 100 résumés in a week (which I've done), I am really, ...


17

There is a Gimp script that is specifically designed to add watermarks: Batch Image Watermark Script. It need to be run through the command line, but it is quite straightforward: Download the script Save the downloaded file to your GIMP install followed by \share\gimp\2.0\scripts. For Windows users Start -> Run… -> Cmd (hit OK) Type cd followed by ...


16

On a Mac or Linux, open your terminal and type: strings /path/to/your.pdf | grep -i fontname


16

Inkscape This powerful vector graphics application is free, cross-platform, and Open Source. It comes with an inbuilt function to trace vector graphics from bitmaps. These are the steps involved: File - Import...: choose to "embed" the bitmap. Select the embedded bitmap. Choose Path -Trace Bitmap.... This will open the following dialog: Make the ...


16

Good question, for I too have been a lifetime fan of Fireworks (their entire lifetime). Have you heard of Sketch? I can tell you that it's the only thing that comes close. (It's a perfect mashup of Illustrator and Fireworks, but SO MUCH closer to FW). Your transition should be seamless, and you will quickly be in love. Personally, I'll still use FW until it'...


14

Wow thats crazy. First of all, would you go to your doctor and insist on which tools he used to perform your surgery? Or your dentist? Or would you take your car to your mechanic and tell them which tools he should use to repair your alternator? Of cours not. And your clients request that you use a particular tool over another to perform your job is just ...


14

The starting point, as DA01 says, is to put a bit of physical order into the chaos. The first step is mapping out the categories that are important to you, letting that list guide the physical arrangement of assets on your system. In my case, I have stock photography in its own folder, and within that I have folders for broad categories that are useful to ...


14

Did a little poking around...turns out that Poly uses something called Delaunay Triangulation. If you search around for that term, some stuff comes up. This guy (Jonathan Puckey) claims to pretty much own the process, but these guys (createtogether) would disagree - they've created a brush in Illustrator that lets you create something similar. I've not ...


14

Version Cue, in my experience, is garbage. I have two systems for two different teams going right now. SVN via Cornerstone I've been running a large volume of creative work through SVN via Cornerstone for Mac for over a year now. It's a very slick and easy to use app that makes VC seem easy. It doesn't provide visual previews of the files like I believe ...


14

There's an expression about people who are very good at something: "He/she makes it look easy". There's a related misconception about design or 3D software. You watch someone working. They do 5 things, and it looks okay. They do 6 other things, and it looks a bit better. They do 3 things, and you're scratching your head because now it looks worse. Then they ...


14

Some other valid options for 2017: Gravit Designer: This is a very young product and as such it's still lacking many features, but for now it's a good vector editor, and the roadmap promises a lot more: symbols, sketch import, prototyping, etc. It's great advantage as of now, is that it's free! It's available for Mac, windows, linux, and even online. Edit:...


13

How about Krita ? It's a nice free, open source painting program. I don't actually own a tablet, but this software felt like it was designed to be used with a tablet.


12

ImageMagick answers have pretty much already been given at this point, but I wanted to give a little more detailed answer, so that everyone should be able to use it. Example with dummy paths: Which you will have to replace. ( On a mac and windows you can drag a file or folder to terminal window, which will convert into a path ) Make sure the destination ...


11

Here's the generalized algorithm that I've developed over the years: def determine_graphics_app(): if you_have_dough_for_adobe_products: if vector_images_required: return "illustrator" else: return "photoshop" else: if vector_images_required: return "inkscape" else: ...


11

For twigital the designer(Chris) used Illustrator, a grid and the 3D Rotate tool. Notice it has presets for isometric rotations. If you need more than what Illustrator provides by default, try the CADtools plugin for Illustrator, which provides tools for isometric drawing and dimensioning. I've got a few more resources to share. Based on this tutorial I'...


11

RoboFont is a great software (mac only) for font editing on so many levels. It also does what you're looking for: allows you to open individual files and edit their font info and then resave in whatever format you need. I recently had to do exactly what you're asking with my copy of Gotham which was installing as individual files and not as a family. http://...


11

In case you seem to be running Linux you may stitch the applications easily together to get the desired result. This can then also be incorporated in your batch processing script. The example below makes use of jp2a, a powerfull JPG to ASCII-art converter with many options to achieve desired results (consult the manpage). We then further process the ...


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