As a professional, what kind of programs do you main in? Just looking at the study material I have, it makes me think that a lot of Graphic Designers only use Adobe programs. Do you guys use other software when creating logos or doing any commissions? And how is it that you can constantly chug out original ideas?
Most graphic designers use Adobe software, but there are other kinds of software too — some are competitors to Adobe and some are special-purpose applications. With me, for example, I’d be totally lost without BBEdit, a Macintosh code editor and Transmit, an FTP client.
As for running out of ideas, that would only happen if every design problem were the same as the next. Each is unique, however, so each calls for a different solution.
I’m a believer in allowing the design to emerge directly from the problem. By this I mean that a careful analysis of a design problem usually makes clear the paths one needs to explore to solve it.
And by the way, not every problem calls for a totally original solution. The more experience one gets, the more one relies on borrowing from that experience.
Adding to Just-B’s substantive reply, it’s really just a simple fact that an all-Adobe workflow is the best toolkit available to design-for-print practitioners—it’s more of a circumstance than a decision. Of course we all use other brands of software too, and other types of design output require all kinds of non-Adobe software tools. Personally, I do most of my work in an Engineering environment, and use many software tools that are specific to the setting (3D modeling, product lifecycle, supply chain, etc.).
As for original ideas, there are actually very few. I hate when people present “statistics” based only on what they think, so I’ll resist the temptation to say something like “90% of graphic design solutions don’t contain anything that’s truly original,” but I can assure you, that’s true of most graphic design output. And that’s not negative commentary; very effective solutions amost never require any form of new-ground invention. Even the most devilishly clever stuff is most often a combination of borrowed influences and calculated problem solving based on research, experience, market savvy, and inutition.
What you use depends on what type of design you do and who you are working for. Once you get out past the realm of brochures and websites, other, non-adobe software becomes important.
Adobe Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator.
This was actually really helpful. Thank you so much. May I have your permission to use this answer and possibly your name/company name. If you would rather your name go unannounced am I more than fine with that. I just need some sort of reference to show you are a credited designer.
You are going to find that most on these forums tend to want to be anonymous.