Should I buy illustrator & if yes, where is best?

  JojoCat 21:29 01 Aug 2008


I use Serif DrawPlus6.0 all the time for creating leaflets and local newspaper ads for our company. However, because the quality of Serif is not good enough for publishing I always have to give my design to my printer who then charges me £40-80 a time to recreate it - I think in illustrator.

I'd like to buy some professional software that will allow me to produce promotional material to a high enough standard. Is Illustrator the one for me? What sort of price should I be paying and which version do I get?

Many thanks for your time!

  Woolwell 22:03 01 Aug 2008

Serif DrawPlus 6 is now fairly old. It's now the X2 version. I wonder whether its output would be good enough.

  chub_tor 22:18 01 Aug 2008

I use a lot of Serif software, sadly not DrawPlus though, but I have found the sales and technical people very easy to talk to. You can call them free at 0800 376 7070, explain your "resolution?" problem and ask for their guidance on DrawPlusX2.

  JojoCat 08:26 02 Aug 2008

thanks all, sounds like upgrading my serif is an option. Is the X2 version to a similar standard as illustrator in terms of print quality?
any top tips on where to buy either. Prices for ilustrator seem to vary between £319 and £550. Which version should I get???


  chub_tor 09:04 02 Aug 2008

A couple of months back Serif DrawPlus X2 was on offer for £20 or £30 and I bought it by mistake thinking that I was getting PhotoPlus X2 - don't ask (I was on holdiday in the USA when the deal came through by email and I didn't read the ad prpoerly). Anyway when I got back and opened the package I realised my mistake and called Serif, they allowed me to switch but they didn't want me to send DrawPlus X2 back so I have it and the booklet.
I have looked through the booklet but can find nothing I understand but there is a couple of pages on New Features and Established Features that I can email to you if you like.

  chub_tor 10:19 02 Aug 2008

Just found this click here and discovered that you can download the manual for DrawPlus X2 from click here

  Forum Editor 12:44 02 Aug 2008

QuarkXpress, but it's horrendously expensive at around £780 plus VAT, and might be over the top in terms of technical and creative power for your needs.

The problem with DTP software is that there's nothing really good in the middle of the market - there are quite a few cheap products at the entry level, and Quark at the top. A much underrated product is Microsoft Publisher 2007, which you can get for around £135. It has plenty to offer in terms of layout and design options, but isn't for you if you want to design artwork or graphics, it's a very good layout and publishing tool, but that's it. One thing it can do (with a little add-in from Microsoft) is output straight to PDF, which is an advantage. Lots of printers now operate directly from PDF files, thus cutting out some of the faff that used to be associated with this work.

You mentioned that you want to buy professional software, and if you want a bit more by way of versatility you'll be looking at a lot more money. My vote (if Quark is out of the equation) would go to Adobe InDesign for layout work. It will cost a lot - £700 or thereabouts, but it can give Quark a run for its money.

  pj123 13:17 02 Aug 2008

I have always used Microsoft Publisher to do Brochures, Leaflets and Adverts for my friends business.

We print the Brochures and Leaflets ourselves so only the Adverts go to a Printer/Publisher.

Not had any problems with the Printer/Publisher so far. They all seem to ask for the file to be on a floppy disk and in .jpg format?

He has adverts running in quite a few magazines and they all look good to me.

  Woolwell 14:28 02 Aug 2008

Serif DrawPlus X2 allows you to export to PDF as do most, if not all, of the latest Serif products.

JojoCat - I have DrawPlus X2 but rarely use it so I am not very familiar with it (don't ask why I got it!). If your design is not sensitive then e-mail it to me using the envelope and I will see if it opens in DrawPlus X2 and send it back as a PDF file and see if that is acceptable to the printer.

  simonjary 15:51 02 Aug 2008

Illustrator isn't DTP software. Adobe's InDesign is the one for that.

As FE points out InDesign and QuarkXPress are quite high end - although not that difficult.

We use InDesign for PCA.

You should be able to download free trial versions of both, to see if they suit your needs.

  simonjary 15:52 02 Aug 2008

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