Illustrator Vs Corel Draw

At my company we use Corel Draw X7.

We are a sign company and this has served us well for a long time.

Are there any benefits to using Illustrator for Design?

I used to use illustrator before I worked here and we do subscribe to it but I’m having a hard time justifying it as an expense as I’m so used to Corel now.


You mean like major advantages over Illustrator?

CorelDRAW! 5 was my first real vector graphics tool back in the days when Windows 3.1 came on a couple dozen floppy disks. I used it to varying degrees right up until the X versions came out. (I think Graphics Suite 12 was the last version I had.)

Most of that time (probably starting sometime in 1998), I also used Illustrator, as an all-Adobe workflow eventually took hold. There were probably times when Illustrator was a better choice for some production-related reason or other, but I never saw it as the superior application, and still wouldn’t. I haven’t used Corel products now for quite some time, so this is no expert talking, but now with PDF effectively serving as a universal delivery format of sorts I’d expect the playing field is pretty level. It might just come down to features. If there’s a particular feature in one that the other doesn’t quite match, and it’s vital for your particular workflow, maybe you lean into that, but it would have to be pretty specific. Plus, if you look at the way both companies do business nowadays, it might get harder yet to choose Adobe over Corel.

As a sign shop, if you are like other large format print vendors, you want a file native rather than as a PDF. How do you handle incoming files from outside designers using Adobe? Corel doesn’t handle transparency in the same way (among other things) so if you don’t have the native software, you put your business at a disadvantage. As a sign fabricator, I haven’t seen a Corel file in over 15 years, as for the longest time it was not Mac friendly and most designers still use Macs. I expect that may change if enough of them wake up to Adobe’s ransomware tactics. Or not. Same goes for Quark. In the sign industry, it is for all intents and purposes dead. I don’t have either loaded on any of my production machines at this moment in time. Now that I have called down the wrath of the print gods, I’ll probably be reloading one or the other in a day or two. LOL.

And how would you converse with outside vendors who don’t accept Corel files?

Not being especially familiar with CorelDraw, I can’t offer an opinion on its equivalency to Illustrator.

What I can say, though, is that outside certain narrow areas, like sign companies, for example, CorelDraw just isn’t used much. I suppose, this sort of picks up on what PrintDriver was saying. If you’re doing just fine with CorelDraw and haven’t had a need for Illustrator, that great — for now. Looking down the road, you might not be at that sign shop forever. That might not mean much to your place of employment, but for your own sake, it might be a good idea to stay current with Illustrator.

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