Is an Open-source Studio practical?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Yr Blues, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm not sure how advanced the open-source programs are these days. Just wondering if it's at all practical to try a 100% open-source print design studio in the age of the PDF.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    When clients and other studios start sending you the latest Illustrator EPS files, or start sending through Quark and InDesign templates they may have had in the past, I suspect that open-source principles may have to take a backseat to pragmatism. Not many useful fonts are open-source either.

    For instance, the GIMP doesn't allow you to work with spot colours, so working with duo and tri-tones, let alone six-colour work, is impossible.

    Also, I'm not entirely trustworthy of roundabout methods of correctly making PDFs for press that involve other products than Adobe ones. OS X's built-in PDF support isn't flexible enough for two-colour work or layered PDFs that may contain cutters and the like.

    A free lunch is often not enough to make a meal of. ;)
  3. Yr Blues thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Hmmm...thanks for the info. I'm currently using CS3 for everything. I might just install Scribus for sh*ts and giggles.

    There needs to be some competition to Adobe. Their programs just keep getting more and more bloated.

    Open-source is pretty impractical for something as complex as print-design.
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    That's why I still have an intense love-hate relationship with QuarkXpress.

    Quark 8 is nice to use. InDesign is also nice to use, but if Quark disappears, where is Adobe's incentive?
  5. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    Open source is not impractical for things as "complex" as print design, the entire Linux operating system and most parts of OSX are open source. The problem comes more down to there is no leader telling people what features to work on and when to have them finished by.
  6. Yr Blues thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Oh god, that brings back nightmares when I worked at the Houston Chronicle. Quark!!!

    Man, give me some amberlith and a cutting-board, dammit.
  7. Yr Blues thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Yeah, sucks like that.
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Sorry, but this isn't true. For instance, to use industry-standard swatch libraries in your software, you have to take out licenses and pay for them. No open-source software is going to do that.

    Print design and production can be fiendishly complex, with extremely tight deadlines and huge budgets, which is why studios, no matter the size, prefer to rely on trusted solutions.
  9. ezkimo macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2002
    Isn't that a contradiction? It's not impractical but doesn't have the necessary features.

    Seems fairly impractical to me.
  10. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    It's not that it doesn't have the required features now, but that it may take a while to get new ones. It really depends on the size of the open-source project.

    I tried getting into design a while back; I took a course on it over the summer. I only learned one thing during that course - I hate Illustrator. I don't think I've ever seen a mac app so counter-intuitive. If you want the open source alternative, which I've also used, and which does open recent Illustrator files, it is called Inkscape.
  11. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Short answer is NO.

    Open source studio is like communism, on paper it sounds like a great idea but really doesn't work.

    On the surface most of the Open Source applications seem sound enough but they are just not designed in mind for professional application, it's just that simple. Try doing professional colour grading work with GIMP, besides turning you insane it just wont work or get a professional result.

    I worked for a studio who thought it was a great idea to run GIMP, but when there creations went live for broadcast the images blew out the gamma by 35% to 40% which meant that you had some very nice white blobs and no image because of GIMP's crappy TARGA support.

    I look at it like this, I am not buying the application I am paying for my own sanity ;)
  12. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    As long as you don't have to interact with the outside world, you could maybe pull off something. But the need to be inclusive will prevent you from being only open source.

    By the way, your signature sounds like it's for survivors of the "sexual violence forum"... those who survived that particular forum.

Share This Page