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People believe there is only one program that is worth using. I here all the time how PhotoShop is what you need to produce web graphics. I know Fireworks, PaintShop pro, Gimp, Corel, and other programs can be used to create just as good graphics. I have seen people creating very slick graphics with free programs that came with their computer.
Same goes with techniques to produce the graphics. There are so many ways you can produce the same image it is mind boggling. I have seen people create the same image in completely different ways that it was quite incredible.
So why do we feel this way? In art making it is the personal decision that gets us to the solution. That is how we build our style. I find it almost disturbing that we are losing our creativity to get a nice packaged answer to our problems. I think tutorials are great in the beginning, but are they starting to make the design field lose its experimentation?
I also think the same is true with programming. I have seen programmers that create incredible results that they were told were impossible. It was the creativity of the programmer that truly created a work of art.
So why do we except the answer that it isn't possible? Why do we stop thinking outside the box for answers? I always learn such great new techniques from everyone here that I never tried. There are so many answers to the problem. I don't think you shouldn't take advice, but you should take it as that. I think we are taking advice and making it gospel.
Experiment, innovate and enjoy!
I love new and interesting websites where they challenge the normal 'template' approach to design.
When a new project lands on the desk our team always look at new ways to exploit(tickle) the web - more often than not, they are not really relevant to the client but still develop us as designers.
There are loads of people out there experimenting - But I find clients don't often opt for new 'trendy' styles but instead choose the more 'professional' approach 99% of the time.
I am sure that is why certain methods for design have become standardised? ... but as the *media* has proved in the past those who care to challenge, sculpt the future.
Otherwise we'd probably still be watching lame movies on a tiny B&W tele ;)
I'd have kitten-fits if somebody told I had to use one and only one program to create graphics, or even to design web pages!
I close my eyes think want I want the site/design should really look like then I use/find the tools to produce what I saw inside my head.
I was once ask a Carpenter why he had several hammers he replied
"when building a chest of drawers you don't only use a hammer sometimes you need a really big hammer"
I guess corel paint/draw ,fireworks and photoshop are just different hammers