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I am looking to do some basic UI elements for my website, eg a logo. I am not looking for anything really fancy, something like:

and this sort of things.

Besides photoshop, was program do you guys recommend where I can do this things easily.

I am using Mac, native Mac apps are more than welcome.

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This question title is a bit misleading. "Design for UI" would be more accurate than "UI design" (which generally refers to IA, IxD, etc.). – Lèse majesté Oct 24 '10 at 5:24
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Check out Art Text by BeLight Software. It lets you create glassy buttons, stylized text, and icons in different styles. MacUpdate Promo happens to be running a 30% discount on it till the end of the week.

There is also Aquatint, but it requires that Rosetta be installed before you can run it on Intel-based Macs. It's really old.

A favorite of mine (though it doesn't manipulate text like Art Text) is PhotoStyler. It lets you create all sorts of effects. It's perfect for the Photoshop-challenged, like me. The publisher, Corner-A, also makes other apps that you might find helpful.

And last but not least, check out Apple's list of Imaging & 3D apps.

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Awesome thank ArtText did the trick, I did a simple text baner with a small drawing in 2 hours, enough to show the idea :). – daniel Oct 20 '10 at 1:02
You're welcome :-) – Hisham Oct 20 '10 at 2:39

Illustrator. use ilustrator to design a logo. Perhaps Inkscape, but make sure it goes well as vector shapes without gradients. You might want to consider how to scale / amend it to use it as a favicon bitmap, hence 16x16 px.

If you want to have it long-lasting, ask an expert – folks are spending years to study graphic design – not without a reason.

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Illustrator. I tried Inkscape for a while and found it a bit clumsy in comparison to Illustrator. – Nick Desjardins Oct 20 '10 at 19:31
+1 for doing logos in vector. And also that design is not about about the program but the person's skill set. You could go out and spend $1000s on the best software and still make a logo that looks like a turd. – David HAust Nov 15 '10 at 1:45

Some open source options:

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The best App besides Fireworks and Photoshop is Pixelmator IMHO

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I'd second Fireworks. It's designed specifically for web graphics and is a nice blend of raster and vector.

The GIMP is a bit wonky on my snow leopard as everything requires a double-click for some reason.

Inkscape is a nice open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Photoshop is a beast and expensive, but obviously widely used. I've been meaning to check out Pixelmator.

As for 'easy to use' well, they all have learning curves.

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I am going out on a limb here, but I would guess that your problem isn't what application to use but the creative process itself. I have a lot of engineers and other friends who make their own logos and I end up throwing out the design and starting from scratch.

Do you have a design already sketched out?

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