By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
Design software is useful for any print service provider (PSP) looking to expand its services without adding new applications or even hardware. This makes them a value-added partner. The first part in the two-part series discusses the benefits of adding designing services as well as any challenges to be aware of. Here, we share information on graphic design suites as well as those tools that are part of a bigger web to print (W2P) solution.
Adobe recently completed its acquisition of Workfront, a work management platform for marketers. Workfront’s platform is agile and uniquely architected for the enterprise, with extensive integration capabilities that can be easily configured to meet the varied needs of companies of all sizes. Workfront is equipped with APIs that enable a seamless connection to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud, which are global standards for creative workflows and customer experience management.
Agfa offers Arziro Design for secure packaging and document design. It is an anti-counterfeiting design tool with an optional mobile authentication module. Agfa Apogee Prepress v12 offers a packaging module with integrated design and editing tools for digital and offset packaging and label production.
For an online design tool as part of a web to print (W2P) program for a PSP’s customers, Agfa’s Apogee StoreFront includes a robust and easy-to-use online editor. Templates can be designed in house by the PSP or by the client’s art department.
CorelDRAW Graphic Suite 2021 launched in March 2021. New features include cloud-based collaboration tools, which makes it possible to present designs to clients and generate real-time feedback in the working file. An all-new flexible design space allows users to work more efficiently. This includes Multi-Page view to see and work on all of a project’s assets in one view. The Pages docker/inspector allows for viewing all pages in a design with a new thumbnail and grid view.
Another new feature is the Multi-asset Export, which saves time with a flexible range of options for outputting pages and objects and creates a customized list of assets to export with one click. “You can simultaneously export the same design element at different sites, resolutions, and file formats—ideal for web and mobile application design tasks—or easily export several items using identical or different settings. And it’s easy to send pages or objects to multiple industry-standard formats, including PDF,” explains John Falsetto, senior director of products, graphics and productivity, Corel Corporation.
Crello offers free graphic design software. It was created to help anyone become a designer and create good-looking images for professional or personal needs quickly and without the need to hire a professional designer. The base plan includes five design downloads every month, over 30K static and animated design templates. 650K premium stock images, 32K full HD video clips and animations, and instant access to 180M+ stock images and videos on Depositphotos.
Customer’s Canvas by Aurigma includes several design tools in its W2P solution, which enables ease of design between customer and print provider. The form-based editor is ideal for design that leaves no room for error, the client can only edit content, text, or images in the template. A WYSIWYG editor allows more experienced customers to add and change design elements by themselves. Lastly, the variable data printing editor allow users to edit the template design as well as add variable data to personalize marketing materials.
Graphical Systems USA provides innovative, easy-to-use solutions for those working in production graphics. It deliver robust tools that empower both graphic professionals and craft workers to accomplish more in less time. Graphic Tracer Professional creates perfect vector files directly from bitmap files or a scanner. The software features fast auto tracing and font recognition with clean-up and replacement.
inkXE is an online product designer tool made for print shops and product personalization businesses. It enables personalization in various ways. PSPs’ customers can upload and edit images of various formats, add and edit text in the tool, select their own artwork from PC, and create artworks on layers. The program seamlessly works with all ecommerce platforms and facilitates various printing methods such as sublimation, screen printing, offset, and digital printing.
Meadows Publishing Solutions’ DesignMerge Pro is a professional software suite integrated directly with Adobe InDesign to provide sophisticated variable data printing (VDP) and data publishing features. The software works with existing InDesign documents using a simple, panel-driven user interface that allows variable elements to be defined anywhere on the page. DesignMerge Pro can merge variable text, picture, multi-paragraph files, Word documents, MPS Tags, or even full InDesign master page information. For variable graphics, all of the most popular file formats are supported. The software supports variable element references by file name, or by full path, and includes the Global Search Path feature that stores variable assets separately on any server or accessible storage.
QuarkXPress is a graphic design and page layout software used for print, the web, e-readers, tablets, and other digital media using one easy tool. Users can create content and export the digital layout for Adobe InDesign, PDF support, table styles, and responsive web design.
There are many options available for bringing design services in house. Doing so means a print provider becomes a value-added partner.
Read part one of this two-part series, More than Print.
May2021, DPS Magazine