This article was created in partnership with Flipsnack. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.
One of the most daunting tasks for anyone wanting to create any sort of online brochure, report, catalog, or magazine is the design aspect. These are generally needed either for promotion or for internal communication, and all companies need them at one point or another.
You might have all the content ready, or ideas for content, but then you’ll need to focus on the design, because it’s what brings it all together in harmony.
There are professional tools which designers usually go for in this case. Most commonly used are InDesign, Affinity Publisher, QuarkXPress or others.
These design tools have varying levels of complexity, require various levels of technical knowledge, and have different learning curves. For someone who’s never opened InDesign or worked with a similar professional design tool, the idea of designing a brochure or catalog can be a bit intimidating.
If this sounds like you, then don’t panic. There is a tool out there that can help you create professional designs online easily, and it’s perfect for any type of design that has multiple pages (and it works for single page designs too). Its name is Flipsnack.
Even if you don’t struggle with design, it’s still worth giving it a try.
What makes Flipsnack different from most professional design tools is that it’s really simple and straightforward. It’s so easy to use, in fact, that anyone from marketers, business owners to students can and have used it.
Flipsnack: design and publishing tool
With over four million users now, Flipsnack is one of the world’s leading digital publishing platforms for online page-flip catalogs. People of all skill sets and from every corner of the globe have found Flipsnack the perfect place to create all sorts of publications. Some of them use Flipsnack to simply transform ready-made PDFs into interactive page flip catalogs, while others prefer to use its integrated design tool to build their catalog from scratch, page by page. The integrated design tool is called “Design Studio”.
After you’re done creating and designing, Flipsnack offers multiple ways to share your creation if you want to. You can simply share a link via social media, send it via email, host it on your own website, and much more. But, if you want everything to remain private, you can do that, too. Flipsnack uses all the top tier security measures to ensure that your data stays locked away for safekeeping.
How does the Design Studio work?
Flipsnack’s Design Studio is a force to be reckoned with. It’s powerful, intuitive, easy to navigate, and easy to use. The goal for Flipsnack was to bring everything a person — designer or not — could possibly need to create a work of art within the Design Studio.
The interface is drag-and-drop based, and even though easy to navigate, it’s packed with advanced functionalities which are critical when making a professional design: layers, smart guides, rulers, multiple select, group, lock and more.
As far as capabilities go, even professional designers would be satisfied. Pretty much every aspect you could think about editing or designing, can be. There’s a wide range of fonts available, but the system supports font imports as well. All the options that you’d expect for editing texts are there. Users can upload their own images, or they can use free stock photos from Unsplash, directly from Flipsnack. Replacing an image with a different one requires just a simple drag-and-drop action.
You can do anything from building basic layouts with texts and images, to designing more complex layouts, with image masks, shapes and even interactive elements. By adding videos in the design, GIFs, forms, interactive tags or captions, a basic design can become a really fun and engaging experience for the reader. Add shopping buttons in catalogs, create captions and descriptions that become displayed when the reader hovers their mouse over certain areas, and add links.
Flipsnack is one of the only tools online that offers a double-page editing option. This means that you’ll have a constant view of your full design of both pages as your editing. It also means that you can edit the full layout of an open catalog really easily: add an image across both pages, or add a headline across the entire layout.
This makes a massive difference, and it truly does help you in your creative process. It allows you to see what the reader will see, while you’re designing.
For those moments when you’re in a bind and need to create something fast, Flipsnack has you covered, too. Built right within the platform is a plethora of professionally made templates that are free to use and ready to go at any time. The templates library is constantly growing, and it covers a wide variety of publication types, from photos albums, portfolios, reports, catalogs, magazines, guides, and many more.
Editing the templates within the Design Studio is as simple as a few clicks. Anything that you see on a template can be changed to your liking. It really only takes a few minutes.
As important as it is to save trees by publishing online, sometimes people still need to order prints. So all designs made in Flipsnack can be downloaded as high-quality PDFs and used to order prints. There’s also an option to order prints of whatever you made directly through the Flipsnack interface, from its print partner. You get all the options you could need, all in one place.
Why should I use it?
As complex as the Design Studio can be, and with as many options that Flipsnack has to offer, it’s still incredibly easy to use. The entire platform was designed with the beginner in mind.
That’s not to say that an expert designer or editor won’t find exactly what they need, though. Flipsnack is for anyone and everyone, no matter your skill set, making it the perfect tool to use for any type of organization, business, or individual.
There’s a free version available. Give it a try!