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affordable publishing software for small businesses

Affordable Publishing Software for Small Businesses

Do you have a small business that primarily focuses on creating designs for invitations, greeting cards, and other printed materials? Or, are you planning to start one? 

The printing industry is projected to be worth $472.35 in 2026. Even though we have shifted to a digital approach, printed materials are still in demand. Printed materials like labels, books, brochures, stickers, and more are still used by other industries, like packaging for foods and beverages

Even the retail industry still includes printed material as part of its marketing strategy. 

As industries continue to grow, businesses who leverage printing will rip the benefits, despite the prominence of the digital world.

If you are planning to start your printing business, you’ll need software that can help you create designs for your clients.

Software like Adobe Photoshop is impressive, but it will take time to learn the details of it, and it’s a bit expensive.

Instead, there are plenty of publishing software programs that can help you create designs instantly. You get graphics and icons for free, with templates that are appropriate for an industry.

Best and Affordable Publishing Software for Printing Business

Canva

canva publishing software
Screengrab via Canva’s website. Multiple templates are available.

Canva is a game-changing design software application for creatives and businesses. They have practically every template you need to start your project.

You can make a greeting card, logo, brochure, banner for your social media, and so on. 

First, you need to create an account to access the templates, icons, graphics, and images. It’s free, so you can enjoy using some designs. You can even use designs from other individuals and customize them.

But if you want to improve your skill in designing and gain access to all features, you will need to sign up for the paid version. Canva offers two paid versions, the pro and enterprise version. 

The paid version gives you access to millions of photos, videos, audio, and graphics. There are also hundreds of thousands of premium templates. Furthermore, the paid version includes unlimited storage space, better support, and workflow for teams.

Microsoft Publisher

Microsoft Publisher is a straightforward desktop publishing software. It contains a wide range of layout capabilities and tools for creating typographic-quality text and graphics.

The Publisher is a Microsoft product that includes the newer editions of MS Office and is marketed as an entry-level, simple-to-use program. The tool allows firms without dedicated design expertise to create professional-looking marketing collateral and graphics.

Publisher boasts a plethora of functions that may be accessible through a user-friendly interface. It allows you to perform bulk or batch activities to save time on desktop publishing tasks. Furthermore, a multitude of special effects can be used to swap and improve images. 

There are also color swatches, font effects, and other tools to assist in creating acceptable print quality.

Because Publisher is part of the Microsoft Office Professional package, it works in tandem with the rest of Microsoft’s software. You can get it with the Microsoft 365 subscription.

It’s only available for PC. It comes in two plans – for Home and Business.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign Publishing software
Adobe’s website.

Adobe InDesign is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, a bundle of Adobe software that includes programs for 3D graphics, multi-layer designs, photo editing, and more. 

InDesign is a publishing software solution for creating printing designs, publications, and more. There are hundreds of templates available for digital magazines, EBooks, postcards, and more. 

It is integrated with other Adobe tools like Adobe Stock, Font, Capture, and more. You can get the world’s best images for your designs and typography that are impressive to match your work.

If you like to share content online, InDesign lets you share them on your website directly.

In addition, it’s an excellent software program for collaboration. You and your team can review designs on a single project.

Adobe InDesign is a subscription-based tool that can be bought individually. Or, you can get the creative cloud software as a bundle for $52.99/ month.

QuarkXpress

If you are looking for a trusted company that has been around for years in publishing, QuarkXpress is for you. 

QuarkXpress is one of the pioneers of desktop publishing software, digital publishing, and content creation software. It has been around the industry for 40 years and continues to improve its services for its loyal customers and new ones.

Whether you need to create a digital magazine, brochure, flyers, or more, you can get unlimited creativity and designs with QuarkXpress.

It is integrated with tools to edit images, illustrations, and graphics. Furthermore, you can effortlessly work on your projects with the drag-and-drop feature, make changes quickly, merge pages, and add other elements if necessary.

The workspace is larger than before, so you can have more space to see how your design looks. It even permits multi-channel publications and SEO-friendly designs.

QuarkXpress also has add-on apps for content collaboration and copyediting.

Softvire offers QuarkXpress with Advantage. It has more advanced features, better technical support, and updates.

Printmaster

Are you looking for a simple publishing software that you can get used to in a few hours? Broderbund’s Printmaster gives you what you want.

It’s made for creating custom-based designs with multiple templates to choose from. You’ll be able to create greeting cards, scrapbooks, banners, newsletters, and more. It’s similar to Canva, but it works offline.

It’s not as comprehensive as QuarkXpress or InDesign for website designing. But, there are more than 6,500 templates, thousands of royalty-free images, elements, and customizable printing options. There’s an effortless photo editing tool available too.

You can even share designs with Gmail or your social media accounts. 

Printmaster is easy to use. It doesn’t take much time to learn the software. 

Get your copy of Printmaster at Softvire NZ.

Affinity Publisher

Affinity.serif.com

It’s a desktop publishing software that permits image editing and impressive layouts for publications. It was chosen by Apple as Mac App of the Year. There’s a Windows version too.

You can create books, magazines, social media templates, and even website mock-ups. 

Essential elements like typography, professional prints, text, tables, and more. You can even choose to start from scratch instead of using a predesigned template.

Affinity even lets you work anywhere you go with its availability on mobile. You can create and share designs on any device.

You can add text styles to multiple pages at once. Hence, no need to individually go through pages to make the edit. Since fonts support OpenType format, you can easily change the size of your text without affecting the resolution. Other text features available are the addition of borders, creative fonts, grids, and more. 

Affinity is also broad in its support to other formats. It works with PSD, AI, PDF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, and more. It even supports complex vector documents and converts pixel layers to image nodes.

You can create or edit vector images within the app using a pen, node, and other shape tools. 

It lets you integrate data into the documents you are creating. You can gather data from an external source and use it when creating a business card, certificate, and more.

Affinity Publisher is a one-time purchase software.

Scribus

Scribus is a free desktop publishing software you can use to create a wide range of publications, from brochures to business cards, magazines to flyers, with quick and efficient results. Whether you use one of their pre-made templates or start from scratch with their easy-to-use design tools, your project will be what you imagined.

It’s an Open Source tool with a professional page layout that’s compatible with multiple operating systems, as well as a click-fit combination of press-ready output and the latest page design approaches. Scribus carries out several professional publishing features, such as ICC color management, color separations, CMYK, and Spot Color support. Furthermore, it has a flexible option for creating PDF files, with a modern look and user-friendly interface.

You can work on a single or multiple pages, edit objects easily, and create PDFs and PostScript 

files.

Other features are:

  • Speed up the page layout work
  • Adding visual effects on the text using node editing tools
  • Flow text option

Since it’s free, you won’t expect it to be flawless. There are some drawbacks to using Scribus.

  • Requires more memory when working on larger files
  • The help section is difficult to access.
  • No spell check
  • Steep learning curve

Swift Publisher

swift publisher
via Swift Publisher website

Swift Publisher can be a great alternative to Printmaster. It is a Mac-only desktop publishing software with a low price tag. It includes more than 500 templates to create brochures, catalogs, business cards, social media, disc labels and covers, address labels, and other applications. There’s a variety of 2D and 3D heading presets, 2,000 free clip art images, and 100 image masks are also included. Two-page spreads, limitless layers, master pages, adjustable grids, rich-text tools, printing to RGB or CMYK, and output to PNG, TIFF, JPEG, EPS, and PDF are among the tool’s advanced page layout features.

You can create albums on the software to easily access the images you want to work with. The design toolkit includes extensive features, such as drawing tools, linear gradients, and more. Almost everything is customizable, fonts, grids, and templates. Hence, you get to achieve your project.

It supports the printing of books, labels, and even barcodes. You can merge your contact with your email to automatically print cards, invitations, or labels for your mailing list at once.

There are different packages offered. Swift Publisher starts at $19.99. If you want to add more features or upgrade your previous purchase, there are plans available for that too.

Conclusion

Even though digital marketing and technology are convenient and growing, traditional publications and printings are still thriving. However, gone are the traditional ways to create labels, brochures, banners, and more. Now desktop publishing software and graphic designing tools are available for small businesses to use.

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