PDF (Portable Document Format) files are popular because they preserve document formatting which makes them more shareable and allows the document to look the same on any device it may be viewed on.
The basic idea behind using a PDF (as opposed to a document created in Word, Pages or any other word processing program/app) is that the integrity of the document is embedded in the file itself. The document that you created is the document that people will see.
Example: If you create a document in Word and share it with someone that doesn't use/have the same fonts that you have on your computer – the actual rendering (what someone else will see) may not be the same view that you originally created. Even if they open the document in Word, fonts may be substituted and the page layout will be altered. Also, if you create a document in a specific application and the recipient does not have that same application, chances are they will not be able to open/view the document. Neither of these circumstances occur when opening a PDF.
Keep in mind, anyone can create a PDF file – for free. Most word processing applications offer the ability to "Save as PDF." Whenever preparing a document for distribution – saving as a PDF is the smart thing to do. Hint: Always save your original word processing document format (txt, rtf, doc, docx, html) in case you need to make edits (easily) in the future.
COMMON PDFs + PRICING
I most commonly create original PDFs for flyers, online brochures, restaurant menus, clickable documents and layouts for submission for commercial printing (newspaper and magazine advertising). I also create interactive-PDF files from existing (supplied) Word documents or from scratch. Interactive-PDFs allow your document-user to click options or type in fields to complete the form and save/send (the completed form).
PDF-work tends to be tedious (just a personal comment on the process) – particularly with interactive forms. But, the rewards and utility of a completed project are worth the time and effort. The process is more art than technology; generally involving work in Word or InDesign, Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat.
When working from a supplied Word/Pages document the cost is ± $30 USD/page.
Changes/revisions to an existing PDF cost ± $20 USD/page.
When creating an original document with supplied information/content the cost is ± $50 USD/page.
Creating single-page flyers, postcards, posters, etc.* cost ± $30 USD.
Discounts are available for larger PDF publications such as manuals, multi-page brochures and manuscripts.
* PDF files are an excellent choice for submission to online printing services such as Vistaprint. I can design your project and even submit it for printing for you. Also, be sure to check your local print shops or Staples for pricing and quick turnaround.