Page Layout Tools for Nonprofits
Ed Note: This article, which originally appeared Sept. 9 at TechSoup, is courtesy of Idealware. Idealware provides candid information to help nonprofits choose effective software. For more articles and reviews, go to www.idealware.org.
Do you want to create letterhead for your nonprofit, or lay out a monthly newsletter or report? Send thank-you cards to donors? Create an invite for your next event?
All these tasks fall under the umbrella of page layout.
If you have a complicated project or need a polished result, it probably makes sense to hire a freelance designer. Professionals in that field have an eye for design and a broad knowledge of page layout, typography and graphic arts, plus the skills to combine those elements into visually aesthetic materials. But if you just need to put something basic together, or if you find your organization needing more and more layout or design work, it might be time to take matters into your own hands.
Much of what used to be the realm of specialists now is in reach of almost anyone with a computer — as long as you have the right software, a little tech savvy and some basic design skills.
Top-end software solutions can be complex — and, in some cases, expensive. Many presuppose an understanding of the professions they were designed for and won’t immediately make sense if you don’t speak the language. But you don’t need such top-shelf solutions for basic needs — there are simpler solutions out there as well.
We spoke to five nonprofit technoloy and creative professionals about the page layout tools that have worked for them and their organizations. We’ve consolidated their advice to help you find a tool that might work for you.
What makes a good page layout?
Page layout involves the arrangement of design items — text, images, colors, lines — to create materials such as newsletters, posters, reports, invitations or more. It’s what makes a magazine page, for example — with a story, photograph and caption, headline and other elements such as pull quotes or sidebars — more visually interesting and appealing than just a page of straight text.