I run a little web business marketing original fonts and graphic arts resources. My customer base includes a lot of novices in the area of graphic design who aren't well prepared to work with images and fonts effectively, even lacking basic software appropriate for desktop publishing and graphic design. Everyone seems to have Microsoft Word, but it just doesn't do the job when it comes to even fairly simple integration of fonts and graphics in an attractive publication design.
Even fairly basic design projects require either an advanced image editor or some sort of desktop publishing software. The key break point at which a text-oriented program like Microsoft Word comes up short for anything but the most basic design projects, is in not facilitating the easy manipulation and positioning of images. For example, to use the many borders in our collections you need to be able to resize and reposition them and most importantly superimpose type on them. You just can't do that practically in a program not designed to handle complex two-dimensional manipulation of text and images.
In the past this has been a real problem because high-end graphics and design programs have been prohibitively expensive, and there have been few reasonably priced alternatives. For OSX users this has changed with the advent of the App Store. The pricing practices that became common with the App Store for the iPhone and iPad have carried over to OSX, and this has brought down the price of many applications, even leading to creative pricing solutions from the highest end software publishers like Adobe.
For many users the learning curve is less steep and needs are easiest to meet with desktop publishing software, but with premiere packages like InDesign or QuarkXPress priced around $700 they are not a realistic purchase option for novice or casual users, so what do you do if you just want to design a cool newsletter or invitation or the occasional brochure or business card? Here are three options which may fit your needs and let you do just about anything you would want to in document design, and one of these options is bound to fit the needs of any user from the novice to the professional and at a very reasonable price.
Swift Publisher 3.0
BeLight Software's latest version of Swift Publisher is a strong entry-level desktop publishing application which offers pretty much everything a novice user needs for typical projects like designing invitations or holiday cards or simple brochures, and even includes templates for many of these projects to help out beginners right out of the box. It includes most of the features you would find in a higher end design application like the ability to flow text from page to page, multiple layers, scaling images and some control over the spacing and formatting of text, though not as much as some users might want.