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What type of Adobe software do I need to design my own brochure?

We would like to purchase some software that allows us to design our own materials, such as brochures, business cards, flyers, handouts, etc. We know there are many awesome Adobe design products but we are not sure where to start or which one would be best for these activities.

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InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are the defacto standards for desktop publishing. But having the software and learning to use it doesn't make a professional desktop publisher, designer or photographer.

You have to know some of the principles of what makes a good page, and how to incorporate copy and graphics effectively. Having an inherent sense of what a balanced, visually appealing page is, is important. InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are great tools. But they're just that — tools. Like a camera. It's not the camera that takes great photos, it's the person behind the lens who has an eye for composition and lighting.

Same thing with Adobe Creative Suite. It's the person using it that comes up with an award-winning design of a piece, not the software. It may be better for you to consider outsourcing these kinds of projects if you, as it seems, don't have the in-house expertise that's really required to design and write effective, engaging marketing communications.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous User

Adobe indesign is the best in relation to page layout and print design for brochures. For single page items that have alot of graphics such as posters or flyers i tend to use Illustrator or photoshop as it allows you to be more creative.

As others have mentioned you can subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud and this will give you access to the all the programs or buy a older version of Adobe Creative Suite as it includes all 3 programs. I would suggest if you haven't used any of these programs before to perhaps do an introductory course on them as their capabilities are endless.


InDesign is probably the one for just print design. However if you subscribe to Adobe Cloud you'll have access to to the whole suite for a small monthly fee.


Creative Cloud will give you all of the options that you need to produce materials. InDesign and Photoshop will be adequate for most tasks and Illustrator will be warranted for specialized components. Software is only part of the equation, you will also want to calibrate your monitor(s) and be aware of the specs that your printer prefers.


Adobe CC has a trial that you can use for I believe it is a month free. Adobe CC includes InDesign. InDesign on its own is a okay program. It works best with Photoshop and Illustrator. It is a layout program.

Illustrator is great for vector graphics and a specific kind of illustration. Logos and branding work great in Illustrator.

Photoshop is for photo retouching and getting creative with pixel based images. Photoshop is also a illustration tool.

Now when you have your elements that you need from Illustrator and Photoshop. You can bring all the elements together into InDesign. InDesign is where the magic of layout happens. How text, images and graphic elements all work together. The three main programs work so well together. Even Illustrator and Photoshop have some back and forth that can be amazingly helpful.

InDesign truly is for laying out the design. An Example would be a magazine layout. You could do each page in Illustrator but you would have some workarounds. You would loose some of the functionality that makes InDesign so good. You could do some illustration work in InDesign but really you are using dumbed down versions of the great tools found in Illustrator. Together the programs work tougher as a excellent suite. In the past Adobe sold the Creative Suite. Now they have CC.

CC works on Windows or Mac platforms, you should be good with any of the more recent versions of Windows. I am on a Mac OS and love it. Adobe’s website should have a list if you really want the specifics. You can get CC versions for Photoshop but the full CC is the one that includes InDesign. You will have loads of software with this package. First step is to learn the basic tools, from me or youtube or linda.com or a credited collage. Do not get overwhelmed it is easy to do. I have been using Adobe products for over 20 years and I still find cool new techniques that I love. They keep innovating with the products as well, this brings new cool things to help streamline workflows. Once you have the basics you can add a little bit here and a little bit there to grow your knowledge. I find podcast are a good way to keep up to date. The Internet really helps. Just little tips and tricks keep us getting better all the time.


This link will help get you started with InDesign. If you have any questions let me know and we can do a google hangout for my blog that I will help answer your questions.


This link is a great place to fined info. InDesign Secrets is a podcast that I listen to. I do go to the site now and then if I have an issue I am struggling with.

Looking forward to your feedback on how you are progressing.


Indesign is the best page layout program out there. Go to Lynda.com and do some tutorials, and do some research. Look at some design thats out there now, research and know your typography and know your printing.
Check out How.com and behance.


I would agree with the others that Adobe InDesign is the product you need. You would likely also want Photoshop for fine tuning your photos as well. Adobe has stopped selling the program and now has a subscription plan for the whole Creative suite. Another option that would not leave you with an ongoing monthly fee would be to buy an older version on eBay. InDesign is a pretty powerful program. The learning curve isn't steep but there are so many advanced features that it does take a while to be able to use it with most of the bells and whistles.

There are some excellent tutorials on using InDesign in YouTube. I would particularly recommend the 12 part tutorial done by TastyTuts. It is great and will have you using it like a pro. When you are ready to get your brochures printed I would highly recommend the printer I use which is Conquest Graphics. Great quality and the best prices I have seen.


It really depends on your level of design experience. InDesign it's probably one the most versatile however I find it a bit basic at times and need to use illustrator and Photoshop to bring graphics into InDesign. I would highly recommend looking in to the Adobe Creative cloud option.


I would recommend using Adobe Illustrator and working within die lines for the front and back of the brochure. However, if this is not your strength, I would advise consulting with a graphic designer who is experienced in this area. I own a printing company with in house designers and I would love to be of assistance.


InDesign for text-heavy pieces like brochures or booklets. For 1-page pieces like flyers or business cards, Illustrator might give you more creative freedom. As Paul mentioned, subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud is the best bet for all-you-can-eat Adobe software.

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