Both programs delineate pages into two primary categories: Portrait Pages and Candid/Activity Pages. The page type filters the tools and formatting options to fit within a particular publisher’s or print standards. Users can rearrange and sequence pages easily in both workspaces, as well as navigate quickly through them to render local adjustments to a particular canvas at any point during the creation process.
There are a number of page templates to choose from in each program. The templates allow for the implementation of borders and backgrounds to structure each page, with a variety of element modifications available to populate the content areas. Templates can be used to help format a type of page for subsequent editing or as a means with which to structure a page type throughout the album. Alternatively, you can start from a blank sheet or canvas as well.
LumaPix and Pelican both offer an easy way to implement a two-page spread using overlapping objects and adjusted edge markers. LumaPix includes a mirror flip feature that allows for symmetrical design across the binding. This is not quite as applicable to panel pages or conventional yearbook design as other forms of albums, however, this is an instance where the more robust, versatile design platform offers creative opportunities for users to experiment with design for some of the activity or candid pages.
Plotting frame panels is likely the most fundamental component of yearbook design, so it’s not surprising that these two applications perform this function with similar effectiveness. Panels are essentially frames to place student photos and staff portraits on the page. There are a number of ways to design, alter, and order the panel array with the distinction between the two programs boiling down to more of a workflow and interface preference than pure functionality. Pelican Software and LumaPix, as expected, handle this operation with similar proficiently – offering versatility and flexibility using a form of Panel engine.
The yearbook software will similarly structure or arrange panels automatically, according to a selected template, allow for manual creation of frames, and easily transpose student images.
The difference between the applications in this regard is nominal, with the distinction centering on the respective program’s interface and implementation more than function.
One implementation may be preferable to a given user’s sensibilities (i.e. professional designer or student), but a new user would quickly learn adapting to either program in short time.
Candid or Activity pages can be added in a similar fashion to the Portrait Pages, importing a group of candid or team image folder, applying a template and dragging an image or group of images, or collage.
Notable differences between the software again amounts more to style than function when composing activity pages or a composite page of candids. Both programs allow users to add backgrounds, text, graphics, clipart, images, borders, flare, and all sorts of design dressings. However, the interface differences – in particular the way in which candid images are added to the canvas – will impact the user’s workflow.
Ultimately the differences arise if you opt to use a Blank Canvas rather than a templatized page. For students and designers who have experience with more generalized design applications, the layout and fluidity of the tools will make YearbookFusion an appealing alternative. LumaPix’s design solution supplies a layer-based tool palate with effects “turned on” and “turned off” by checking or unchecking a filter box. Alterations appear immediately, without requiring rendering, and are non-destructive. The immediacy of the response lends itself to designing or creating by eye, as you go.
Detailed, local adjustments are an area where there is a sizeable gap in the programs’ respective approach and capabilities. LumaPix stocks a toolset consistent with professional design applications, while Pelican Software gives ample, functional tools; basic, yet complete, yearbook design. It’s a standard - nothing more, nothing less. The comparative depth of the controls and operations available in YearbookFusion reflects the robust and full-fledged design capabilities of LumaPix’s application more than a lack in Pelican Software’s Yearbooks! Desktop 2010.
Taking a step back in the assembly process from the page to the album creation, Pelican users can access the Page Ladder while LumaPix operators can engage the Page Hover. Both of these features look essentially like a filmstrip view of a computer folder, and allow for the manipulation of page and group sequencing within the album.