Got an email to purchase 2019 upgrade and it's also stating upgrades are ending??? Is it going the dreaded "subscription" (rent, never own) model?!
After reading the many bugs and problems with 2019, very reluctant to move on to that one. I'd hate to purchase that 2019 upgrade and they leave it to die and NEVER fix it, but force me to SUBSCRIPTION after they take my money.
CorelDRAW Upgrades are Ending!
Now is your last chance to upgrade to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019. Later this year, upgrades will no longer be available.
What is clear to me is that people are upset because they value CorelDraw. Yes, it's not a competitor to Adobe CS in production terms, but what I find, and I think many other people do too, is that as a design and drawing tool, it's quicker and more intuitive to use than anything out there. The user interface approach CorelDraw brings to the market is more streamlined and customisable that anything else.
I do agree with people who are saying that recent releases (falling annually it seems) have been more about generating income for Corel rather than adding new features. But the drawing/design application at this level are all very mature these days, so we probably need to be reasonable with our expectations.
Yes, I detest the adventurism in codebase changes that takes multiple versions to resolve - but over time I would have to say that undeniably CorelDraw has tended to be stronger for it. That is harder to swallow when these last 5 years the only reason to upgrade has been mostly due to being able to access .cdr files created with latest version by other designers.
And so - the subscription model. We all knew it was coming. I guess it's a more honest stance, than refreshing the application every year without offering true meaningful change to drive income for the company and shareholders. I for one will probably, like others, just push back on regular upgrades (which I have done to support Corel more than anything else), and go for the full standalone license every few years. I certainly don't like the subscription pricing.
The only other thing I find interesting is that this does open the field now for a competitor to develop a design tool with a more traditional licensing model, which it seems we are mostly concerned about.
Inkscape is not the solution. Nor is The Gimp in the raster space. Both are strong, but still third tier IMHO. You can't see them being used in the corporate sector.
I like how, in the video space, Filmora Pro has sprung up relatively recently to be a solid competitor to Adobe Premier. I had Premier before the subscription model kicked in, then I tried Pinnacle (a Corel product) as a replacement and ditched that for Filmora, which I am very happy with.
So in a similar way I can see a company or developer coming out of the blue and focusing just on a design tool, not trying to have a raster editor, font manager etc. as well on board.
This is the gamble that Corel has just embarked upon - deserting this space where they have actually successfully created and maintained a huge foothold across the world, in the 2nd tier professional market - sign design, T-shirt design, committed artists who appreciate the design interface etc. or just simply don't like Adobe and their high handedness and stuck-in-the-90s interface design ethic. Their market has been addicted to the loose registration model, I know of many people out there using old or hacked copies of CorelDraw. So perhaps Corel think that if they collapse their user base to 25% of what is actually using it out there, but all these people are paying, they might be ahead for a change. I'm sure they've done some modelling on this.
The problem is that they are now competing in license terms with Adobe. And that is something I don't think Corel will win.
Strange days indeed.
I'll just say in terms of sign design tasks, Adobe Illustrator is probably going to get a lot more friendly to that market soon. Some features (I can't say which) may arrive in an update before the CC 2021 version is introduced during the Adobe MAX convention (if the on-going SARS-CoV-2 pandemic doesn't cancel it). Let's just say Adobe isn't just standing still. They have a pretty large beta program for Illustrator and Photoshop.
I agree Inkscape is not really a viable alternative for CorelDRAW. The problem with Inkscape is the user interface is so clunky and feels like a throw-back to 1990's software. Inkscape does support most of the advanced features of OpenType, but it's a real pain to access extended features in any advanced OpenType font within Inkscape. Way way too many extra clicks are required. But a flip-side is none of the industry-specific graphics applications for the sign industry (Flexi, Gerber Omega, SignLab, Vinyl Express LXi, Vinyl Master Pro, etc) offer any full support for OpenType. And that's pretty shocking considering how important type is to sign design.
Affinity Designer has its own limitations. But it has a better interface than Inkscape. It's easier to use than Inkscape. And it's still cheap. Vectornator Pro is free on the iPad. There's a number of other low-cost vector graphics editing applications out there that are easily accessible to people who don't want to pay $500 for a non-subscription CorelDRAW license or get on a more expensive hook with Adobe.
Regarding video editing applications, I've never heard of Filmora Pro. It might be nice to use for those just wanting to edit their own personal videos for amateur or hobbyist use. On the professional end, I think Blackmagic Design poses a more legit challenge to Adobe. Blackmagic Design sells a lot of professional quality cameras, video switchers and other video production hardware -including gear capable of editing 8K footage. Their software is very mature, yet very affordable. DaVinci Resolve can hold its own against Premiere Pro. DaVinci Resolve Studio 16 costs $299 and has built in motion graphics, color correction and audio editing. The software works on Mac, Windows and Linux.
Here are some sample of signs that came in originally PDF files from Publisher or InkScape I can't remember which. In the end no Adobe or CorelDRAW would have been needed. Just send the PDF with scale information. The 3 signs can be delivered to me for $2,900 less than I could manufacture them. We use two lifts and my lift truck not pictured. No Adobe or Corel required.
Here is an example of an interior architectural sign which was a cluster Fxxk of an AI file that is 4 layer dimensional acrylic flush mounted. This job was done in CorelDRAW but does not require it many free vector apps can do this. I did 2 of them this is the small one the second was 300% larger.
This is the only example I'm posting that requires CorelDRAW, 111' multi element manufactured with multiple methods requiring 1/64" accuracy over a 55' element. It was an awful idea by an Illustrator designer in an architectural firm, quite possibly an example of 85% of the mistakes that can be made, the worse was the use of hatch fills in AI scaled with 2 different scales and the scaling errors. I dumped it an did it in a real sign program.
Now the profit margins on Cafe signs and the wall were great, but the commercial signs eech! The issue is that these sign franchise outfits can do these commercial signs and hire an installer and I'm seeing that done allot.
When you look at all these posts and only 1 project out of 3 really required CorelDRAW and only two were manufactured in house times are a changing!
I only really want the kind of work that is highly profitable, making lots of signs for little money on each sign is like cleaning a loaded firearm.
The sign business is evolving to a place where profits are thinning, so I use CorelDRAW because it's efficient up to 150'. If I use Illustrator I'm forced to have something else.
So what do we get from Corel? A program that's so buggy my clients dump it, an extremely complex installation because of bad default choices and features that only make sense to designers who sit in front of a computer.
If I had to design something over 100' long at full size I'd most likely design it in CorelDRAW, not Illustrator. With that being said, no one is going to be making a single sign part that is 100' long. The sign or whatever it is will be divided up into multiple sections, if not lots of individual pieces. If all those panels or various parts have to fit together in a given space over 100' long and do so with 1/64" accuracy you're going to run into more challenges in installation than dealing with scaling quirks in a graphics application.
The biggest thing we typically handle that comes in a single piece is a printed face for billboards, and those get produced from artwork set at 1" = 1' scale, as per request by the companies doing the printing. Sheets of metal, acrylic or other kinds of plastics have pretty clear size limits. And even within those material sizes it gets unwieldy carrying around a panel 10' long or more inside of a building. Lots of fun walking around a corner with something longer than most doors.
While I might create the master design of a big donor wall graphic as a single CorelDRAW file, the actual production will be grabbed from multiple files that divide that master file up into a bunch of more usable chunks. That really goes for things that have to be die-cut, routed, etc. Even digital prints get difficult to handle once they're past a certain length.
I'm still not buying the doom and gloom scenario for sign makers doing in-house production. It's a case by case scenario what elements in a sign project we'll job out versus building the item in-house. Ordinary things, like a lighted 3' X 8' cabinet can be ordered as an aluminum extrusion kit for not much. It's more advantageous to do other things in-house. In either respect the sign company has to have the guts to charge what the work is worth. Bottom feeders under-cut each other all the time trying to outdo others at being the cheapest. They usually don't stay in business long doing that.
Our company sure isn't operating a charity. We're both careful what work we bid out as well as work we "wholesale" to other companies. Every extra company that gets involved in a single sign product can amount to an extra mouth to feed. You can kill profit margins just as easily as growing them by jobbing out work. Hence the situation with formed plastic faces. The faces themselves aren't all that bad, but it's the shipping costs, crating up those faces, that just totally kills that option. We end up pushing the customer to get a different kind of lighted sign face. We'll do install jobs from time to time for out of town companies, such as a sign package for a new location of a chain restaurant. But we're not going to do the work for cheap. We've told plenty of companies to find someone else to install their stuff if they're only wanting to pay a pittance, plus make us jump through a bunch of red tape hoops. We're busy enough installing the stuff we sell and build on our own.
If the sign industry was indeed in big trouble, then that would amount to even more long term trouble for CorelDRAW. The sign industry is really an outlier of sorts with their design departments typically featuring Windows-based PCs and CorelDRAW being the most common vector drawing application running on them. Most other niches in graphic design lean heavily in the direction of Mac OSX and Adobe's applications.
Can I assume you're not an owner?
Larger projects done 1 to 1 benefit from many aspects. Precision placement is much easier, no calculating.
Output is simply a series of powerclips sent to PDF. Makes precision templates for placement very easy.