Print Services and Capabilities
Who remembers Aldus Pagemaker?
That’s how far back my experience goes with desktop publishing. It went on to become Adobe InDesign, and that joined the repertoire.
All the while, Microsoft Word was an ever-present standby. Later on we welcomed Pages to the print party. The more the merrier – lots of versatile ways to get ink to the page.
Sometimes documents are an extension of the presentation package, or vice versa. In any case, there’s lots of crossover – copy, graphics, typography, color schemes – and all the materials need to be consistent with brand standards and complement each other.
Much of the difficulty with making documents is wrestling with formatting. Especially formatting that wasn’t invited.
Once upon a time, your team had nifty new templates that made the content shine. Somewhere along the way, copy & paste from diverse sources has introduced things that don’t belong there.
There are times when it’s best to start with a clean slate. Worst case, that’s a stock template from the application.
Better case: A refresh for your brand’s look and feel, without the hitchhikers.
Imagine typing into a new doc that’s ready to ship as soon as you’re done. A style panel that has your correct typography and color scheme. Clearly defined placeholders for content.
Yep. That’s available.
And if there’s any need for more clarity on how to use those templates, take a look at Tutorials (next tab).
Tutorials Built Into Templates
So what good is a template if not everyone knows how to use it correctly?
That’s where built-in tutorials enter the game.
It’s like a mini style manual, baked right into the template. Anyone who starts a new document knows where everything goes and how to get it there.
They’re also not just using older documents and replacing the content, because the tutorial explains why it can introduce unwanted formatting. It’s also good practice to start fresh and learn how to incorporate content.
Some of it is pretty standard stuff that will help everyone become power-users, and the rest can be anything that helps enforce your internal standards.
PowerPoint as a Publication Platform
Stay with me here. Obviously PowerPoint was not designed or intended to be a publishing platform.
But for short run collateral like capabilities books, periodical product showcases, ephemeral documents that don’t require intricate text flow between pages – it’s an interesting possibility.
Best part? Anyone can edit.
As long as the imagery stays of high enough resolution and the typography is set properly, you can export a PDF acceptable for many purposes.
There are drawbacks, like no table of contents for example. And there’s usually a workaround.
Then you can send it off to a printer or run it in-house and bind it. The main distinction is that you have saved a lot of time on something that might not need the full print treatment.
Interactive PDF Brochure
This one is a unique offering. It was first created for a client by request, and was a resounding success.
A sort of mini-presentation document in PDF format that you can navigate on a tablet.
Right there on screen, hands on, show clients your services, capabilities, examples, and any other topic that might come up.
- It’s completely customized with your content.
- Tabs and table of contents for navigating.
- Perfect for showcasing topics in the field.
- Self-contained, and doesn’t require being online.
- Maintains strict design standards – the formatting won’t go awry.
- You can skip around to different sections – like backup documents for example – and get back to where you were before, which is very helpful when navigating a sales discussion.
There’s an example of the Interactive Brochure here.