Don’t use a hammer to open the mail – Designing with the right tools

Having the right software makes the difference between creating an effective advertisement and a sloppily ineffective space that wastes your advertising dollars.

I recommend a page layout program that allows you to manipulate text size and shape, add photos and allows documents to be converted to either a .PDF, .eps or .jpeg format. Most publications should be able to handle a .PDF document but make sure your specifications are set correctly. (To be addressed in future posting.)

When you’re laying out text, you should be able to change text type, size (by point size), adjust line height (leading) and adjust type spacing (kerning). The ability to adjust type width from expanded to condensed is also good because this allows you to purchase/ use one font (the name of the type family – Arial, Swiss, Century, etc.) a variety of different ways. You should be able to “place” large block of type/copy if you’re designing an advertorial layout.

The ability to place photos in your layout is important. Usually layout programs will allow you to place photos and the file link is established for easy editing without the difficulty or inconvenience of replacing the graphic/photo physically – the link can be simply updated within the layout.
Of course, the program should be user-friendly and final document files should be able to be opened again without format issues.

Programs such as Microsoft Word, Pagemaker and PowerPoint are NOT advertising layout programs. The programs are for word processing programs usually to create memos, notes, outlines, etc. NOT layout and format text. Text formats usually are not saved and will default when opened in other systems if not saved in either a graphic .PDF or .jpeg formats.

The best software on the market now is Adobe InDesign. With it’s easy to use menus, photo linking system and export and file packaging options, this is the best program to do print design layouts. Available through Adobe, I believe this program is available for both PC and Mac.

If you would like information on these programs, like a free consultation or would like a tutorial of Adobe InDesign, please feel free to contact me at


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