Posted by : Amanda Stein Thursday, October 13, 2011

Small businesses with limited funds and resources frequently find themselves overwhelmed by all of the choices in software for designing/editing marketing materials. Although there are free resources available (some listed below) most come with serious drawbacks (i.e. the inability crop, re-size or to save as PDF). The quality of the software that you are you are using has a direct impact on marketing materials that you distribute or use online. When in dire need for a program which will allow you to use the capabilities that you need there are also free trail options. This will give your business the opportunity to make the material you need and make the right decisions on which software you will need to purchase. Below I am providing you with a list of the software that is available and a light summary of the drawbacks.



Serif Products
http://www.serif.com/



The nice thing about this company is that they provide a lot of programs, all downloadable from the internet for a very reasonable price. The other thing that this business does is offer limited versions of their software for free (you will have to deal with the obnoxious ads upon closing and the free versions are limited). I myself use some of their free programs.



Adobe
http://www.adobe.com/



Anyone who has been in the publishing or designing business knows that Adobe is one of the most essential providers of high-end software for developing magazines, videos and, of course, the great owner of flash. What I love about Adobe is that you can check out their new software with these great 30 day full version trails. (Adobe is one of my favorite software makes for publishing-I'm a little biased..lol)



Microsoft Publisher
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/publisher/publisher-2010-features-and-benefits-HA101808856.aspx 




I use Microsoft Publisher for a lot of the fliers that I do. It's not the most feature-packed program, but it is very easy to use and great for beginners. Some small business owners run into some difficulties with some programs due to the complexity of the programs...this is not going to happen with this program. It is extremely  user friendly.



Logo Maker
http://cooltext.com/



Every small business knows that designing your logo can be agony. Need some help with ideas for the font? This site is great for allowing you a chance to see different ideas, fonts and shading. It's free and you get to keep what you've made with no annoying credit information on the bottom...this site also save this without a background.

Quark XPress
http://www.quark.com/Products/QuarkXPress/



Best known for being used by newspapers and magazines, Quark XPress is a great program. They also offer a full featured 30 day free trail. The program may take some getting used to, especially if you are a dedicated Adobe user.

Chrome Extensions
https://chrome.google.com/webstore?hl=en-US&utm_source=chrome-ntp



If you are using Google Chrome as your web browser it's definately worth visiting the Chrome store for extensions that modify pictures, allow you to send large files without using FTP and Developer Tools.

Obviously, I could make this go on and on...



However, if you would like more information about software programs, have a program you would like to have included or would like an opinion on the best program for a certain project, don't hesitate to leave a comment or visit one of the pages below to contact me.

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