Welcome to the Designmark blog

I started using GIMP in 2004 to make banners for the online forums I was a member of at the time. They started off as garish, badly-designed pieces of work but, as I read Photoshop tutorials and began translating them into their GIMP equivalents, gradually they became more subtle, incorporating more sophisticated elements and styles. I still look at Photoshop tutorials now and try to work out how to do the same thing in GIMP. It is that thought process that brought about this blog.

GIMP is already a hugely different application to the one I picked up in 2004 and is starting to come very close to touching the abilities of Photoshop and opening up the field of graphic design to a new audience.

It's a similar story with Inkscape - probably the best-known Open Source vector graphics package at the moment. Yes, there are gaps in its abilities but, with time and the right people on-board, it is developing into a potent vector graphics generator; one that can be used to create professional-standard graphics if the right skills are applied.

Let me clearly state that I have worked with GIMP for over seven years and Inkscape for more than four; if there's a menu option in either, chances are I've clicked it at some point, often with varying success but always with enthusiasm and interest.

It makes me sad that there is such a dearth of decent tutorials out there which show how to use these applications to produce high-quality graphics, when they are absolutely capable of doing so.

They are the ideal graphics packages for schools and colleges, individuals and small businesses. In a couple of years I believe they'll be right up there alongside the top software names in the field as fully featured graphic design applications. Having a strong audience calling for these upgrades is vitally important, and therefore showing what they are capable of is key to establishing their popularity and ensuring their future development, as well as supporting the coders who volunteer their time to make them.

I want to share my experience and knowledge with GIMP and Inkscape, and hopefully by doing so encourage people to try out these brilliant applications. By showing you how to do some of these things I hope that we can kickstart a graphic design revolution.

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What's this blog about?

The Designmark blog is the best online resource for Open Source Graphics software tutorials, showing you how to produce quality graphics in Inkscape and the GIMP. You can find out more about how this blog came to be and what's going on behind the scenes in this article.

Who's in charge here?

That would be me, Mark. You can learn more about me, my background and the design work I do on .

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