October 06, 2005

Curious, George: Desktop Publishing Software Where can I find free Desktop Publishing software suitable for making cheap posters and flyers for events on a Windows XP computer?

So I'm starting a LARP in downtown Santa Cruz, where I've just moved to go to college. While I've been able to develop some interest via word of mouth among my dorm mates, i'd really like to get in contact with more of the community, especially off campus. Flyers and posters seem to be the best way to reach a mass audience. Alas, being a poor college student, I really would like to avoid spending money on a computer program for something I'm already putting so much time and effort in. Not to mention the fact that there are literally hundreds of flyers posted around our campus and town, so I know it's possible. I'm interested in making posters and flyers in both the normal A^ (8 1/2 by 11 inches) and in papers about a quarter size of that (I'd like to print and cut them apart). Please note, that while I'm not a computer novice, I'm still looking for something relatively intuitive.

  • Open Office is very good these days. I know several orgs that use it as their only Office type package. I have used it personally for many projects. The Draw component should be able to handle most simple to moderately-complex posters.
  • From the band posters I see around here, I get the feeling that lots of people A)still just cut and paste stuff for that funky collage look or b)use photoshop. If you want a basic flyer openoffice.org (the legal name since someone else owns the name openoffice!) should work fine. If you love corporate monopolies, since you are a college student I would bet your college bookstore or computer store has a good deal on Microsoft stuff. I can download Microsoft Office for free here at IU, for example (I suppose I should be really l33t and type Micro$oft, though...)
  • Openoffice is the way to go. For vector graphics, try Sodipodi, or Inkscape.
  • bring out the gimp
  • What's a LARP?
  • Also, Gryftir, write a letter to the Metro (free, wide readership) and if it's still around, the Comic News (you can pick up a copy for a donation by the back door of Bookshop Santa Cruz). Tell the older guy who runs the comic book store, Atlantis, next to the parking building on Cedar, he might spread the word for you. He's a really nice guy, too. Also, Craigslist South Bay. (Caveat: I haven't lived there for some time but I'm betting most if not all the above still applies.) I also recommend the Gimp, but if you're new to it, it can be tricky and the help files are pretty rubbish. The trial version of Adobe Photoshop might be useful, but it's a ~300MB download.
  • The GIMP's really good but tracicle's right about the learning curve. Best to work some tutorials for it to really familiarize yourself. If you're not down with that, and the posters are simple enough, then I'll second killThisKid's nomination.
  • ...and sufoc's links no worky. Sodipodi Inkscape I've never used either of those, but I've used CorelDRAW for years, and I much prefer using vector graphics for most designs.
  • make friends with a graphic design major, we're always bored and looking for stuff like this to do.
  • you might try to hold for scribus, which is prealpha for Mac, and whoknowswhat for Windows. Or not. You could run it with Cygwin, but as of now, no idea. Surely being a student you have access to the myriad minds that this fine country produces.
  • For LARPs, don't you need parchment scrolls that glow and hover?
  • smallishbear: LARP means Live Action Role Playing. Basically a grown up "Let's Pretend" with rules.
  • Rules, and Vampires ;) I'll checkout the Openoffice Draw program (I've just been using it for Text), and Scribus in Cygwin. Thanks, all of you.
  • LARPing in action... I know its old, but I just couldn't resist...
  • For an actual DP try Ragtime Solo. It's free for private use and does everything in DP that I've ever needed.