By Olivia Cahoon
Part 2 of 2
Design software allows print providers to handle a variety of file types with ease of use and a set of diverse applications. Design tools include color and font management, PDF output, proofing, special finishing, and tracking.
A variety of design tools are available to support print providers, here we highlight select options.
Adobe Creative Cloud offers the entire collection of Adobe desktop and mobile applications including Adobe Stock, InDesign, Illustrator, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop, and Typekit. InDesign, a page design and layout application, allows users to create, preflight, and publish documents for print and digital media. It offers design tools for annual reports, brochures, flyers, magazines, posters, and stationary. Photoshop is an imaging and design application for creating and enhancing photographs, illustrations, and three-dimensional artwork. It handles projects from posters to packaging, banners, and logos.
Released in April 2017, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2017 is a complete graphics suite designed for professional output. It offers vector illustration, photo editing, tracing, page layout with multi-page support, extensive file compatibility, color and font management, and support for touch, pen, tablet, and other input devices. “Professional printers choose CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2017 for its powerful color management and color model support, font management, preflighting, file format support, and PDF workflows,” says John Falsetto, senior director of products, CorelDRAW and Productivity. Full pricing for the CorelDRAW Graphics suite is $499 and $199 for upgrades.
DaVinci Designer is a web browser design and proofing tool, released in February 2015. It is fully integrated into established web to print platforms like Global Print Sites. DaVinci Designer features plug-and-play software that enables remote press check and design tool options to create custom user interfaces. The do-it-yourself designer is an easy-to-use interface with advanced real-time design capabilities that allows users to design print and packaging products with special effects like foil and spot UV onto printed products from folded cartons to t-shirts or mugs. “The designer is easily integrated into shop floor software and systems for operators to quickly review design files prior to production so that products are printed exactly as designed,” says Brett Heap, CEO, Opensoft/DaVinci.
LumaPix offers FotoFusion, an easy-to-learn layout software solution. It features an intuitive interface, non-destructive cropping, and image effects. The solution allows users to design from scratch, use templates, or import an Adobe Photoshop template. Its tools enhance images with borders, matte, gradient, and blending modes. LumaPix also offers design software for pro-portrait photographers, yearbook companies, and online photo sales.
Meadows Publishing Solutions offers DesignMerge, an add-on component for QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. It allows users to create customized marketing documents by linking QuarkXPress or InDesign documents to a database file. Each copy of the printed document is personalized with text and graphics. DesignMerge is intended for corporate marketing departments, product manufacturers, event handlers, financial institutions, and digital printers.
Microsoft Publisher provides page layout and design capabilities with additional design assistance and automation. It includes tools and features for banners, brochures, cards, commercial printing, and flyers. It features a drag and drop interface for importing and swapping images. The effects tool offers effects for text, shapes, and pictures including softer shadows, reflections, and OpenType features. Publisher includes simplified sharing, photo printing, and email sharing. Microsoft Publisher 2016 is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.
Released in March 2017, QuarkXPress 2017 is a graphic design and page layout tool. It features non-destructive image editing, responsive HTML5 publications, and unlimited single iOS applications. “Quark has continued to add innovative, productivity-boosting features to QuarkXPress year-over-year. Print providers get more value from QuarkXPress with features that allow them to continue to excel in print output but also add business-generating digital publishing services,” says Matthias Glike, senior marketing manager, Quark Software Inc. In 2017, Quark partnered with publishing expert Martin Turner to produce over 50 videos explaining new concepts and features in QuarkXPress. QuarkXPress is available as a perpetual license.
Xara Designer Pro is an all-in-one design software solution that provides three or more separate applications for different media types. It supports page layout, advanced text controls, photo editing, and vector illustration in one program. Xara Designer Pro is a general purpose creative tool with the ability to create print documents, presentations, PDFs, social media, and websites. “You can design once and deploy to all types of media without having to switch applications and rework your design,” says Nova Fisher, communications manager, Xara Group.
Designed for Ease
Graphic design software allows print providers to accurately construct proofs without producing a physical sample product. Currently, a great selection of design software is available to help print providers add effects, proof graphics, and create print-ready files.
Mar2018, DPS Magazine