Why Creative Suite 3 is bad for design

I'm frightened by Creative Suite 3. Not by the price -- I’ve got a few jobs lined up I’m sure this can be factored into -- but by just how easy Adobe is making it for the unskilled and untalented to pick up these tools and use them badly.

Let’s start with that Live Color feature in Illustrator. Butchery of English spelling aside, a good-hearted attempt by Adobe to make it easier to produce variations on work will be used by the unimaginative to play around with – i.e. muck up – great work. It’s almost as if, when you click OK, a giant dialog box should appear with ‘now tweak it till it actually looks good’. Tweaking and bending conventions are where the talent is in design, not following rules rigidly.

In looking to make pro-grade work faster, even the new tools such as Soundbooth and Ultra provide very quick ways for anyone to create mediocre-looking audio and video work. I’m all in favour of tools that allow me to work faster and spend more time on actual design – or push my skills into new areas such as motion graphics – but anything that makes my clients think that they can do it themselves or use quick-&-dirty talent is bad for design as a whole.

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