Should You Learn Photoshop or Fireworks? (and more!)

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In this week’s question time I talk about whether it’s best to learn Photoshop or Fireworks, what software I use to create these Question Time videos and I offer advice for designers who are just out of school and are looking for design work.

This week’s questions

Hi Chris, I would love to hear your thoughts on the various design programs. I started out using Fireworks (Macromedia) for designing and just can’t get my head around Adobe Photoshop. However it seems that every designer in the world is using PS.

Hi Chris, I was just wondering what software you use to make/edit your ‘question time’ videos?

I’ve just got out of school, do you have any advice for someone wanting to go out there on their own? How did you get started?

Interesting design links

8 Things They Don’t Tell You About Being a Web Designer

Create a Vector Chopper with Illustrator CS5 and VectorScribe

How To Create An Espresso Machine Icon in Adobe Illustrator

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Have a question in mind? Fire it over to me on my Formspring account and I’ll drop in my text based answer. Every couple of weeks I’ll pull out a hand full of questions to expand on or talk about in more detail in video format.

Ask a question for the next episode

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  1. Danae says:

    I mainly use Photoshop for design. But once at work I had to resize/crop around 400 product images. Fireworks was perfect for that.

  2. John says:

    I use Fireworks for web design, and can’t figure out how to use Photoshop for the life of me! They have it at school and I just couldn’t figure it out, so I’ll stick with Fireworks as it’s much easier and I can still doing everything I want to.

  3. Jorden Tually says:

    Once again, very good infomaion! Thanks Chris!

  4. Haris Tahić says:

    I use PS for almost everything, but I use Fireworks only for creating favicon :))

  5. sanji says:

    I use PS most of the time, thanks for this info Chris!

  6. I think that you can do many good things, really Awesome with both Softwares. But … the big problem that I think deserves to be noted is the piracy … here in Brazil there is a wide growth of the sector production Web, but prices of original software is too expensive for our standards, (unfortunately, We are the second place in piracy in the World Ranking) as if it were not enough, we have the highest tax burden in the world. The open source software or the free alternatives, sincerely, do not do what the AL or PS or FW can do. That’s the dilemma.

  7. Fazreen says:

    I use PS most of the time. You should stick with software that you are comfortable with.

  8. Design Kanya says:

    Hi Chris,
    Firstly, its very nice of you to bring this topic up on your blog. This topic has been the bone of contengency since a long time now. Now that Adobe owns both these, it has fairly become the choice of the designer. On a different note, Photoshop was not originally designed for web graphics; it just hogged all the popularity, unlike Fireworks.

    I prefer Fireworks for web graphics whereas Photoshop for photo post processing or image enhancements.

  9. OGO OKAFOR says:

    I use photoshop.

  10. Nick Burd says:

    I believe Fireworks is now Adobe. Macromedia does not exist anymore..

    However. I like both. I’m more comfortable with PS, but FW is a good powerful tool if you know how to use it. :D

  11. Luke Burford says:

    Years later I feel I’m finally getting to know Photoshop properly. It’s a beast. And now I’m curious about Fireworks…

  12. David says:

    I use Fireworks to design websites. There, I said it. I could be wrong, but it feels like I’m in a small minority; among web designers, the application of choice seems to be Photoshop.

  13. Elaine says:

    As a graphic and web designer I use Photoshop I found designing for web in Fireworks quite time consuming and Photoshop crosses over quite well for graphic design, I have always found it easier to use.

  14. alex says:

    I think PS is for all kind of graphics but Fireworks is for web design. Isn`t it?

  15. John says:

    I LOVE Fireworks. I have found that it can do everything photoshop can do, but better and easier.

  16. Manifo says:

    surely Photoshop but maybe i got used to it and that’s all..

  17. Dallas says:

    I use PS most of the time as well.

  18. Photoshop says:

    I use Fireworks to design websites. There, I said it. I could be wrong, but it feels like I’m in a small minority; among web designers, the application of choice seems to be Photoshop.


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