In the age of technology, software is always evolving, changing what can be done. In the graphic design world, software companies such as Adobe and Corel are always updating their software and trying new things. Companies have to do this in order to compete with one another and stay up-to-date. These software companies look for what has not been done yet and what can be improved upon in order to make designers’ lives easier. Take a look at the newest updates in design software.
More than 90% of all the main industry software this year are updated versions of pre-existing software. If you have Adobe Creative Cloud, you can see that all of the software included is updated every few months.
For example, Lightroom added a new local storage option for albums in late August. Illustrator’s last update in March provided some user interface upgrades. This version also allows you to import multi-page PDF documents into the software for editing.
Companies are becoming aware of what is being used pertaining to files, so a lot of software has new features to improve compatibility with Dropbox. Illustrator has fixed issues with Smart-Sync to make browsing files easier without automatically downloading loads of files to your hard drive.
Above is a view of Adobe’s “What’s New” page for Illustrator CC, which documents all of the updates and explains what has been done.
The most recent version of CorelDraw includes a new symmetry mode that easily allows you to create mirrored objects. Corel has also released PaintShop Pro 2019, which is their answer to competing with Photoshop. They have improved the user experience and added design tools that make it a great alternative to Photoshop.
The main downside to this software though, like many other Corel products, is that it is not MacOS compatible. This year, a Select Subject feature was added to Photoshop. This allows you to automatically select the prominent subject in an image to make masking more convenient. Most of the new versions of the top software have changed their UI to add support for new monitors.
Most of the new software for this year is just updated versions of what has been around for years, decades even. However, there is one brand new piece of software that Adobe has developed: Adobe Dimension. Dimension was in the beta stages of development in 2017, under the name “Project Felix”, and was officially released in April 2018.
Dimension is a 3D photo-based mockup editor. This program can create 3D designs using imported images and can produce mockups of package design. This software makes product displays much more visual. You are able to take your art and designs into Dimension and add 3D visuals to them. Dimension is unique in the aspect that you can digitally create product shots. Photoshop goes hand in hand with this new software. You can drag and drop background images directly from photoshop.
Here is a screenshot taken from the Dimension page of Adobe’s website. Notice how the packaging is entirely digital and uses the art in the Cloud Libraries panel.
This mix of 3D software and visual design elements is something unique, but does it have much of a use? The answer depends on what you are trying to do. If you are in digital marketing, and want to produce great product images for ads, Dimension is for you. But, if you are trying to create package design or anything for printing purposes, Dimension is not the program to use.
In conclusion, innovation in design software does not directly mean brand new software, but the progression of current programs. Keeping up to date with changing hardware, such as more powerful hard drives and higher resolution monitors, is an essential aspect to keeping design programs “new”. Compatibility with other programs and file sharing programs is also something that software companies are focusing on.
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