What program(s) are best for laying out the graphics for my project?

There are a lot of graphic design programs out there and while I have my opinion of which one is best, it is just that… my opinion. I use Adobe Photoshop for all of my graphic layouts. Occasionally if I have a multi-panel booklet with a lot of text I will use Adobe Indesign since I can flow text from panel to panel but that is about the only time I don’t use Photoshop, Photoshop Is a very deep program that is feature rich. You can do almost anything with it if you know what you are doing. It is available as a free trial here . If you are good with computers then Photoshop is worth a try. If you aren’t, you may want to use our design service or find a friend who is design savvy. You can find basic tutorials on you tube for Photoshop.

Some free programs that you can use are Gimp, Draw Plus, and Ink Space . Any of these programs will require that you learn the basics to get decent results but if you search you-tube you should be able to find some tutorials for any of these (and other) programs.

I often get asked if we accept files from popular CD programs such as Memorex, or CD designer etc. These are programs designed to lay out and print from the same computer. they are not good portable files and we do not accept these types of files. However, you can use these programs and then use a PDF printer to save them as PDF files after you have everything laid out. You can get a free PDF Printer here. Basically, a PDF printer allows you to use one of these consumer programs and then export it as a PDF File. You install the PDF printer and then when you have your design the way you want it you go to File – Print in the program and then select the PDF Printer as your printer. There are printing preferences you will want to set but this will make a PDF file that you can send to us for your graphics as long as they follow the basic package specification.

It is important that you use our templates for specialty packaging such as ELS Eco-Packs, Digi-Packs, Eco-Wallets and Eco-Jackets. If your art does not fit our templates we will contact you and give you the option for fixing it yourself or letting us do it for a nominal charge. If you are adventurous and don’t mind spending some time learning a program and the basics of layout (bleed, safe areas, etc.), you can save yourself some money. But if you are not comfortable with computers, it might just be worth it to hire us or a graphic designer to do it for you.