You realise you need to update something we’ve designed for you previously, or you need to create a new version and want to use the old one as a starting point. So you ask for an editable version of the file. Seems simple enough, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not always. We primarily create artwork using Adobe InDesign, the industry standard software for design and layout, so if you want to be able to edit our files you need InDesign installed on your computer. It’s fairly expensive software and if you haven’t used it previously it can be difficult to navigate, as it’s quite different from desktop publishing programs like those in the Microsoft Office suite. Unless you need to use it on a regular basis it would usually be more cost-effective and efficient to send change requests to us.
So why don’t we set up our files in something everyone can use, like Word? It’s not because we want to trap you into having to come back to us to make changes, it’s because InDesign was specifically created for graphic designers and can do a lot of things that Word can’t do. Printers and publishers won’t accept files that are created in Word, so we use InDesign to ensure our files are print-ready.
Even if you’re not going to print the final artwork, Word – as the name implies – is designed for word processing. It offers broad control over the elements in the document but not the kind of precision we need to produce high-end work, and as with any job if you want professional results, you need to use professional tools.
While software like Word and Powerpoint is not suitable for a lot of the work we do, we are more than happy to assist with designing templates or formatting documents using these programs when it is appropriate. If you’re commissioning our services and think it will be important for you to be able to edit the final files, let us know up front so we can discuss your requirements and decide on the best approach.