Strangely enough, this is a question we hear every so often from new clients, or those who just want their design work done quickly. Because these people use Microsoft Word on a regular basis, they tend to wonder why we can’t build their marketing pieces the same way. After all, couldn’t we just use our artistic vision and computer skills to give Word files a little extra “oomph”?
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. As great as it would be to save time and money by designing professional marketing pieces in Microsoft Word, that wouldn’t be a very good way to provide value to our clients.
Here are just a few of the reasons that Microsoft Word isn’t an appropriate design platform:
It has limited design capabilities. The pre-designed templates that Microsoft Word comes with might be a nice starting point for school reports and simple business presentations, but they aren’t industrial-strength layout and design tools. What’s more, they represent the limit of what you can do in Word. The software just doesn’t have the power you need for images, text boxes, overall layout, editing etc.
The spacing options aren’t specific enough. Because most spacing in Microsoft Word is done automatically, documents with any kind of advanced design can display oddly, with things like spacing and line breaks that tend to look “off” no matter what you do to them.
The HTML and PDF conversion tools don’t work well. Even if designing marketing documents in Word were feasible, sending them out in that format usually wouldn’t be. And unfortunately, the PDF and HTML conversion tools found in Word aren’t consistent, so you can’t be sure what your final document will actually look like.
Your print company will hate you. If there’s one thing that is the bane to a printer’s existence is having files supplied to them in formats not suitable for printing. Brochures, ads, posters, you name it have to be designed with specific protocol that print companies expect, from image quality to how fonts are handled to overall end product, bleed, crop marks etc. Word does not know how to do it nor should it need to.
Have it designed professionally within industry standard design programs. For page layout, whether it’s Quarkxpress or more likely Adobe InDesign, coupled with ancillary graphic supportive programs like Adobe Illustrator and/or Adobe Photoshop — ensure that these programs are utilized and by someone that knows how to use them correctly.
The bottom line is that Microsoft Word is very good at its job, but its job is holding and formatting text, not serving as a platform for professional graphic design. Besides, why risk one of your most important assets – the credibility of your business – by taking shortcuts that are bound to be more trouble than they’re worth having an adverse affect on your marketing material?
To learn more about our design process, and what we can do for your business, get in touch with the team at Effusion today!