What are the most useful programs,Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw….for logos, icons, package design, page layout…
For photos and bitmap editing photoshop. No question. Gimp can be made usable however you have to be a programmer to do it.
For everything else LOOK at open source.
While Corel Draw is good for logos and other vector graphics, the best program was freehand until Adobe bought it and rendered it moribund. Illustrator can still be a major pain although it is certainly powerful. The open Source Inkscape is SOMEWHAT like Freehand but has an interface designed by engineers which allows you to do a few InDesign tricks. I think personally inkscape is WA-AY better than illustrator, but this is a personal choice.
For Page Layout there is still Quark Xpress, which isn’t exactly Moribund but isn’t the industry standard any more. The Industry Standard is now Adobe InDesign and it doesn’t suffer from illustrator’s many drawbacks. It can be complicated though. I would use EITHER InDesign or Quark Xpress for heavy jobs such as a book but for something lighter some years ago some open source people did a Pagemaker knock-off and while Pagemaker is no longer maintained, Scribus is:
By necessity it is very much its own program now and is very much worth looking at for pamphlets and other light jobs. Plus it is free.
That’s’ about it. Some animation is usually necessary these days. I don’t mean 3d stuff. So get Flash. Like Photoshop, there is no alternative.
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