– Tom Arah

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Tom ArahHi. I'm Tom Arah the driving force behind

I started in design back in 1987 when I set up my own company  Online Design after leaving Edinburgh University. Back then I couldn't afford a  Mac (probably still can't :) so I ended up with a PC, a Jlaser card that allowed  me to both scan and print (occasionally) in glorious 300dpi using an early  pre-Windows version of Ventura and around 30 set sizes of Times and Helvetica.

Thankfully that was still enough of a technical advantage to enable Online Design to flourish and over the years I have produced everything from business cards to full colour magazines for everyone from local charities to ruthless multinationals.

I still continue my work as a graphic designer, and have also  branched out into other areas most notably into training and consultancy - where I primarily try to help others avoid the mistakes that I made - and a temporary career as an  award-winning software developer (until Microsoft stole all my ideas).

Over the last ten years I have increasingly concentrated on my writing and have written reviews and articles for a number of UK  magazines such as PC Gear, Computer Buyer, PC Direct, Creative Technology, PCW, and Computer Video. In addition PC@uthority now publishes my reviews and columns in Australia.

PC Pro logoI am especially privileged to have been made the Publishing and Graphics Contributing Editor for PC  Pro the UK's largest computer monthly. This position involves covering everything to do with design on the computer and, with over 250 reviews and 100 articles under my belt, I feel I am now uniquely well placed to comment upon current design software and design issues.

In all my writing I try to give a rounded view that takes into account both  high-end and aspirational users and which places a program or issue within its industry-wide context. Hopefully my background of using, teaching and producing software helps in this along with my experience as a professional designer.

I also always try to find the underlying argument or angle that helps to make a piece readable and coherent even when the subject is inherently complex and often entirely new to the reader. If I succeed in this it is largely thanks to my partner, Jane, who  generously reads every article despite having absolutely no interest in the subjects.

If you are interested in commissioning new work or republishing existing work please get in contact.


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All the work on the site (over 250 reviews, over 100 articles and tutorials) has been written by me, Tom Arah It's also me who maintains the site, answers your emails etc. The site is very popular and from your feedback I know it's a useful resource - but it takes a lot to keep it up.

You can help keep the site running, independent and free by Bookmarking the site (if you don't you might never find it again), telling others about it and by coming back (new content is added every month). Even better you can make a donation eg $5 the typical cost of just one issue of a print magazine or buy anything via or (now or next time you feel like shopping) using these links or the shop - it's a great way of quickly finding the best buys, it costs you nothing and I gain a small but much-appreciated commission.

Thanks very much, Tom Arah

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