With 15 years at Sheridan Magazines, our guest blogger may need no introduction to many readers. As Technology Lead, Gerald Byrne focuses primarily on our Magazine Manager, Proteus, and Virtual Publisher offerings. Take it away, Gerald!
The future is now available
Adobe recently released the latest version of their flagship offering, Creative Suite 6.
The solution comes in several flavors, and as many as 16 applications with the core being the familiar Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign products. While all of the applications have new and improved features, there are a handful of changes that are of specific interest to magazine publishers. Whether you accept Adobe’s word or not, these particular features lend weight to their claim that CS6 is “the most significant software release in history.”
The only constant…
Quick Quiz – In the future my publication will be:
A) Print Centric
B) Web Centric
C) Mobile Centric
D) Multi-channel distribution including print, web, mobile, and other delivery channels yet to be determined.
CS6, along with other services Adobe has released, demonstrates their commitment to option D. There is plenty of information about the details of features and services on the interwebs. The new features that should be at the top of publishers’ exploration lists are:
- Liquid Layouts: New with CS6, InDesign takes a giant step forward in streamlining the design process of creating content destined for multiple output channels (read: varying screen sizes). Designers now have the ability to apply placement rules for design elements and page objects to automatically position themselves based on the size and shape of the display screen of the reader. This makes managing and updating separate InDesign files for each output device unnecessary, as all the rules for various layout sizes are kept in a single file.
- Interactive Overlays Panel: Digital devices offer users and publishers opportunities for features not possible on a printed page. With interactive overlays, Adobe gives you the ability to easily add animations, buttons, slideshows, movies, and more. Adobe is really smart in their implementation of these tools. They’ve done all the technical coding work, and left the design choices wide open, so while any publisher can access the same set of features, each can customize the look and feel to perfectly reflect the brand.
- Digital Publishing Suite: This is where the rubber hits the road for content distribution. Adobe once again handles all the technical aspect of building app for the various app markets. A publisher need only decide on the look and feel of the app, conceptually just a shell for holding your publication’s content. Finished InDesign file content is uploaded to the system via .folio files and the suite handles pushing the content to your app. Initially released with CS5.5, Adobe has quickly added enterprise strength tools and services that facilitate managing your issues and channels.
- Creative Cloud: As the name implies, this a cloud-based service. It is “the digital hub where you can explore, create, share, and deliver your work.” Major features include subscription-based access to the Creative Suite products, and cloud-based file storage and syncing to enable work and collaboration from anywhere.
Some of the services do not require CS6, but they are optimized for this version, and the integration is much smoother. For anyone starting out with these services, you’d do well to use them with CS6.
The more things change…
Quick Quiz question #2 – In the future my publication will require:
A) Less design
B) The same amount of design
C) More design
With the release of CS6, Adobe is doubling down on answers B and C, and giving your designers the tools they need to deliver your publication into the future. Despite the experts, prognosticators, and fortunetellers, no one knows exactly what the future of publishing will look like. One thing, though, is very clear: The need for highly designed content will remain, and that requires skillful and talented designers. Adobe knows this, and is giving your designers the tools they’ll need to succeed, and to let you succeed.