When it comes to producing digital graphics for students pursuing the Digital Media Arts Degree here at Glendale Community College, they have the Adobe Creative Cloud at their disposal. The Adobe Creative Cloud is a collection of desktop applications for photography, design, video, and web that is marketed by Adobe Inc. Students also have access to ACC on computers in the High Tech 1 and the High Tech 2 buildings to get schoolwork done. When these computers are not accessible to complete homework however, students can choose to use other programs than what is provided on campus.   

The level of complexity involved in the digital media arts courses varies from drawing with physical pencil on paper to using intricate programs like Cinema 4D where students can create full-fledged animation for use in film and/or video games. Fortunately, Cinema 4D does offer a student license which allows full use of the program for a limited of time rather than having students pay $59.91 a month. Besides use on campus, some students will purchase their own ACC license to use at home. Price point is the main concern for students when it comes to utilizing these tools for their courses. For the student still living at home, attending college full time and without income, and having to pay a monthly subscription to use some of these programs could spell disaster. Favorably, Students have found a workaround. Procreate is popular among students taking digital media courses. The program is comparable to both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and although they are different software programs students work can be transferred between applications. What wins students over when it comes to these exceptional applications is the cost for use. Procreate requires a one-time purchase of $9.99 via the App Store, versus an endless subscription required by Adobe to use Illustrator and Photoshop. The only drawback to using Procreate is, it was developed exclusively for iOS and iPadOS, which means if you do not own an iPad you are out of luck.

In the early days, there was not many tools for graphic design. Major players in the industry since the 1970s included Aldus, Altsys, Macromedia, Quark, Xerox PARC and Adobe Systems which is known as Adobe Inc today. Adobe Inc was in its infancy when it released Illustrator in 1987. Photoshop was released 3 years later.