Here we are at week 4 of my freelance journey blog series. For those of you who have just landed on my blog for the first time, firstly, where have you been!? Secondly, just to get you up to speed, this post is part of a series of posts I have been doing chronicling my journey into the wild world of graphic design freelancing. If you want to see how I got started freelancing just a short sweet month ago, and the projects I have completed for clients in previous weeks then check out my previous posts, or you could just dive right into reading this one. Completely up to you. Anyway, I mentioned very briefly in my last post that I sent off a proposal to a luxury car hire company (that I’ve been a huge fan of for years) as I came across a freelance job ad put out by them. They were looking for a freelance designer to design a small six-page marketing brochure for them to persuasively and attractively present their new cars. My enthusiasm must have really won them over as I managed to secure the work (they got back to me 5 days ago with the good news). I’ve been working like a maniac over the last few days to complete this brochure to really impress them, as during the interview process they dropped a few hints that if this first piece of work goes well that they would want to work with me on other things further down the line.
The Wait Was Worth It, They Loved The Work!
Two days ago I nervously sent off the PDF of the first draft of the brochure and spent the next following 3 hours checking my email inbox every 10 minutes waiting for their response. We’ve all been there.
After a while, I stopped checking and they finally got back to me the following day and the email was from the CEO! The email was insanely short but I was overjoyed with what it said. “Loved the brochure. Tim, our marketing manager, will reach out later with more feedback”.
The conversation with Tim was super inspiring and he told me that everyone at the company pretty much loved everything about the brochure. The only thing he requested was that I convert the static PDF into an interactive, digital flip page publication that incorporates some of the marketing videos and slideshow galleries from their site and to have it to him in 24 hours.
Cool, I thought. How hard could that be? Just need to find some free, and easy-to-use flip creator software, and should be done in an hour. Little did I know then, that that was far from the case.
Finding The Best Free, Easy To Use Flip Creator Software.
I bashed out a quick Google search for flip creator software and lined up 4 tabs. I downloaded three of the flip creator software packages, all from different companies, and smiled to myself. Surely, one of these will be able to do the job.
After downloading the first piece of flip creator software, I restarted my laptop and fired it up. Things were going well, according to the software’s status bar I was 55 percent of the way to exporting the finished interactive flip page publication. Could almost smell the sweet scent of a job completed. And then. Bam. “Error 556633 – software must shut down”. What?! Why?! And to make things worse it wouldn’t let me save any of the work I had done either!
After my initial annoyance, I calmed down and thought that this is probably just a really rare one-off. Nope, I wrong. I restarted the software back up and the same thing happened again.
Time to move on to the next piece of flip creator software. This one didn’t crash at all but demanded I enter my card details in order to export the flip page publication. This was fully ridiculous as the website for the software said it was free multiple times.
Okay. Looks like it was time to move onto the third flip creator software package. After downloading it I double-clicked the software shortcut to read the words “this software is now discontinued – sorry for the inconvenience”. What! If it was discontinued why did it let me download it in the first place and why wasn’t this mentioned anywhere on the software’s website! As you can imagine I was super annoyed at this point and almost decided to throw in the towel but as a last-ditch attempt I decided to click on the fourth tab I had open but for some reason neglected. Upon clicking it I was greeted by a slick, well-designed site and an online platform called Yumpu Publishing.
PDF File To Interactive Flip Page Brochure In Less Than 10 Minutes.
I signed up within 30 seconds and 7 minutes later I had converted the static PDF into an engaging, interactive flip page publication exactly to the specifications Tim laid out to me. It was unbelievably easy to do using the intuitive Yumpu Publishing interface and above all it was completely free! I was over the moon! This was the flip creator software I was looking for all along!
This free flip creator platform was clearly head and shoulders above the others I had tried in terms of design, usability, feature set, ease of use, and support. Just in every single way. If I had to explain everything this thing could do then this blog post would run into a mini-novel so I instead thought it would be a better idea for me to outline the key features that really stood out to me, below;
What Makes This Software So Much Better Than The Others?
– Hotspot Editor – Using the Hotspot Editor I could effortlessly drag video clips, slideshows, sound clips, etc right into the publication and then adjust the size and position of the media with precise accuracy to have things exactly how I wanted them.
This was a crucial feature for me as one of Tim’s main criteria for the flip page publication was to embed the image slide shows and video clips from the companies site into the publication. The software handled this brilliantly!
– Optimised Content Delivery – This really blew my mind as it’s something I hadn’t seen mentioned by any other flip creator software packages I tried previously. Strange, because it’s something that’s becoming more and more important.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about the fact that publications made with this software are completely responsive to all screen sizes and as smartphone traffic begins to overtake desktop traffic in most countries this could not be more important. I tested my completed publication on a smartphone and tablet and can safely say they displayed brilliantly on both of them!
– Cloud-Based Software – Unlike the other flip creator software packages I downloaded previously which weren’t cloud-based, this software was. Why is this impressive and useful?
Well, because it means I can access the software and my work from anywhere where there’s an internet connection. For example, I can start a brochure at home and continue working on it at my local coffee shop, and then, if I wanted to, hop on a plane to Thailand and finish it in an internet café on a remote island.
It also means that the software is constantly updated and fixed by the company in the background and as soon as you log into the platform you are automatically using the most robust, most up-to-date version, no redownloading needed. This means less crashing, fewer bugs, and thus less annoyance.
I really hope you guys enjoyed reading this installment of my freelancer journey and stay tuned for the next post. It’s coming real soon!
And if any of you ever need to turn any of your documents (be that a brochure, magazine, catalog, or marketing presentation) into an engaging, interactive online flip page publication then I highly recommend you give Yumpu Publishing a shot.
The free version of the software (which is the one I used for my client) unlike the free versions of other flip creator software packages, is really open and unrestrictive. You can import, edit, export and share as many publications as you want without spending a dime! So, give it a go