Avanquest is a software publisher that sells a wide variety of applications, including PC utilities, business productivity tools and, of course, desktop publishing programs. Print Artist 25 Platinum is Avanquest's best desktop publishing software. Its template selection is astoundingly large, and it offers enough graphic capability to keep budding layout artists busy. But despite its strong points, Print Artist Platinum falls short when it comes to the quality of its options, especially when compared to the best desktop publishing software available.
The first thing we look to when reviewing a desktop publishing application is, predictably, its publishing feature set. Where competing products boast professional staples such as CMYK printing optimization and the ability to import from and export to a wide variety of file formats, Print Artist Platinum is rather vanilla. It doesn't have support for master pages – all but a necessity when working on longer documents – and while it has basic PDF exporting capabilities, don't expect to create complex, business-caliber PDFs with it. If you'd like an inexpensive program that supports master pages, you might want to consider PrintMaster.
These absences are certainly detractions, but in all fairness, this software isn't designed for the business crowd. It's marketed to those of us who are looking for a simple desktop publishing package that will help us make fliers or postcards, and in this, it has the art assets to please. The program features the single largest collection of fonts, art assets and project templates in the business. Granted, the quality of many of them is lacking, but with 1,000 fonts, 28,000 templates and a monumental 377,000 art assets – clip art, photographs, picture frames, filigrees and much more – you won't be short of design options.
Plus, once you've picked a project template and a few pieces of clip art to fancy it up, you'll be able to add stylized text with bevels, gradient fills and even a few Photoshop-style filters. You don't have much fine control over typography settings, but for short bits of text and titles, there's plenty here to enjoy.
If you need help using the software, be aware that Nova Development, which created the Print Artist series, charges a per-call fee for telephone support. There's a simple knowledgebase online that should hopefully answer your questions, but if you're struggling to use the software, you're probably better off finding answers online than you are calling Nova's support line.
Print Artist 25 Platinum isn't designed to be a professional publishing tool. What might be the best publishing software for a design professional probably wouldn't suit a home user's needs. This software has a plentiful selection of templates and images to choose from, but they’re not all up to the same standards. The templates are as professional as the best software we reviewed. If you're looking for software to help you put together this year's Christmas card, Print Artist should serve you well. But it will be far less effective with more complex, multipage projects.