I like empowering my clients to help themselves. Working with tight budgets can be a challenge, so you need to use your resources wisely. With that in mind, some of my non-profits choose to handle smaller projects in-house and save me for their bigger endeavors. I spoke with Dan Rodney at Noble Desktop to offer up some services on learning the best tools to create your projects.
Most people are familiar with the Adobe Suite programs: Photoshop and InDesign. They’re powerful tools for designers, and while learning a program will not make you a designer, it will help you or your staff to create basic projects correctly. There’s nothing worse than spending hours in Publisher working on a flyer to learn it won’t print properly, or creating a “graphic” in Powerpoint and realizing, now what?
First you need to have the right programs
Photoshop has an annual plan for $9.99 a month, but you can get the lighter version, Elements, for $99.99 at Adobe and own it outright. Dan has an excellent class for Elements or if you prefer, they wrote a workbook on it. This training is ideal for the entry-level user who wants to quickly and easily edit and color correct their photos. But you need to learn what format is best for print and web so check out my blog discussing format choices. If you want to learn the basics of Photoshop, check out Noble Desktop’s free seminar online April 4th, 3-5pm.
Next up is InDesign. It’s a very powerful tool, and if you have it, learning the basics can be helpful. Sometimes, I’ll create a base for a client and lock down the elements that are not variables and then when the client needs to change a date or time, they can. It’s helpful for files that are updated weekly with only one or two type changes. An intern or your marketing associate can go in quickly an update the file. The piece is professionally designed, but the ability to update as needed is there. Dan has past recordings, on demand, of intro to InDesign, I recommend checking it out.
To wrap up, these tools are not meant to replace a professional designer. I bring this information to you because some of you already have these programs and I want you to know of the great resources out there to help utilize them better. If there is a more cost effective way to produce a job that is updated regularly, I want to help you accomplish that. Call me if you’d like to explore further.