Is it possible to use a fully open source workflow for print design?

Is it possible to use only open-source tools in order to produce professional level artwork? Has anyone actually done it? If not, where are the current gaps?

Assume I’m producing a small multi-page brochure including photos, line art and CMYK + a spot colour, and need to take it as far as a PDF I can hand off to the printers.

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Method 1

A bit of overlap with my answer here, and you can grab urls from there, but yep, a Gimp/Inkscape/Scribus workflow might be ok.

Actually done it? Yep. I indeed work with mostly free and open source tools with no complaints.

In my experience, you often have to heavily use your brain and create your tricks to achieve certain industry demanded requirements when the open source tool hasn’t yet received some feature. For this reason, the time factor is key to decide. If what’s needed is a very fast, stressful environment, no hassle workflow, very demanding on features, (often is the typical graphic artist job) imho only the best of the best commercial tools would keep it totally safe. Still so, I prefer open source workflows.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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