The Low End Designer

is a journalist and designer living in Ireland and has worked in design for several newspaper groups, including Mirror Group Newspapers. He was the art director at Gorgeous, a women's lifestyle glossy, and the East Belfast Observer, a weekly local paper.

In this series of articles, Walsh takes a look at how to run a design studio on low-end Macs. Whether you want to get off the upgrade treadmill, are just out of art school and want to set up shop on a budget, or just want to pick up a few tips and tricks, these articles will help you along the road.

  1. Why design using low-end Macs?, 07.21.2004. How to run a design studio on low-end Macs. Whether you want to get off the upgrade treadmill or want to set up shop on a budget, this series will help you out.
  2. Which older Macs make the most sense? And why you want an OS 9 machine, 2004.07.28. Which older desktop models and 'Books make sense in a design shop - and why you may want to have both OS 9 and OS X up and running.
  3. Quark Xpress, InDesign, Photoshop, warez, and the value of software suites, 2004.08.04. A look at some of the essential tools of today's graphic designer - and why you want to avoid pirated software.
  4. Scanning the scene with a flatbed scanner, 2004.08.18. Tips on choosing the right flatbed scanner for design work, including looks at OS 9 vs. OS X support, VueScan, TWAIN, and SANE.
  5. Finishing (in) the Studio: Printers, backup, and graphics tablets, 2004.08.25. Why you may not need a high-end printer, better have a CD burner, and might want a graphics tablet in your design studio.
  6. Peering through Windows: Why the Mac OS alone isn't enough, 2004.09.01. For production, using a Mac is fine, but you also need to know how your Windows-using client is going to view things.
  7. Four shareware programs every Mac designer should try, 2004.09.15. GraphicConverter, PDFCompress, Art Directors Toolkit, and TypeStyler: What they do and why they are so useful.
  8. Killing Quark: Three layout alternatives, 2004.09.24. Quark Xpress may be the long-term standard, but InDesign, MLayout, and Ragtime give Mac users some good alternatives.
  9. Kill Bill: Twelve alternatives to Microsoft Word, 2004.10.01. A dozen low-cost, no-cost, and specialized alternatives to Microsoft Word for Mac users.
  10. Text and typography: Serifs and dashes, 2004.10.08. For designers, typography is the crucial art of choosing and arranging text on the page to create a readable, attractive display.
  11. Text and Typography: Leading, kerning, tracking, and justification, 2004.10.20. How line spacing, kerning, tracking, and justification impact the appearance and fit of text on the page.
  12. Low End Designer survey results and feedback, 2004.10.29. Results of the Low End Designer Survey and feedback from our readers.
  13. Richard Hunt, low end designer and Mac lover, 2004.11.03. Second-hand Macs and older versions of software are the tools of the trade for this London-based graphic designer.
  14. Scribus: Another alternative to Quark, InDesign, 2004.11.17. This open-source design program is lacking some niceties, but it has the tools to get the job done.
  15. ThinkFree Office: Slow, unpolished, yet useful, 2004.12.01. Despite the name, this isn't free software, and it really calls for a higher end Mac, but it does the job.
  16. Preparing for Scribus: Working with X11 and FinkCommander, 2004.12.10. Two free tools that help get *nix software installed and running under OS X.
  17. Scribus: Free DTP on the Mac, 2004.12.21. "The question is, all other things being equal, is Scribus up to the job of professional DTP? The answer is yes, with a few caveats."
  18. The top Mac design applications of 2004, 2005.01.10. What are the best new Mac design programs released or updated in 2004?

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