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Corel Designer, Why is it not more popular, What am I missing

Discussion in 'Corel' started by Recelect, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Recelect

    Recelect New Member

    Ok, so something is bugging me, and I need to know what the industry thinks.

    We are installing a Graphics division in my Emergency vehicle business, and hired a graphic designer. I am purchasing all the tools necessary for him to do our own in house work which is roughly 300 vehicles a year. I am a newbie, and I am learning the industry my self, But my designer has been in the industry for 10 years and wanted illustrator for design.

    I have found the industry standard for software very much seems to be Illustrator, or Corel Draw... Which Both are fine for artistic work, BUT, I am honestly not terribly fond of for designing vehicle graphics since they don't seem to design in scale...

    Which makes me revert back to Corel Designer, which I have used for years to do technical drawings in.

    In Corel Designer, Not only can i do artistic work, I can set the workspace up to the scale of the vehicle template. So if the vehicle template is 1:20, I simply set the work space to 1:20 and build the graphics on to it in real scale. This also means I can easily put in dimensions with the dimensioning tool for where a particular badge is located on the car to keep for record. I don't have to size them in flexi, I don't have to manually do math to figure out scale, It is true, Making it extremely easy to design and print, and recreate a year down the road when needed.

    So call me dumb, Maybe this is something you all use and don't talk about, OR maybe I suck at the search function, Or, Maybe this can all happen in Illustrator and I just can't find where, or maybe there is a reason NOT to do this, but to me and my technical drawing mind, This seems to be a much easier way to design, scale, and reproduce... AND SO FAR my graphics designer agrees. He had never seen or even heard of Designer until he started here....

    So the question is, What makes Illustrator so much better or what am I missing? I hate not designing in scale but mainly because I am so used to doing it with line drawings and sheet metal work... Is there a plugin? or....? Help a newbie understand how you design in illustrator for graphics wraps, and why? OR take a look yourself at designer and see if it works better or why it doesn't.

    I want to know the goods and bad from seasoned veterans before we really push down a specific direction.

    The photos attached are just showing the dimension tool working for me, and the scale settings...
    The dimension tool is literally a tool. drawing in scale lets me use it to locate the badge based on lines of the vehicle. This is surprisingly accurate. You can also see when I select the badge, it gives me its size in the upper right corner... Great for quoting purposes and reproduction!

    Thanks in advance! scale size.JPG badge size.JPG
     
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  2. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    I've designed 35' tall pylon signs in Flexi, to scale. AI is the only one I know of with a workspace limitation.
    Why isn't Corel Designer a "standard"? It probably cant do all the things required to be one.
     
  3. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Corel Draw and Illustrator can create scaled layouts. You create a layout, go to the Layout heading and choose any of the page items, like page layout, page size, etc. Then in the left column select the Rulers heading. You'll find the scale there. Choose 1:20 and you're good to go. Or leave the layout at 1:1 scale, and when you import your template scale it 2000%. Then instead of working scale you are working actual size. Corel Draw can handle the page size large like that; Illustrator can't. Its maximum artboard size is 227"x227". So in Illustrator you have to work at scale.
     
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  4. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    On your other question, what makes Illustrator better? It isn't necessarily. But it's what the art/design industry has used since it went digital. Corel Draw is more common in the sign industry because it had always been cheaper, and did everything sign makers needed to do (and could do them in 1:1 scale, but cheapness was the primary reason).
     
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  5. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Adobe Photoshop took the world by storm in the early '90s. It was powerful and fun and anybody could use it. Illustrator had actually been around longer, but it was a more technical program with a steep learning curve. As Photoshop became the standard in image manipulation, Illustrator went along for the ride as a vector art creation tool.

    Corel Draw was developed at about the same time as Adobe Illustrator, but only for Windows. Adobe had embraced Apple Mac users early in the game with Postscript and the Apple LaserWriter, allowing graphic designers to set type and create page layouts digitally. There was no Windows based alternative for professional typositors, so studios and graphic designers bought Macs. A studio would have a considerable investment in hardware and software (I spent over $12k for my first Mac and LaserWriter), and since Postscript type was only available for Mac users, a studio could have a sizeable investment in Adobe fonts (Mac only).

    This began to change in the mid '90s, but most design studios stuck with Adobe and their Macs (after all, they had tens of thousands of dollars invested and were familiar with the operating system).

    Back in the day, one needed a college degree and years of experience to be a graphic designer. Type was produced by speciality type setting firms, and images were separated and sized using cameras and film. Layouts (or mechanicals) were prepared by experienced "paste-up" artists, and printing plates were photographed and created by highly skilled pre-press technicians. These days, anybody can be a graphic designer for a few hundred dollars, and most of the highly skilled technical jobs are gone. I could wax on about the loss of design quality when the process was democratized, but this is where we are, for better or for worse.

    Corel Draw became popular in the sign making community because it was cheaper and easier to learn. The world of typesetting and printing was foreign to the sign industry; most sign shops hand painted their signs. At first there was the Gerber vinyl cutting products that revolutionized sign making (at $285.00/font, so if you wanted Time Bold and Times Regular and Times Italic you were out $855.00). When Windows based programs like Corel Draw came out, with the ability of cut vector files like the Gerber machines, they were much cheaper than professional Apple Macs and Adobe products (which, of course, were designed for the professional printing industry). But these new, uncomplicated programs worked great for making signs, and essentially made sign writing a thing of the past. Eventually, the software became easier to use and less expensive, available for any computer platform you choose, and the differences became practically indistinguishable. Nowdays, a well equipped sign studio will likely have both Corel and Adobe products, and the artist can choose whatever is best for his/her needs at the time. I mostly use Illustrator and Photoshop because I am very familiar with them and Adobe is the most universal standard (remember, I came from the printing industry). But most sign guys I know prefer Corel, having jumped into the digital world a number of years after the printing industry.
     
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  6. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Scale drawing in Illustrator: Hot Door CADtools.
     
  7. Big Rice Field

    Big Rice Field Electrical/Architectural Sign Designer

    Corel is popular in the sign industry as it interfaces better with manufacturing software and hardware. Illustrator artists are taught how to draw layered vector objects that print fine but do not work at all with plotters and CNC cutting machines like router tables. Illustrator artists are generally clueless as to how to make a pattern file or other manufacturing CNC files.
     
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  8. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    This topic comes up a lot. Work in 1:10 scale in Illustrator, because it's dead simple to just move the decimal over in your head, and then scale to 1000% in your RIP.
     
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  9. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    Okay, I'm sorry if this pisses anyone off, it's not directed at anyone here, most sign peeps who got stuck with Illustrator are cool, but...
    My take on why Corel Draw isn't as popular outside the sign industry .. and maybe even within....
    In the early days Illustrator was Mac based and Corel was PC based, & 100% of people who teach graphic designing (with the exception of Corel & CAD) are
    d0uchebags (it's a fact, look it up). These D.B. graphic designer teachers looked down their noses at the common "posers" that used a PC & by extension, Corel Draw.
    Many-A-Time I have been on the phone with a designer, when I had to call them up for the 50th time, to remind them to save their art in a format that I can import it into
    Corel Draw on my PC and I could hear the disdain in their voice .
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  10. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    FYI: When people say that Corel works better at scale, they mean they can set any architectural or engineering scale that works best for their design, so that when the customer takes the proof
    to the permit office, or if the installers need a measurement that's not called, they can put a scale ruler on the printout and measure it on the fly.
     
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  11. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    This is so true. Both of my advertising/design teachers was were this way. Our class was all Macs and everything was Adobe/Shockwave and I think a dabble in Quark. Since I grew up in a sign shop (which my parents determined would be PC based) I was fond of PC. Both instructors were hardcore on the Apple train; "it's processor is built better for designing!" I laughed in their face when Apple started using Intel chips because they couldn't use that excuse anymore. They just kept coming up with more. You didn't even want to mention Corel. "I've been teaching this for a decade and no one uses it!" I will also admit that in my 15 years of answering the phones here, I can count on both hands the times someone asked if we support Corel files. So maybe there was some truth to that.
     
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  12. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I'm telling you bannertime, go to any design firm's "holiday party" and sneak around, somewhere you will find a shrine to Steve Jobs!
    And they will all be drinking vinegar & water mixed drinks, because they love themselves so much.
     
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  13. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    True, Illustrator doesn't have built-in support for working at scale, but I don't find it very difficult to type "/25" in the Transform window and press Enter to turn my 1:1 drawing into a 1:25 drawing.
     
  14. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    Back in the day when I did mechanicals, every bounding box and every printout was 11" x 14", it didn't matter if it was a drawing of a 18" x 24" sign or a strip mall with multiple channel letter signs, the designer would set the scale to fit the drawing every time and
    the printouts were to scale every time. Anyone who opened that file or looked at that printout could tell you any dimension in that drawing without having to convert anything... correct me if I'm wrong, but AI can't do that.
     
  15. Recelect

    Recelect New Member

    So, seems like I was incorrect on Illustrator really being the software of choice, seems like Corel DRAW has a pretty good following, BUT don't get that confused with Corel DESIGNER. I can get Corel Draw to scale and it has the dimensioning tool, but It takes more effort. Designer, the tools are right there at your fingertips all the time, and much more focused on scale drawings.

    Also, I understand that you can manually draw and transform in scale, But the question is WHY? if there is a software that does all of the graphics stuff, plus all the technical locating stuff for you, why do it manually? Do you find whatever software you are using to be much better? Or is it not that important to get to certain dimensions as I think it is?

    When I can draw in scale, and use the dimension tool to locate a badge on the drawing, it would give my installer a printed "instruction manual" on where a particular graphic goes, every single time. It seems like that would work well. If you are not drawing in scale, and you manually transform something, how do you put in dimensions? Or do you manually draw a line and type a number for dimensioning.

    One of the main issues I have seen with the multitude of different subcontractors we have had do our work in the past, is they have hand written notes on where a certain stripe or graphic goes. we might build 10 of the same car year 1, and then 10 of the same car the following year. It seems to have been extremely difficult for them to match a vehicle from 1 year to the next with the sizing and the location on the vehicle. In my mind, Drawing in scale, with the dimensioning tool, would seemingly work WAY better for that, of for any graphic we design. BUT I am new, and I am SURE there is something I am missing to why that is not done in the industry...

    Also, Totally agree on DB professors looing down on PC users. It was one of my biggest complaints because I could never afford a Mac machine so I always only ever had PC!. Worked good for me!
     
  16. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    We always used an architectural scale because that's what the permit office and contractors preferred (we found).
    As I said earlier, you set the scale that works best for the drawing right when you set up the file, and you don't have to convert
    anything for printing or PDF proofing.

    upload_2019-7-5_14-12-42.png
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    It sounds like you would prefer Corel for many reasons. I say it's your show and do it the way you feel is best for you and not to suit someone else. If they are decent, they will figure it out.
     
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I had always found this ironic.

    As far as I know, Apple only makes PCs when talking about their devices in this manner of use (not talking about their phones, ipads/ipods edge devices etc). They don't even have a server platform anymore, article that I read back in 2018 made it seem like they were essentially ripping out the guts with a laundry list of deprecated services for their server platform.

    One thing that Apple (and this goes for Adobe) has been able to do is keep the marketing machine churning out the same ole same ole and people just gobble it up. In the past, some of these things may have been true. There may have been differences that would lead one person to use a certain platform over another, but those differences are rapidly disappearing (if not totally gone, depending on what you are talking about).

    A lot of people are still stuck in this "time vortex" of what was good 15, 20, 25+ yrs is still good without really going over the merits if it truly still is the case.

    Now, this isn't everything and there may still be some validity to reasons why some software is still more suited then others and platforms as well, but I do think what a lot of people still tend to gravitate to is more marketing then anything else to keep up the appearance of a much bigger lead compared to other platforms/software.

    This is what I tend to "see" when dealing with the more official school educated designers out there.

    To the OP:

    I noticed that you said "in house" with regard to what your producing. Is everything in regard to this "in house"? Not receiving outside files, not sending out files to the outside?

    If there is no reason to be concerned what outside users may need (for whatever reason), then I would get what your designer could use efficiently to deliver the best product. Doesn't matter if it's Ai, DRAW or something else.
     
  19. Category5

    Category5 Member

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    Outside the sign industry, Adobe software is considerably more popular for professional use. It’s what design students are taught, and the format outside files are usually sent to you in. Way back in art school, I was taught Illustrator alongside manually doing artwork layouts for print. It’s been my preference since. I simply don’t like Corel because it’s not what I’m used to, and it slows my workflow to a crawl. It’s not that it’s bad software, I just don’t care to learn something different from what I already use and have 25 years experience with.
     
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  20. mpn

    mpn Active Member

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    "Back in the day, one needed a college degree and years of experience to be a graphic designer. Type was produced by speciality type setting firms, and images were separated and sized using cameras and film. Layouts (or mechanicals) were prepared by experienced "paste-up" artists, and printing plates were photographed and created by highly skilled pre-press technicians. These days, anybody can be a graphic designer for a few hundred dollars, and most of the highly skilled technical jobs are gone. I could wax on about the loss of design quality when the process was democratized, but this is where we are, for better or for worse."


    We had a "camera room" , "developing room" and a couple other separate dedicated areas for proofing & layouts, pre-press etc.
    It used to be a skilled trade like mentioned above to be able to set type and do camera work for enlarging and reducing images / type.
    One of the cameras we had was 12-14' long IIRC and doing artwork was a mixture of hand drawn elements and hand set type all trimmed and set out by hand, film positives, wax machines and rubylith oh my...lol.

    Sorry for the side track, this just brought back some memories.
     
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