I posted this in response to another thread, but thought it might be of broader interest, so decided to add a separate post.
"What software do you use for designing watches?"
This question comes up a lot and for the most part it's a matter of personal preference and budget.
I use Adobe Illustrator to create my drawings. I've been using it professionally now for over 17 years and feel just as comfortable using it to quickly mock up designs as I do using pencil and paper (which I do habitually on ever corner of paper I have or in those long strategic business meetings - yawn).
I also use Adobe Photoshop, though I try to keep this limited to doing only the finishing touches that although I could do in Illustrator, are much easier and faster in Photoshop. I find the combination of the two tools give me exactly what I need and the fact that the designs are vector based and not pixel based means that I can work in minute detail and scale my images to whatever size I need (I have a full color poster print of my first Doxa blueprint on my home office wall - it's breathtaking).
Both of these tools are $$$ and not ideal for everyone, I'm very fortunate to have them and to have had many years of practice using them to the point where they are second nature.
There are many good free tools out there that mimic both of the tools I use, some are even available as standalone applications that do not require any installation and can be installed on a USB thumbdrive - a sort of design studio in your pocket! I've used one of these (portable GIMP) in a business situation where I was working on a computer in a controlled "secure "environment and was not given rights to install applications - it worked great and saved the day!
Here's some information on two great *free* applications that I hope will help those who do not have $$$ to spend.
GIMP Portable is a totally free, fully-fledged Photoshop alternative, I've used this and it is awesome.
InkScape is an Open Source *free* vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.
Let me know if this was helpful to anyone.