You’re probably thinking after reading that headline: “There’s no comparison! InDesign, duh!” However, if you need another (somewhat biased) opinion about this great debate, here’s my two-cents based on my experience in using both desktop publishing programs.
My page layout experience started when I used QuarkXpress since I was a Rutgers design student working at the college newspaper for very small pay. That was about 15 years ago (I know I’m dating myself). Fast forward to just six years ago, I’ve transferred over to Adobe InDesign and I have not gotten back to Quark since—sorry for all you legacy Quark fans! (And don’t ask me about Pagemaker, I’ve never used it so I have no opinion about it.)
At my corporate job, which 75% of my job consists of designing marketing collateral, we recently migrated to the latest Microsoft Office and one of the applications included is Microsoft Publisher. I haven’t used Microsoft Publisher since I was an office temp after I graduated from college (again I’m dating myself). Even though I still have CS in my computer (albeit version 5 on a PC at work, but still…), I don’t think I will ever go back to Publisher.
On a designer’s perspective, I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS be an InDesign-er and I feel that using any page layout software is nothing compared to InDesign. I have the creative control of designing my own print materials and web graphics, as well as smoothly integrate with the rest of Adobe Creative Suite, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Plus, this tool is the industry standard for high-end graphic design work, especially if you’re working in advertising, printing, marketing, editorial, among other industries. For the budget-conscious, sure it’s an expensive software program. However, if you (or your designer) want to create top notch, professionally designed projects, then InDesign is a very good investment. Let me repeat again — a good INVESTMENT.
On the other hand, Publisher is Microsoft’s less expensive answer to InDesign. This desktop publishing software is meant to be for someone who is not a trained graphic designer and who wants to create simple design projects using mostly pre-set Microsoft Office templates. Plus, this program is used by companies with very limited budgets or who cannot afford to hire a graphic designer. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, then you should be able to use Publisher since the menus and functionality are similar. However, I don’t recall ever hearing from commercial printers or print shops using a Publisher file. Plus, the graphic design and printing community LOATHES it. Don’t believe me? Check out this LinkedIn forum.
So the next time someone asked you which is better, InDesign or Publisher, just send them this page.
Now it’s your turn. I have to know…InDesign or Publisher? Post below.