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Word brochure!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by shazi, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. shazi

    shazi New Member

    Hey guys

    I have a client who is adamant that I build him a template for their product brochures in Microsoft Word!! Now we all know this is not a good idea if we want a job well done....should I attempt building a template and give it to him so he can see for himself what a bad idea it is?

    The reason the client wants this is so that he has flexibility of changing text and images when he sees fit.
    Any advice would be appreciated.


  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    If he's adamant and you have explained the situation, what can you do :icon_dunno:
  3. shazi

    shazi New Member

    gues you're right
  4. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    I tell my clients that I only use Word for writing letters! I then tell them that it would take me at least twice or even 3 times as long to work in Word.

    Is he planning on printing the brochures himself? He can always send you the words in Word and you can import to Indesign/Quark rather than typing them yourself.

  5. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    There are lots of very valid reasons for creating documents in Word, especially in a corporate environment. Ease of maintenance is one. Why should the company adapt to you instead of the other way round? Just do it, it'll expand your skill-set a bit, if nothing else.
  6. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    Because he's a designer. And they want him to make it look good. And it's very very difficult to do that in Word - it's a massively hamstrung piece of software, that handles typography and imagery incredibly badly. If they want it in Word, and they want to be able to piss about with it themselves, they shouldn't have asked a designer in the first place. The minute they start adapting it and inserting their own stuff, the design will break. Someone won't be able to fit something in, so they'll just squash it a bit or move the margins.

    If you really really really have no choice, do it in Pages and then convert it to Word (assuming you're on a Mac). The other option is to set up a page with a jpeg header and footer that can't be altered, then let them do the middle bit, with you suggesting typefaces and sizes.
  7. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    Yes, I understand that Word is not the designer's choice. But it is not "massively hamstrung," it is fine for what it does well, and for certain things it is outstandingly good - if you have a chain of production for your documents, for example, you will probably want to use Word along much of it. The point I am making is that if the designer had his way, the company's brochures would be in InDesign, for example, which is great for the designer but could be highly inconvenient for everyone else. So why not the other way round? So he'll have to work harder, well tough (and there is, in fact, not a lot you can't do in Word in terms of composition if you put enough hours in - as a translator, I once worked with a compositor to put together the Spanish-language brochures for a major Swedish car manufacturer,almost entirely in Word. It took us months, but we got a commendation from the company).

    This is like a computer programmer saying, No, I won't do your database in Access, it sucks, I'll do it in Oracle instead. The company could have perfectly good reasons for wanting a database in Access.
  8. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    It handles type incredibly badly. And that's quite important if you're trying to design something properly. And if you ever want to send it to print, the printers will have a field day.

    But the main difficulty is producing something that clients can fill in themselves. It's easy to do on the web, because you can only allow access to certain bits and make sure all the formatting is correct, but in Word, it's really hard to stop people messing. And they will. So if it has to be done this way, the designer needs to lay down REALLY strict and detailed guidelines to keep the thing looking good. Which takes a long time, and costs a lot of money. I understand why they would want to do that, I'm just saying it's a bloody hard thing to actually fulfil cost effectively. Particularly in Word.
  9. shazi

    shazi New Member

    Lol, I can see there is a difference of opinion guys. By the way John Ross, I don't mind putting in the extra work, but really don't see how the client will be able to maintain the layout in Word. Its all very well that you did a leaflet in it - but once printed, surely its more time consuming to add or move elements on the page as it effects other objects?!

    Anyway, I have decided I am going to do both and sit with the client later next week to discuss what he can gain/lose from both options.

    Thanks guys.

    Oh yea - btw - this designer is a girl :-D
  10. JohnRoss

    JohnRoss Member

    You're going to deliver a template, as I understood your original post. Password protect it and train him to create his documents from the template. If you are prepared to put quite a lot of extra work in - or know someone who understands Word macros well and can lend you a hand - you could even create a wizard for him to enter his texts and even images.

    This is going to be where you earn your money. You'll need to make the template so that work after the event is not necessary or even possible. You have lots of options, text boxes between which text could flow as required (or not), you can "protect" things on the page so that they don't move, or not protect them and let them move, you can make text flow around things or over them... Get hold of a whole bunch of Word templates and find out how they work.

    (Now I'm feeling guilty about talking you into this)
    Way to go.
  11. shazi

    shazi New Member

    No probs - it does sound like a lot of work but Im always up for learning new stuff :)

  12. thinkingforward2010

    thinkingforward2010 New Member

    Make sure you don't use any bright green's or blues. The Conversion back to CMYK when creating a PDF will really dull down the colour!
  13. SOTRC

    SOTRC New Member

    Ouch... I feel the pain of Word!!! :icon_scared: I've recently had a job where a client wanted a Word template for a poster. That was bad enough!!!

    I usually try to explain the limitation of Word and that it's not intended for that sort of thing. If they still want to go ahead then fine but if they change their minds the client will still get charged for my time. I don't envy having to try and set up a brochure in it though. Word is the most annoying bit of software if you want to do more than a letter or text doc but in fairness that what it was intended for.
  14. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    It sounds to me like a typical tight arse client! He doesn't know how to do it but doesnt want to pay a designer to do it either. By asking for it to be done in Word he's saying that he wants to get away with paying as little as possible by doing future amendments himself.

    If you NEED the work then do it but tell him it's not going to be a particularly good product, especially when he starts adding bits or moving stuff.

    If you can survive without the work, tell him that youre simply not prepared to work in this way. If he wants you he'll accept that, if he just wants the cheapest job he'll go elsewhere.

    In my experience this client is likely to be a pain in the arse and not worth your time!
  15. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    Big Dave - spot on.

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