Which Software is Best for Brochure Design?

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Even with the rise of digital and social media marketing, print marketing has proven to remain successful in reaching customers. Printed brochures make a stronger first impression and have a longer lasting impact on existing and potential customers than digital advertising.

One way to keep the cost of a printed brochure low is to design it yourself. When it comes to brochure design online, the challenge for many people is figuring out the best software to use. The main factor in this decision is usually experience (or lack of) with graphic design. Other factors can include your budget, the type of computer you will use, and your fluency with computer software in general.

If you have design experience, you’ll probably want a more advanced software package. If you have little to no experience or don’t expect to be doing a lot of your brochure design work, a more basic software program may be best. What follows is a brief overview of four of the most popular brochure design online software products.

Adobe InDesign

As the leading desktop publishing software, Adobe InDesign is considered by many to be the gold standard for brochure design online. Unlike some design software, this one was made for designing multi-page documents, and it does an excellent job of it. InDesign is also part of the Adobe Creative Cloud software suite, which is rated as the industry standard by many.

One of the strengths of Adobe InDesign is its rapid layout features. This includes page templates and configurable paragraph and character styles, that help reduce page setup times. Other time-saving features and typography support also help speed up the design process. These features may be of more value to experienced designers than to newbies. But once you get comfortable with the software, you will be glad to have them.

Other strengths of the software include asset linking, output packaging, and a configurable workspace. These advanced features give you a high degree of flexibility and control over how you manage each unique visual image used in the print project. You also receive advanced font management, including font compatibility with all languages. The advanced color management supports PMS, Focoltone, HKS, Toyo and many more.

InDesign is compatible with both Windows and Mac environments, but it does require a fairly steep learning curve for new users. It can cost up to $50 a month for a subscription. If you’re new to graphic design and don’t expect to do a lot of it, InDesign may be more software than you need. If you know what you’re doing or want to develop your design skills at a high level, you will certainly want to consider this program.

Scribus

Scribus is an open-source desktop publishing, which means you can download and use it for free. Originally designed for Linux, BSD and Debian systems, it is now compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. Scribus can’t quite match the power or flexibility of InDesign, but it offers many of the same design features, including powerful layout tools, master pages, configurable paragraph and character styles, and more.

One area in which the software really excels is color management. Scribus currently includes almost 200 color palettes, with several hundred more planned for the next version release. It supports RGB, CMYK and spot colors while providing robust and reliable color management. It even allows you to simulate various forms of color blindness to see how the colors you use affect people with color vision deficiencies.

Like InDesign, Scribus has a steep learning curve. On the other hand, because it is open source, you can change the underlying code if you know how. Unless you have experience writing code, this feature may not interest you.

Bottom line: Scribus has a lot to offer but is probably better suited for experienced designers or those who want to reach that level. Otherwise, the time required to become fluent with the software may outweigh the benefits.

Microsoft Publisher

This popular brochure design online software is a good choice for new designers and those who don’t need the sophisticated features of InDesign or Scribus. In fact, it has become the go-to software for many do-it-yourself brochure designers. Its strengths include:

  • Easy to learn, especially if you work in a Windows environment
  • Offers a lot of built-in templates, with more available online
  • Makes it easy to precisely lay out and style text, pictures, graphics, and more
  • Is included with Office 365 (Home version) at no extra cost

Microsoft Publisher can’t match up with the InDesign’s of the world, but it does a good job for people and projects that don’t require state-of-the-art design software.

Canva

Canva may well be the best brochure design online solution for those who aren’t professional designers. Not only is it easy to learn and simple to use, but it also guides you through the design process. You sign up with your email address, and Canva leads the way. This includes prompting you to choose what type of graphic you want to create and then suggesting various template visuals. Once you select a layout, you can customize it using the simple drag-and-drop feature. Text can be edited similar to the way it’s done in text boxes in other design software.

Canva comes in free and paid versions. The free version has a limited number of templates to choose from and doesn’t offer any images, although you can buy them for $1 per image. The paid version offers many upgrades, including access to a database of 300,000 images and the ability to accept custom fonts and color palettes.

Canva doesn’t offer the unlimited creativity of more sophisticated design software. But if you have no intention of becoming an expert designer, or don’t want to invest the time required to learn an InDesign or Scribus, Canva provides a suitable, low-cost alternative for designing brochures.

Got questions about designing your print brochure? Give Printivity a call at 1-877-649-5463 or send us an email. We’ll be happy to help!

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