need recommendation for mac graphics software that is easy to use.
April 2, 2010 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Can you you recommend powerful but easy to use mac graphics software?

I can use Adobe Illustrator but I have found, after 10 years of messing with it for 1-2 hours per month for various small scale graphics projects, that it is remains hard to use. I am not a graphics artist and no one in my office is, yet we need to generate simple graphics.

I'd like to move to a mac graphics package that is easier to use and more intuitive, even if it lacks the awesome power of Adobe products. I used to use mac paint, which I found incredibly intuitive. But it doesn't exist any more. I am looking for something my office administrator can use to make door signs, tickets for events, that kind of simple mix of images and text.
posted by alcahofa to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you looking for raster (Photoshop) or vector (Illustrator)?

My default recommendation is Pixelmator, but even that may be too much for you.
posted by The Michael The at 2:43 PM on April 2, 2010

Keynote or Pages might double for those purposes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:44 PM on April 2, 2010

Intaglio might be a decent MacPaint replacement.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:45 PM on April 2, 2010

Have you tried Acorn?
posted by justgary at 2:45 PM on April 2, 2010

I'm not sure what you mean by "easy to use." It sounds like you find vector graphics confusing but don't mind bitmap/raster programs.

You might check out VectorDesigner if you want to try a program that's like Illustrator, but simpler. Or Pixelmator for a Photoshop alternative. Or maybe these are too advanced for you also -- it really isn't clear what your level of skill is, or your willingness to learn something new.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:47 PM on April 2, 2010

I use CorelDraw under VMWare for all my vector needs. Granted my vector needs are pretty modest. Illustrator always made my head explode and that gets messy after a while.

You could also try the tools at Aviary.
posted by chairface at 3:20 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

You are asking for OmniGraffle.
posted by Free word order! at 4:16 PM on April 2, 2010

OmniGraffle is super for the kind of thing you're talking about. Lots of built-in shapes that are easy to drag and drop into functional and good looking signs, web graphics, cards, etc. Save to a ton of formats. They offer a free 14-day trial so you can try before you buy.
posted by al_fresco at 4:17 PM on April 2, 2010

posted by al_fresco at 4:17 PM on April 2, 2010

It would be helpful to know what applications you are doing your graphics for.
You say you've been using Illustrator, so can we assume you are producing graphics for print reproduction? Items like logos, that need to be sharp, clear and used at varying sizes. Or are you doing primarily low-resolution web graphics?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 PM on April 2, 2010

I was going to suggest you try out omnigraffle, too. If you need graphs from data, their OmniGraphSketcher looks very nice.

I tried Lineform a year or so ago (bought it, even) but ended up being disappointed. But it might work for your purposes.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:50 PM on April 2, 2010

If I could favourite Omnigraffle for you, I would. Most versatile graphic creation programme out there for the Mac. The free online library of really high-quality stencils puts it over the top.
posted by qwip at 12:31 PM on April 3, 2010

OmniGraffle is good for flowchart-style illustrations. Not so sure it is a good illustration package.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:49 PM on April 3, 2010

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