Trying to create a *pretty* report, no design experience, sites to view?
April 3, 2015 11:53 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to create a *pretty* report. I have no design or publishing experience. A friend told me of Lucidpress and Canva any other ideas?
posted by TRUELOTUS to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I am also looking for a template. I found this:
and love the template but it looks like I would get a virus if I downloaded it.

posted by TRUELOTUS at 12:04 PM on April 3, 2015

My classmates and I created a report in school once using InDesign.
posted by kbennett289 at 12:37 PM on April 3, 2015

With literally no experience you'll be fighting an uphill battle. How quickly do you need to have it done by? How long will it be? How much data do you have and will it be graph-able or will your report be mostly text? What software do you have access to, what's your budget, and how willing are you to learn new things? What is your starting level of technical proficiency?

I have produced some truly beautiful documents using LaTeX but I am extremely technically inclined. I assume from the link in your comment that you're looking to create an annual financial report, and are used to Microsoft Office?
posted by books for weapons at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2015

Could you use one of the templates in Word?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:03 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was just gonna say... If this is new for you, just use one of the templates in Word. The proposal templates have pre-set table formats and everything's color coordinated.
posted by mochapickle at 1:06 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am using Word. And would LOVE a swanky report template, I did not find anything. I have 2010.
Its an annual report of a program.
posted by TRUELOTUS at 1:32 PM on April 3, 2015

Response by poster: I am VERY willing to learn new things. Like I said , I looked at those two programs/sites but it does not look like it was what I wanted. Any templates for report generations? Like table of contents, etc. I am willing to pay, a little. My report is mostly text.
posted by TRUELOTUS at 1:34 PM on April 3, 2015

Creating a table of contents in Word is super-easy and verging on the magic, but you do have to use heading styles to mark your section headings. It's best not to fight with a template's font definitions, and just accept the style choices the designer has made. Most templates should be able to support a Table of Contents, as it's built into Word.

MS Office 2010 support: Create a table of contents automatically.
posted by scruss at 2:31 PM on April 3, 2015

I would use InDesign to do this, but there's quite a learning curve. Here's a random free template. Word can do it, too. But if you have the money, a graphic designer is worth it! It may be a simple job. Maybe you could even find someone on Fiverr to do it, especially if you just want them to plug something into an InDesign template.
posted by three_red_balloons at 2:39 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I taught 50 6th graders to use Canva in about 20 minutes. And as long as you don't use their premium design elements, it's free. And it looks really good!
posted by guster4lovers at 6:51 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Less is more. If you're interested in learning read Edward Tufte's books. If you're making charts and graphs add Stephen Few's books.
posted by tayknight at 7:50 PM on April 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ok, are there any great tutorials, youtube, etc, that would teach me basic skills to be a graphic designer.?
or just basics about design principles, and the graphic design skills i needed to get by?

I can imagine in a job I would need to know how to make broachures, in addtion to reports.I

s there a program I should try and learn? People have mentioned Indesign, is this the one I should be looking at? Can you create a report in Canva? Is this something I missed? Thanks
posted by TRUELOTUS at 10:07 AM on April 4, 2015

Best answer: Instead of looking for general graphic design principles, I would focus on learning a professional program used by graphic designers, and use YouTube tutorials to make specific projects that let you test your skills.

I learned just about everything I know about graphic design by teaching myself Adobe After Effects one summer using that method. I now do semi-professional video editing and design.

InDesign is an industry standard. Photoshop too. Canva is aimed at people with very little design background because you can make beautiful products without having to set up templates for yourself. I'm not sure what you mean by "report" - but there are options to do lots of different sizes and layouts on Canva.

Or here's a free course on Coursera that could probably give you a start on the theory and principles of graphic design.
posted by guster4lovers at 1:20 PM on April 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

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