creating company newsletter without using defacto standards such as Adobe and Quark

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by YS2003, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #1
    Since there are many people on this forum who are in the publishing industry, I would like to post this question. When a company prepares the newsletter for distribution to the customers and potential clients (external audiences), I think it is important to create the materials in professional quality. I have one colleague who is trying to do this with MS Publisher and make the output in PDF (for email distribution) using CutePDF (PDF print out free-ware).

    Even though I don't pretend to be a pro, I feel it is important to use the right tool to make quality materials. I use CS2 for all my marketing materials (so you know how I see MS Publisher). I know poor designs and contents cannot be hidden by good tools; but, I just feel non-pro grade software is not really suitable for important materials such as company newsletters.

    Am I just being snobbish? :eek:
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Are you being snobbish? It depends on how that piece of work is being printed or distributed. Personally, I don't think that internal newsletters are as important as external communications in terms of graphic quality.

    Why don't we ask the pre-press and press operators here what they think of MS Publisher?

    Nothing substitutes for skill, talent and experience. There are plenty of people here that can produce good work with poor tools, as there are also plenty of people here that can produce poor work with good tools.

    The fundamentals of design and typography were set in place long before computers came on the scene.
     
  3. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

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    #3
    I'm going to agree, I've seen remarkable work done using MS Publisher that I honestly looked at and couldn't believe it was done using that.

    I've also seen work done using photoshop that I think could have been done better in publisher. It all depends on the user.
     
  4. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #4
    Aiming slightly lower than the OP, but still loosely related, but I've been given the job of creating my unions branch newsletter (hasn't been published in years). I'm thinking about using Pages as it looks like a very fast way to get a decent looking newsletter together. I'm planning on pdf distribution rather than print btw.

    Do you think Pages will be sufficient for my needs? Just to put the demands into context, the last one published was done in MS Word and won an award in the union (yes the union branches are that bad!).
     
  5. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #5
    Maybe the union branchs went for the content over the looks (like picking a date based on characters instead of looks).
     
  6. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #6
    As said publisher (dont think that is on a mac) /pages can do a decent job depending on the user.

    Personally I cant stand quark so would never use it for something as simple as say a single paged newsletter. I'd probably use photoshop but thats due to me being more used to it.

    From my perspective a simple well formatted page, ie justified text, neat columns etc, will look a lot better than a page thats covered with lots of text jutting into other segments in things such as speech bubbles.

    As to awards, well the content probably had a large part to that because that can be just as important when it comes to newsletters as the design only really becomes important if its representative of the service you offer (ie a design company :)).
     
  7. Shotglass macrumors 65816

    Shotglass

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    #7
    I wouldn't use MS Publisher because of those two capital letters. I always tell people that what programs or tools they use on their own time is their choice, but when other people are affected by it, they should have enough sense to stay the hell away from MS.
     
  8. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    #8
    I have used Quark and Pages both- while I like Quark best for the detailed adjustments I can make among other reasons, there are many things I like better about Pages. I think it is more the designer than the software that makes a great print piece- I have created just as good of newsletters using Pages as I used to do using Quark. If you start going beyond newsletters then one might want to steer more towards Quark or other similar...I have seen very poorly done newsletters done with Quark and great ones done by Pages...but it always depended upon the designer!!
     
  9. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #9
    well, if it were me doing it, I wouldn't be using MS Publisher, that's for sure. But if somebody else is doing it and it looks ok, then I don't see the harm.

    there might be an argument for using industry standards to ensure compatibility with future documents, e.g. "well, if we want to add it to a larger newsletter or maybe have an independent printer work on it, we won't have to reinvent the wheel."
     
  10. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    #10
    This is an extremely good point...I have run into this many times where something is created on a non-industry standard and we did have to in fact reinvent the wheel. I didn't think of this when I did our school's newsletter in Pages- if I leave and the person that takes over doesn't like Macs then they WILL have to do a new layout- or maybe I can save it in a different format for them to start from? Not sure...
     
  11. Shangri-La macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Please don't use Publisher

    I am a designer at a small printing company. I am responsible for taking in client files and trying to get them to print. Please don't use Publisher. As far as using Publisher for newsletters, the only thing I like about the program is it's ability to paginate newsletters correctly. One other nifty feature is the ability to automatically convert a job set up as RGB to Spot color. RGB incidentally is Publisher's default! Crazy. I understand why MS did this (RGB has a wider gamut than CMYK) but it just seems wierd. This option has saved me a ton of time when preparing a file for print. Of course, the color conversion tool is no where near perfect. Often you need to go back through an entire document and recolor all the objects that should be the Spot color and for some reason were converted to greyscale.

    On a side note, PLEASE do not use Photoshop to create a newsletter. That's just about the worst advice I've ever heard.

    I recommend InDesign. A new version of Adobe's Creative Suite will be out soon. The PDF creation is perfect. It's easy to use (even for long-time Quark users). I am much happier designing in InDesign than I am in Quark. I need to use both for my job and when I have the choice I always pick InDesign.
     
  12. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #12
    I've always been able to create a decent newsletter with Word. I know some features are more difficult, or not present, but you can do a lot with MS Word. And with the easy conversion to a PDF file, it's a good way to send via email or web link.
     
  13. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #13
    If you're referring to my post then read it again - I never actually recommended using it. I said I would probably use photoshop but thats due to me using it day in day out and knowing it pretty well. I never said it was the best option.

    Besides if I was sending it to a print house it would more than likely be in an editable acrobat format (although I would ask them first), not every print house has indesign and/or quark.
     
  14. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

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    #14
    But hey, this makes $$$$$ for you or your company so you SHOULD say go ahead, use Publisher!!!:D :D As long as you charge an art fee I guess- either way it is a pain huh!

    I would say that since the original poster was talking about a PDF being created I say go for it on most any software as long as it is easily edited and looks the way you want it to.
     
  15. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    my concern using MS Publisher when it gets updated will it be compatible with older formats. I am thinking about archiving theses files for future reference.

    Also if the only purpose is this file to be electronic then I wouldn't be so worried in compatibility. Now if this is for press, I will be concern because all the print companies send me their Instructions to setup their files, all them say "Do not make files and convert them to PDF from MS Office"

    But good luck.
     
  16. PixelFactory macrumors regular

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    #16
    I have issues with printers that do not have Quark or inDesign. These are the two most popular tools of the trade. If they are too cheep to buy copies of essential (in my opinion) software, where else are they going to cut corners? While pdfs are great, I'd rather a printer have the ability to adjust the source files, whether they need to fix a typo or adjust the color in an image.

    As far as only needing a document for digital use only. There have been many times when I have had to repurpose a design to another medium.
     
  17. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #17
    That is one of my other issues about using Publisher for the company newsletters (which would be distributed to an external audience). If the materials are created with the well respected software (such as Adobe InDesign), you would have more flexibility to repurpose the projects to the different outputs.

    For one page poster, I use PS. I often use Illustrator to some vector graphics and place it in PS files. Both programs are not good for multi-page job (InDesign is made for that type of projects).

    Update: In the meeting with management, I shot down this plan to dust based on other reasons (in addition to the software matter).
     
  18. unusedpassword macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Publisher

    Publisher, like all of Microsoft's product range is an admirable piece of software for easy, no hassle, publications for those either untrained or too lazy to produce a fast service, deliverable product online.
    Using pdf's for a newsletter must be the craziest way to deliver a solution to email, whilst you could include text linking to the online version many email's will just take too long to load, be blocked by firewalls or anti-spam software or simply have text only set.
    Likewise using Photoshop, unless it is just as the design tool and template for layout as it was designed to be which is a great solution when used in conjunction with a text editor or dreamweaver and indesign/quark.
    Personally I use either photoshop or illustrator to design the initial layout then transfer the jpeg as a trace in Dreamweaver and build the page using css and html which avoids all the excess coding blips of Microsoft product range whilst allowing you to view the page with and without graphics as it will appear to all client-side email programs.
    Also great for use in many of the newsletter servers or even your own php server, just my two cents.
     
  19. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I've done internal-type publications in Word, Publisher, and InDesign. I tend to do my better work, and spend less time fighting the computer, with InDesign. I don't understand its full capabilities by any means, but the software doesn't seem to interfere as much as with other solutions.

    Even things that some people would do in Word, such as solicitation letters and résumés, can be done very well in InDesign when it is available. Of course, I also know at least one professor who prepares syllabi in Excel, and they look quite snappy also.
     
  20. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

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    #20
    I agree exactly. I am in the same position & its almost like I typed that post myself...
     
  21. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

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    #21
    I tend to agree with you.
    MSOffice/Publisher/PowerPoint are not commonly used for professional publishing work, and some printing companies and service bureaus will not even accept the files.
    Relying on a freeware PDF utility also seems a bit klunky; not exactly a seamless workflow.
    InDesign is a far better choice.
     
  22. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

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    #22
    Publisher, while a fairly commmon program, is is no way considered industry standard. (Neither is Pages, for that matter).

    However, as an earlier poster commented, for an internal newsletter or document, it will probably suffice.
     
  23. RainForRent macrumors 6502

    RainForRent

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    #23
    But the OP wanted to know about distribution to external audiences. So I will say what you implied– NO. Do not us MS publisher. Unless you have a good knowledge of desktop publishing, Publisher will try to pidgeon-hole you into one of their templates, and you will end up with the same looking newsletter/brochure a thousand other saps have given to clients. Clients see a lot of brochures. They are going to see trends. Break those trends.
     
  24. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

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    #24
    Professional designers use professional software.
    Amateurs use amateur software.

    Therefore, anyone who uses Publisher will (generally) be creating very naff artwork.

    The only way to tell if Publisher is up to snuff would be to find a designer willing to spend a week of his life learning how to use the software!

    Publisher is just a tool - the ability to create good design will be in the user's brain. But if you have good design skills, you won't be using Publisher.
     
  25. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    #25
    Try Pages, we use it at work for internal documents and it works a treat.
     

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