De­signer Pro X365

SUITE LOVE Is this soft­ware a com­plete pack­age for desk­top pub­lish­ing, web­site de­sign, draw­ing lo­gos and more?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Reviews - Price £219 Com­pany Xara Group Web www.xara.com

Com­bin­ing the fea­tures of all of Xara’s in­di­vid­ual de­sign pack­ages, De­signer Pro X365 is less a pro­gram for cre­at­ing art­work than a tool for cre­at­ing ev­ery­thing you need to pro­mote your art­work. Whether you want to make a flyer to pass round at a show, or build a port­fo­lio web­site from scratch, this suite has it cov­ered.

Get­ting started is sim­ple: you can ei­ther open a new blank doc­u­ment or choose a tem­plate to work from, ei­ther from the per­ma­nent cat­a­logue or an ex­tended On­line Con­tent Cat­a­log, to which you have ac­cess for a year as part of the ‘365’ fea­tures hinted at in the name (soft­ware up­dates and a year’s web host­ing are also in­cluded).

The main tools re­main con­sis­tent across the doc­u­ment types, so once you’ve got the hang of de­sign­ing in print, for ex­am­ple, you can ap­ply much of your knowl­edge to web page de­sign, too. The soft­ware takes care of the tech­ni­cal as­pects of sav­ing in cor­rect file for­mats and colour spa­ces.

The web page tem­plates stand out for their qual­ity: you can achieve some sur­pris­ingly pol­ished re­sults, with par­al­lax scrolling and roll-over an­i­ma­tions that will de­liver a ‘cool’ fac­tor to any web­site. In a wel­come nod to so­cial me­dia, there are also tem­plates for Face­book, In­sta­gram and Twit­ter, mak­ing it easy to roll out your brand­ing to all your on­line chan­nels.

The core lay­out tools are sup­ported by cre­ative tools for cre­at­ing lo­gos, edit­ing pho­tos and more. Vec­tor il­lus­tra­tion tools mean you can de­sign lo­gos that will scale up or down to suit print or web, and are ca­pa­ble enough to sup­port more com­plex draw­ings.

No one is go­ing to pre­tend that Xara De­signer X365 ap­proaches the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of Adobe’s Cre­ative Cloud line-up, but it costs far less, and its one-stop shop ap­proach of­fers more than enough to cre­ate a con­sis­tent and good-look­ing brand across print and on­line.

De­signer Pro X365’s vec­tor il­lus­tra­tions are ver­sa­tile enough to han­dle mak­ing poster­style im­ages as well as scal­able lo­gos.

So­cial me­dia tem­plates help you cre­ate per­fectly sized graph­ics for Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram.

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