Mac is a dream platform for designers. Depending on how many complex features are needed to get the job done, there are a myriad of apps available for designers. It goes without saying that a designer has to handle everything from an exciting new mobile app interface to a boring brochure. Usually, the latter design need not be as ground breaking as the former and not every aspect of it has be built from the ground up.
Be it an office party, garage sale or a freelance catalog, you might never know when you will have to whip up a quick flyer or brochure all by yourself. Swift Publisher is desktop publishing app for Mac that can help you with all your design and layout needs. Come, join me after the fold to test its chops!
Swift Publisher is targeted both at seasoned designers and average joes alike. Irrespective of your design skill, the app helps you create great looking flyers, brochures, letterheads, booklets, menus and more, right on your Mac.
At launch, the app offers a help wizard that showcases a bunch of videos walking you through the various features of the app. The videos are very short, informative and don’t take a lot of time to get you going.
Right from the help wizard, the level of effort put into user interface design is very evident. Besides a polished interface, the app also has a streamlined flow. The template selector is where you get started, which makes it extremely quick to start working on exactly the kind of design you had in mind. It also helps a lot that each and every category has a bunch of readymade templates.
Handling Assets and Dimensions
There are over 180 ready to use templates available across all the categories. I checked a few and found them to be complete in all respects. In most cases, all you need is name and logo changes if you are in a bit of rush. If you plan to edit a template extensively or create one from scratch, the app is no slouch in that department either.
The layout editor sports the familiar three column interface. Each of the columns is thoughtfully organized. The left column is all about content. Are you planning to either use the stock backgrounds, shapes or images of your own? You can add and manage them all from here. Swift Publisher is tightly integrated with iPhoto and Aperture libraries too which makes your workflow much simpler.
And the right column is the dedicated to manage the size and dimensions of the template you are editing. The fine grained controls should be more than enough to fine tune the design, whether you are making it for print or a digital medium.
Predictably, the template editor canvas is present at the center. And yes, the much needed layered design workspace is at your disposal to ensure that you can go nuts with your creativity. In fact, I found the app to be equally easy to use when using the trackpad instead of a mouse.
From flowing text boxes to a layer based workflow, Swift Publisher offers all of the tools necessary to build your document from the ground up with ease. For seasoned designers, endless design solutions like drawing tools, gradient fills, shadows, image tiling, image masks, core image filters, among other things, should come in handy.
Collections and Companion Apps
The Swift Publisher team is not only good at coming up with great apps, they also back their claims with numbers. From the number of stock images and templates to the number of filters and image masks, you are provided with as much data as possible upfront even before you begin evaluating the app.
For those designers who want more inspiration at their disposal, there is an Extras Pack (to be bought separately) which expands the clipart collection to over 40,000 images and gives you 100 unique fonts. Additional companion apps are available to enhance graphic editing and font selection capabilities.
I’m not a great designer and taking that into account, I found Swift Publisher to be very intuitive and feature rich. Design related apps are usually pricey, but this app is available for purchase for an affordable $29.95. In my opinion, it’s a complete steal at this price. However, based on the type of licenses and the number of bundled images, the prices vary. Check out their complete listing here.
The number of readymade templates works wonders in favor of the app. For a casual or a semi professional user (like me), the templates save a whole lot of time and effort. True to its name, the app is really swift in every respect and should be in your shortlist if you are in the market for a desktop publishing app.