Some people love MS Word. Designers? Not so much.
Although everyone has a copy of Word on their computer and it offers an easy option for producing documents, this doesn’t mean it is the right option for marketing material.
Word is not a design package and subsequently will not generate high quality artwork like Quark or Indesign – in partnership with Photoshop, Illustrator and other software – will.
And to be frank, any tool is only as good as the workman. So even if we provide a Word document with great looking designed elements, as soon as someone computer illiterate gets behind the wheel, an accident is bound to happen!
But that said, more and more people want the control that Word offers and feel that some items don’t qualify for the ‘professional’ touch. So, as an agency, we have to find ways of helping our clients achieve what they need, even if it goes against everything design-related we believe in!
So if someone is considering using Word and printing on the office machine, I’d ask them to bear in mind the following:
1) Our designers have years of experience and expertise in design packages but have not had training for Word beyond basic word-processing; why should they when better quality work can be achieved with other tools.
2) Printing internally means that ink coverage and print areas need to be considered, and therefore simple designs work best.
3) NHS Creative uses Mac software (industry standard design tools) opposed to our clients who use PC. This means that documents produced on Mac may not appear as desired when viewed by PC, and vice versa.
4) The most effective use of Word appears to entail dropping a relatively generic background image into the header/footer area so that the user can place text over the top and create a document to suit their immediate need. This creates versatility which is the whole reason for having a Word document as the end product over a non-editable pdf. But it means we hand it over and can’t help what it looks like after that!
5) Creating more complicated Word documents – trying to compete with professional design – mean that the user will find them more difficult to use, and is more likely to encounter formatting issues.
Enough said about Word I think. And don’t get me started about Microsoft Publisher. Actually, there’s no point…we just don’t touch it!