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What Format Should We Use: Adobe InDesign or Microsoft PowerPoint?

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 by Allison and Todd

 

indesign-vs-powerpoint

“In the end, we want a PDF—but should we create it in InDesign or PowerPoint?” It’s a question frequently asked around here, and the answer is always the same: “It depends.” When deciding on an asset format, we ask our clients to consider the following:

Design sophistication: Do you want a beautiful, slick, professional look?

InDesign will win the design contest almost every time. We love PowerPoint for so many things, and you can develop very nice-looking assets with PowerPoint—but at the end of the day, PowerPoint is a presentation tool, so print is not the focus. InDesign is far more full-featured in terms of its design capabilities. Its global styles are more robust, it can reliably import more formats (such as vector objects and support for transparency), and its interactivity will survive the conversion to PDF. If you’ll be printing your PDF professionally, PowerPoint simply is not set up well for bleeds and crop marks, never mind more-advanced prepress elements like registration marks and color bars, fine-tuning compression settings, and specialized PDF formats.

Content changes and accessibility: Do you have access to InDesign and a designer who knows who to use it? How often do you want to update the content? What type of content needs to be updated?

If you don’t foresee any reason to update or change the content, then your program choice really depends on what you’d like from a design perspective. However, if you do want to customize, update, or change your content in any way, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Accessibility: Does someone in your organization have, or have access to, the skills to properly edit this document in InDesign? PowerPoint is much more ubiquitous, so we often find that clients choose PowerPoint over InDesign for assets that need to be updated frequently. That said, a PowerPoint user will still need to ensure alignment of objects, maintain consistency in formatting (fonts, colors, sizes, etc.), preserve overall balance, and not overcrowd pages when making changes.
  • Type of content changes: If you’re co-branding a number of sell sheets and you just need to switch out a partner logo and name, then InDesign is still preferable—as long as you have access to the program and a designer with sufficient skills. However, if you anticipate having more-substantial edits (e.g., data that changes monthly) or you’ll need different copy for different customers or partners or verticals, then PowerPoint would probably be easier.

So, who’s the winner? Yes, it does depend. We have plenty of experience using both programs and would be happy to suggest a format that’s right for your asset.

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The Oxford Comma Argument Rages On

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 by Chris

“Nothing, but nothing—profanity, transgender pronouns, apostrophe abuse—excites the passion of grammar geeks more than the serial, or Oxford, comma,” according to The New Yorker. Much like asking creative types if they put one space or two after a period, demanding they pick a side in the serial-comma debate can spark fistfights, especially now that we’ve […]

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Ask the Grammar Queen, The Business of Copywriting

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Vector or Raster = Huh?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 by Michelle

You’ve received a request for a vector logo file from the Content Bureau’s graphic designer. If you’re confused about what that means, and about the difference between image file types, you’re not alone. Let’s chat about these two image file types—vector and raster—and discuss how each is used for various marketing collateral. Vector Files Vector […]

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Be a Superstar Reviewer: Four Tips for Getting What You Want from Your Copywriter

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 by Ruth

All marketing managers want to get the most from their copywriting budgets. When you hire the Content Bureau, we’ll typically ask you to review up to three drafts of copy. Is there a right way to review B2B copy? Absolutely! For best results, make your feedback the following: Timely. Just like a box of cereal […]

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Give It 20! Or, How to Jump-Start Any Project.

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 by Lucy A.

February is the month where winter goes to die. Sparkling, soft snow has dwindled into gray, crusty blobs, and weary people trudge through their days with little, personal clouds hovering overhead. Gone is that rush of energy delivered in New Year’s happy grasp. It takes all we have to finish that white paper, let alone […]

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How to Write an Award-Winning Tagline

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 by Laurel

Part three of a three-part series. One of the most fun categories to judge at the 2016 LIA Awards was taglines (endlines). This was because—as we say in the naming biz—we had seven words rather than seven letters to play with and consider! The taglines we reviewed were mostly from advertising campaigns, both print and […]

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The Best Valentine’s Day Blog Posts of All Time

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 by Stacy

As you might guess from looking at our website, or my stationery collection, or my closet—freakishly awash in red and pink, with a dash of metallic glitter—Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. This giant painting in my home office sets the tone for my entire life. If there is one word I would have tattooed […]

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Words to Watch: The Stocking-Size Style Guide

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 by Dave

We love creating editorial style guides and brand guidelines because they can help a company to produce more effective content for years. These references can be especially helpful for people in your organization who produce content but don’t count writing as a core skill. But not all companies want or need a comprehensive new guide. […]

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Copy Blocks: Really, What Can’t They Do?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016 by Lisa S.

At the Content Bureau, we produce a lot of marketing assets. A few are crucial but short-lived one-offs, for events or other special occasions. Most—like web copy, case studies, and infographics—are designed to serve your business for much longer, in a variety of situations. And then there are copy blocks. As the name implies, they’re […]

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How to Write Award-Winning Copy

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 by Laurel

Part two of a three-part series. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently invited to join the judges of the Verbal Identity panel of the 2016 LIA Awards. Now that the LIA winners for Verbal Identity have been announced, we can examine why those Gold and Silver winners took the honors. I […]

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