Computers are ideal tools for certain design related jobs, like creating business cards, flyers or letterheads. Many word processing applications come with basic capabilities and some templates to get users started, but those look generally very generic.
Those who want a professional solution can either hire a designer for a few hundred bucks, or use a program like SpringPublisher to create their own templates.
SpringPublisher is a desktop publishing software that can be used to design and print business cards, flyers, postcards and letterheads, among other types of printouts. The program is template driven, with templates available after installation and additional ones being made available in the online store.
The program is provided as a free, limited version, and a pro version. The main differences are that Pro users can download additional templates from the store, can create high quality output (350dpi), and can use the creations commercially.
Users who first start the program can create a new project by starting with a blank template, or select an existing template from the local storage or the online store.
Templates can be modified easily once they have been loaded into the program. A click on text or visual elements opens the element's properties. Here it is possible to make direct changes to the template. All it takes for instance to enter your name and address is to click on the elements and change the default text under Element Properties. You can alternatively double-click on an entry for even quicker editing.
It is furthermore possible to remove elements from the template if they are not needed, move them, or replace them with other elements. Shapes, text and images can be inserted into each template easily with a click on one of the Insert buttons on the left sidebar.
Images need to be selected from the local system. They are initially displayed in their original size which can be altered under Element Properties. Here it is possible to change the width and height, vertical and horizontal alignment, orientation, opacity and several other parameters.
Here is an overview of what you can add, edit or remove from a design template:
- Insert Images: Load jpg, png, gif or bmp images. Edit their resolution, position, opacity, orientation, shadow and tile.
- Insert Text: Select font size and color, use formatting options like bold or underline. Select the width and height of the text and font separately.
- Insert Shapes: Insert geometric shapes, change their colors and position.
- Insert other elements: QR codes, barcodes.
- Page Manager: Create multi-page layouts, for instance the front and back of a business card.
Projects can be saved as project files or images. The former is handy if you want to have a copy of the design on your computer, for instance to act as a template or as a backup if you need to make modifications at a later time.
The images can be saved as low (96dpi), medium (180dpi) or high (350dpi) quality images with the latter option only available to Pro users. The active design can be printed locally as well with a click on the print button.
Most users are probably interested in creating their own designs and templates, and that's relatively easy with SpringPublisher. It begins with the selection of a standard sized project, for instance a US business card or European letterhead, or a custom sized project. Selecting a standard size ensures that print shops can print out the finalized design without issues.
A blank template is then generated and displayed on screen. It is then up to you to add content to the templace, for instance a logo, text or or shapes. Since that is easy to do it should not pose any problems, even to inexperienced users as it usually comes down to drag and drop operations.
What I really like about SpringPublisher is the ability to edit and move around all elements at the same time. While it is possible to create a blank template, I would suggest that new users start with an existing template to get to know the program and modify the design according to their needs.
The real strength of the program is the ability to design and print new templates with little effort and design experience.
SpringPublisher is offered as a Free and Professional version. The professional version comes with free template store credits, rights for commercial use and the high quality dpi output option.
Users who are not sure if the program is right for them should download the free version and give it a try to see if it fits the bill. Since it offers most of the features of the pro version, it should be all that is needed to make a decision in this regard.Advertisement