Okay, so I am a bit of a software snob. I can’t help it. I come from the “right before computers were cool” generation. My first experience with a computer was looking up the Dewey Decimal system on the library computer in High School. Then after flirting with a few PCs in the public lab while writing a few last minute papers for English Lit I moved on to my first Mac in the art lab. After that, there was only one true love in my life. The Apple!
With that came the software. I skipped Office and Works and started typing my papers in Freehand. I mean why not? It was cool, and I could, right? Honestly after being introduced to Adobe and Macromedia, there was no other! I became quite arrogant as people asked me over the years if I built my sites in Front Page or Publisher. What an insult. I have always been a pretty humble gal. At least I think so–except when it comes to my job and what it takes to do it. I think the greatest insult I have ever received was a friend who nonchalantly said “Hey one day when you aren’t busy can you sit down and show me how you do your job? I am thinking about doing it on the side to make some extra money.” Invisible flames came out of my ears! How dare they just assume they can learn what I do in a 30 min sit down? Huh! Anyway, that was a very long way of saying I take what I do and the education I have gained very seriously not to mention the tools I use to do it. So therefore – I am a snob.
Up until recently there where only 2 major food groups in my mind; Adobe and Macromedia. Now those have even become one. I have used (only when necessary) Word from time to time – mostly because clients send data to me in Word or Excel. THEN I made a beautiful discovery. First of all let me state that had it not been an Apple product and had the free trial not come on my new iMac, I would still be a “one software” kind of girl. But you know how it is when you get a new computer. The first 48 hours is spent playing with all the new bells and whistles and even when you must work, you are taking the “scenic route” as you maneuver through your daily routine.
During this most recent time of discovery I found iWORK. I know it has been out for two generations, but like I said I have always ignored all things Non-Adobe. So I opened it up not really expecting much and have to admit the further I browsed though the templates of Pages the more impressed I was by the minute. My brain was on overload trying to think of projects I could use these for. They were fantastic. Not only the clean layouts of the templates, but the artwork used was very appealing to me.
I got my first real taste of Pages a few weeks later. I had a long-time customer come to me with the desire to pull their monthly newsletter from their printer’s in-house designer and have me “spruce it up”. Now I have to admit that newsletters normally are not my thing. They can be limiting and most always full of too much copy–not enough pages, and there are usually color restrictions. They can be pretty cheesy. But I would do anything for this customer and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to utilize the templates Pages had to offer. I very quickly PDF’ed a few of my favorite templates, sent them to the client to get her thoughts and BAM. I hung the moon! How easy was that. It was so easy that I almost felt guilty for charging money for the work. The client was pleased and I put together concepts in less than 10 minutes! Later that afternoon they chose a template, and after collecting data the newsletter was built and sent to the printer within days. With my schedule being as packed with work as it has been for the last year, this was such a HUGE blessing.
The tools in Pages are so ridiculously user friendly that anyone could pick it up and build their own collateral themselves. This is actually software, which I am not insulted to say I could teach someone in an afternoon. So I lovingly welcomed iWORK into my exclusive group of design tools. It was well worth its reasonable price and that just considering Pages. I’m still hoping for that day when I have the extra time to explore Numbers and Keynote. I feel like I will be equally impressed.