Upgrading Photoshop

Posted on 16 August 2013 by Ben Lindsey

Are you thinking about upgrading Photoshop for your screen-printing business? I’m still using CS5.5 and plan to run this sucker into the ground before I change.

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Having assembled a few different art departments in a few different shops, I’ve always addressed two factors with equal importance – the budget and the actual needs of the shop. One would think these go hand in hand but how many people do you know who buy the latest and greatest simply because it’s the latest and greatest?

The latest and greatest in this case would be Adobe’s Photoshop CC. As a professional graphic artist, upgrading to Photoshop CC has me salivating but – and that’s a big “but” – I’ve yet to purchase it. My reasoning for such is because it doesn’t truly fit within my needs at the moment.

Now, I’m the type of guy who’ll squeeze every last drop of toothpaste out of the tube before I consider cutting it open and scraping that son of a bitch for what’s left inside. To put it simply, I work hard for my money and want to make sure I’m getting the most out of it when I purchase anything. The same goes with my software.

Photoshop CS5.5 is my currently employed version of the program and I plan to drive it ’til the wheels fall off the bitch. Why? Not because I’m cheap frugal but because it’s not necessary in any way, shape or form for me to upgrade at this point. It wasn’t a necessity when CS6 came out and it’s not a necessity now.

Photoshop hasn’t made any considerable leaps and bounds in improvements between CS5 and CC in regards to the tools we use when working with files for screen-printing purposes. There have been some 3D advancements, changes in color swatches and others but none of them really affect us as screen-printers.

Another valid reason to upgrade…because everyone else is doing it. Not being one to follow trends, I couldn’t care less if everyone else was doing it but when it comes to software, it’s a valid reason. However, in my experience, this has rarely been a factor if you’re only about 2 generations behind. When it becomes a factor negatively affecting your production rates though, it’s time to upgrade.

Until that point where I’m getting files I cannot open on a frequent basis, I’m going to drive the wheels off of CS5.5. It does everything I need and it does it well.

Join the Conversation!

Which version of Photoshop are you using? I’d love to hear what you guys are using and how/when you plan to upgrade if you haven’t already. Leave a note in the comments section below!

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Ben Lindsey

About Ben Lindsey

Ben Lindsey has been in the t shirt business designing and separating t shirts since 2001 having served as senior designer/separator at the States' #1 licensor of rock and roll apparel as well as one of the States' top 10 high-volume screen printers as listed by Impressions Magazine. Currently running Rising Sun Graphics, he continues to provide custom t shirt designs and color separations for print shops and apparel lines around the globe.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Starchild Says:

    Ben, how do you go about opening the later version files from customers who may or may not be the artist that orchestrated the art?

    I agree that screen printers are not missing anything by upgrading but the artists may not agree with this.. (Well at least not until cc came to being)

    Simply asking the customer to save the files to be be compatible with earlier adobe versions is an added process that can take seconds, hours or days before receiving the file..

  2. Ben Lindsey Says:

    I’ve always found most problems you run into when trying to open files in older versions of Adobe’s software came when dealing with Illustrator but it was never anything that would stop the day, per se. Before I went up to CS5, I would at times run into a file that wouldn’t open all together if it were made in a more recent version of Illustrator. When that happened, the file would always open in Photoshop. You can scale up those files as well when opening them.

    After upgrading to CS5, most every newer version Illustrator file would open in AI but I’d sometimes get error messages saying a certain gradation wasn’t available. The file would open and look as it should but it would contain some pretty whacky items in it, like raster items inside clipping paths where traditional vector gradations would be. In these circumstances, you can easily use the clipping paths to recreate the gradations as a traditional vector item or, as I would most often do, separate it in Photoshop as PS handles gradations much better.

    I think now that CC is out and upgrades are going to be rolling out as they’re made, those of us who have lagged behind a generation or two are only going to have perhaps maybe another two years at max before we have to upgrade. When that happens, I’d imagine the sticker shock of doing so will be lessened as the product has been out for a while at that point. That’s usually the case but with CC, that may not remain true. Will have to wait and see, huh?

    What version of the software are you using?

  3. Starchild Says:

    I’m using cs6 and the only real benefit of it for me really is the ability to work with large files without the delay.. (A delay that was not even a bother in cs5 you just dealt with it.)

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