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Quark Promote lets novices make promo materials

The new, easily approachable tools allow non-designers to create their own promotional materials.

Quark and other similar design programs are infamous for having a very tough learning curve, making it extremely difficult for amateurs to pick them up and make anything of quality. The company is looking to make layout and design more accessible for the general public with the introduction of Quark Promote. The goal of Quark Promote is to allow individuals and small business owners to quickly and easily create promotional materials.

Quark Promote's online template gallery features professionally designed templates for everything ranging from business cards to letterhead. Once users pick a set that they like, the Quark Promote application quickly installs and launches. Users can then enter in their own information as well as play with the color schemes and layout.

Quark Promote features hundreds of professionally designed templates that you can customize for your needs. Screenshot by Harrison Hoffman/CNET

The actual Quark Promote application is very easy to use and is not intimidating. It doesn't have all of the functionality of the full blown version of Quark, but there is enough there to tweak the design to your liking.

Up to this point in the process, everything is free. Users don't need to pay for templates like they do with other services. Rather Quark thinks that you will like the design enough to want to make prints. Quark Promote gives you the option to order prints by mail or to find a neighborhood printer where you can pick them up yourself. This is where Quark makes its money--on the referral fees from printers.

When I talked with the guys behind Promote, they said they have bigger plans for the service, moving forward, which include partnering up with stock photo sites such as Getty and iStockphoto to give users more customization possibilities with images. It is also possible that they will add support for searching for Creative Commons licensed content on Flickr to the application to widen the selection of available images that users can use in their promotional materials.