This Week I'm Loving... Publisher Star HD (iPad App Review)

App: Publisher Star HD
Platform: iPad
Designer: Aidaluu Inc.
Price: $5.99
PCM Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Although it seems like only yesterday that I was in the delivery room, Pop Culture Baby's first birthday is rapidly approaching. Since I need some time to practice making all of the things Pinterest has convinced me I can do (yeah right), I've already started planning. Part of my planning has involved getting the invitations ready. I started with gathering my committee of friends to debate whether the theme I had picked was too off-beat. From their comments, I evolved my idea, and then set about finding invites that matched. There weren't really any I liked.

Eventually, I found myself on Zazzle (as I often do). I designed the perfect invitation with a combination of Zazzle's templates and various graphics I purchased on Etsy. I submitted my order and paid. Then a day later I had my heart broken as Zazzle rejected my order. In my excitement to design the perfect invitation, I had neglected the fact that purchasing a graphic for private design use doesn't really work when you are paying someone to do the printing for you. Well drat.

I didn't want to pay a fortune for some Adobe printing software just to design one invitation, so that left the iPad (a recent birthday present from Pop Culture Dad aka The Most Awesomist Hubby Ever). After searching a variety of different ways, I noticed one program kept coming up — Publisher Star HD. I was reluctant to pay $6 for an iPad app that may or may not actually help me design an invitation; but I had an iTunes gift card, so worst-case scenario, I'd waste a few credits. It was a good gamble.

I love this app! It took a lot of getting used to, trying to figure out what each icon actually meant and how it helped me design. Of course, it probably doesn't help that I was starting this project at midnight. Eventually, I got the hang of it, and now I am something of a Publisher Star pro. The app is loaded with a few graphics and lots of really nice fonts. I didn't use any of the graphics in designing my party invitations. I instead used the pictures in the camera roll on my iPad (all those lovely graphics and backgrounds I bought on Etsy). The final product was something that looked even better than what I had originally designed on Zazzle!

Printing is not going to be a problem. Publisher Star lets you email your final product in JPG, PNG, and PDF formats. I emailed the invitation to myself for printing from my desktop. I do have a printing app on my iPad, but I only prints three sizes, and none of them are the size I chose for my invitation.

So why only four stars if I'm so I love with this product? The learning curve is my first reason. The instructions did not really help me figure out how to use the app; it was all trial and error. Also, the app has grid lines, but those only come in handy if you are using a solid background instead of a background created from a picture on your phone. Once I added my lovely argyle background, the grid basically did not exist. I had to remove it in order to center my project perfectly. Also, the size options are in pixels rather than imperial or metric units. I had to do a lot of math and playing around to figure out how many pixels would yield a 5x7 invitation. That was an absolute pain.

Despite these flaws, it is an overall good product, especially when you consider that you are making invitations(or newsletters or flow charts) on an iPad. I had so much fun designing Pop Culture Baby's birthday invitation, that I may use this app for the invites for Pop Culture Preschooler's birthday party also... and my Samhain/Halloween party... and a newsletter we send out with our Yule/Christmas/New Years family photos... and a chart I make just for the heck of it... and... and....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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