If you are responsible for creating graphical content for work, church, school, club or an organization, chances are you never have enough time to complete your projects. With that in mind, having a tool that speeds you to successful completion of your design is what you’ve probably been looking for. If that’s you, please take a moment and look at Xara Designer Pro 365.
If you come from a Photoshop or Gimp background, things are a bit different in the Xara family of products. Being primarily vector-based instead of bitmap-based, your same design could be delivered as small as a business card and then a minute later, be sized up for a billboard – no muss, no fuss. You can literally zoom into your designs as much as 25,000%.
Xara Pro Designer makes it easy to start with 100’s or 1,000’s of prebuilt templates that you can use to jumpstart your next graphic design project. With an ever increasing catalog of designs, you’re liable to find something just like you need the next time you go there. (Here are some sample project templates to view.)
And, with Xara’s new 365 pricing model, you have access to all the templates, all the stock photography, all the illustrations and symbols in their Content Library for a full year. Also, even more importantly, as new features are being developed, they will be rolled out right away, so no more waiting for the next major release of the software. After a year, simply renew if it’s an advantage to you. All the content is keyworded, so a simple search should put the needed graphics right at your fingertips. Here’s an search for illustrations I could use to show the word hamburgers.
If you need a photo that doesn’t exist, with Xara Designer Pro, you can create it yourself. Taking the photo from the top of this article, I wanted to show a catastrophic wave destroying an ocean liner. That’s not in the library of images, but I found a photo of an ocean liner that would work well with a little help. Opening it in Xara, it was easy to use the Mask Painter tool to show what I wanted to save and then drop out the background.
From there, it was a simple matter to drop the ocean liner onto the original surfer picture. Erasing away bits of the ocean liner, makes it appear the water is crashing across the back of the boat.
Again, with the power of vector graphics, it’s a snap to combine your best photos with dynamic symbols and shapes to make even more impressive images. Here, I wanted to drop out a boring flat sky and add some visual punch. With Xara’s Magnetic Lasso Tool it was simple to quickly (less than 60 seconds) trace the dog and background, dropping out the flat, lifeless sky. Then I laid the extracted image over a stock sunburst design, which I rotated 45 degrees.
Happy with the look, I went back in the Content Catalog and pulled a calendar template. It was then simply a matter of dragging and dropping the new image to create a new page for next year’s calendar.
Another thing photogs are going to love is the capability to work with smart picture grids. Pick a smart grid close to the size and proportion you want, and then drop in your own photos, add rows or pictures to each row and create your own grouping within minutes. Here’s a stock template I started with.
And here’s a poster I made in less than five minutes.
This article could go on forever about all the new features, (I didn’t even touch on the new web capabilities) but here’s an article that helps explain many of them. Suffice it to say, if you design graphics, this is a tool you’ll want to consider. With dozens of excellent videos to teach you all its capabilities, you’ll be turning out great content in no time.
Disclosure: Xara provided us with a copy of Designer Pro 365 to evaluate for this article.
Also published on Medium.