Living without Adobe – a summary

Late last year I decided to discontinue my Adobe CS5 Design Premium subscription, due to their non flexible end of contract terms (and the expense of it all when I don’t use their products every day).

I’ve since been looking at a bunch of different alternatives. These alternatives have a bias towards Mac OS X (I own a Macbook), so not all that I tested are available on a PC. After these past few months it’s easy to see why Adobe are leading in the market. The (mostly) uniform key shortcuts, and asset management between the products is well integrated. Adobe products are also the best at print colour management. As much as Adobe’s software has major flaws, it’s still a solid solution to your designing needs.

To be clear on what market I’m in here, I’m a web developer who also dabbles in design (print + digital + industrial) and photography.

I tried the following alternatives to the CS5 Design Premium package (which retails for almost AU$3000, ouch):

Adobe Photoshop alt:
Pixelmator [link]
GIMP [link]
Adobe Photoshop Elements [link] (I know, but it’s an affordable option to consider)

Adobe Illustrator alt:
Acorn [link]
Lineform [link]
Inkscape [link]

Adobe Bridge alt:
Adobe Organiser [link] (boxed with Photoshop Elements)
iPhoto [link]
Aperture [link]

Adobe Dreamweaver alt: (haven’t used this since 2006 TBH)
Coda [link]
TextMate [link]

Adobe InDesign alt:
Scribus [link]

Adobe Acrobat alt:
Open Office [link]

Adobe Fireworks alt:
See Photoshop alternatives above

Adobe Flash alt:
No software available.
HTML5, jQuery, Raphäel and Sencha look promising as a future combined alternative. We’re almost there!

And here were my final choices that I am still using solidly after playing with all of these:


These choices were based partly on how much they cost to buy, and obviously whether they had the features I needed. Three out of the final six are free; Inkscape, Scribus and Preview (Preview is a standard app boxed with OS X so it’s technically free if you own any Mac computer).

Combine this with the paid applications and the total comes to less than US$360. I believe this is reasonable for the average blogger/lightweight designer/web developer/web designer/photographer.

As a combination they take up approximately 1.6GB of space on your hard drive. As a comparison Adobe CS5 Design Premium takes up 6GB hard drive space. Good to know for those running their computer on relatively new and small capacity SSD’s.

I’ll be focusing on each application in more detail on this blog soon. For now I’m happy to have found my little swag of good quality software to get each job done :)



The 'Little Miss J' necktie

I prefer to watch Gossip Girl over Sex and the City. Not for storyline reasons (well, actually…), but because of my fashion taste. Watching the characters swan around in to-die-for couture is my new favourite pastime.

I had been coveting a necktie (ala Jenny) to wear for a while now, but it wasn’t until I purchased some Dion Lee shirts this week that I felt motivated to have a go at making one. I just made it up as I went along, and taught myself how to sew a button hole using the internet. I found a lovely pearl button in my button stash.

This was the end result:


The ends of the necktie look like they are different widths, but it was a slight angle on one of them in the photo that makes it so! They are actually the same.

What do you think? I might post a tute up soon on how to make them if it would be useful to others.

Stop Motion Fun

Just a quick sharing post of something I’ve been up to lately. Stop motion animation! I’ve been shooting and editing a video related to my impending move OS. I haven’t done video since I was studying at uni, so it was really fun to pick it up again. You never know when those lesser used skills will come in handy in the future.

A few teaser stills:

The lovely Jess, aka @xutraa was my spur of the moment illustrator/hand model/partner in crime on the shoot. It really made all the difference having someone there to bounce ideas off. So thanks a million Jess x

Soon to be our home

Two posts ago I hinted at some news I couldn’t share yet, although it was tough not to spread the happy!

But finally L and I are excited to announce that we are moving to the USA!

Our first stop will be… Las Vegas!

We both have some big opportunities that we want to explore, and this year seems to be the right time for both of us. We’ll be setting up house in the US long term, and seeing where we end up from there.

We’ll be saying our final farewells in March, and enjoying the last of Melbourne’s summer before hopping on a plane to the land of neon adventures.

I can’t say I’ve done anything this huge in my life so far, so I am really looking forward to the challenges that I know will be waiting for us when we get there. Wish us luck!

PS. For those of you thinking of our lovely Happy and Keyboard, my awesome sister will be rooming with them while we are away. We will miss them dreadfully. They might reunite with us overseas later down the track but we’re seeing how things pan out first. They will be very pampered kitties under her care, I can assure you; they are quite taken with her!

Owl Posse in Thelma Magazine!

Excited to announce that the lovely Kealey from Thelma Magazine is featuring some pieces from Owl Posse in the latest issue!

Thelma’s evolving into a great online publication choc full of interesting reads and visuals. Check out Issue 3 here.

Photo credit: Kealey Nutt

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Welcome! Owl Posse is an up and coming contemporary jewellery line. It features super cool digital manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting. You can shop the collection here!

Designed in Melbourne, Australia and Las Vegas, NV USA.

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