The big day
We're live and this is not an April fool hoax!
It's so exciting! After so many months of hard work we are finally releasing pageplanr to the world and we are absolutely thrilled.
Since the early 90s, when I started to work as a freelance designer and "desktop publishing" became a big thing, flat plans always were an important part in the production process of all my client work. But handling those paper flat plans and excel sheets was a real pain. I remember creating half automated flat plans with Quark XPress 3.0 and AppleScript (man, I'm feeling old now) because I felt the need to do something about it, to improve the process and the flat plan handling. I even looked into developping a native mac application (back then this meant developping with an IDE called Codewarrior for Mac OS 6). But as it turned out that was beyond my possibilities.
Some years later I founded my own design studio and together with my team of designers and developpers we created several little tools that helped us in our daily work. Handling the growing number of design jobs became more complex and our tools helped us in very specific parts of the process. They were very limited in what they were able to do, but that was better than to have nothing at all.
We sure looked into some commercial products, too. But we didn't find solutions that suited our needs. Most of them were quite expensive and had much more features than we really needed.
So some years ago we finally took the effort and brought all our little tools together and formed one single application, that we could use in a more general manner and for each job, be it a small flyer, an elaborate image brochure, monthly magazines or big catalogs. Since then this tool has proven to be very effective and over time it really became an essential pillar of our agency.
Twenty years in the design business taught us what features we needed and how the application should behave. pageplanr of today sure looks different than the application from two years ago. Some features were added, some we removed again as they didn't stand the test of our daily business. But the core remained always the same, which proved that we were on the right track with the basic concept and behaviour of our application.
Finally in 2014 we decided to make the next step and to offer our tool as an online service. All these years in developpement and the daily use in our own business makes us very confident, that pageplanr is a matured product that has a lot to offer for single freelance designers as well as for big editorial businesses. Making a public online service certainly is a different beast than an inhouse tool. But since the core functionalities already were very stable we only had to build some kind of public wrapper around it. That's not to downplay the effort - it took several month to get this done!
Sometime last year we thought that April 1st 2015 would be a nice date to go public. And even though we had periods in which we worried if we could meet that challenge (due to our normal business), we have managed to deliver it in time.
Needless to say that we are very proud of it and we are convinced that it will change the way you manage your print products, too.
What are your experiences with flat plans and what do you think of pageplanr? We'd love to hear from you!