Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Come at see me at the MMPA Summit

If you're in the Twin Cities, MN area and are interested in publishing to tablets, don't miss the MMPA Summit & Expo on Thursday, April 26. I'll be presenting three workshops: Best Practices for iPad Publication Design; Adding Interactivity and Media to Adobe DPS Publications; and Adobe Muse. Hope to see you there!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Adobe Creative Suite 6 announced today!

Today Adobe announced Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Adobe Creative Cloud. They didn't announce a shipping date yet, but they are taking pre-orders at Adobe.com.

I think this is a compelling upgrade for many users of the Creative Suite. You'll need to determine if a "perpetual license" or an on-going membership to Creative Cloud is right for you.

Note that a membership to the Creative Cloud, which gives you cross-platform access to all the software in the Master Collection and more, is normally $49.99/month. But if you are a registered user of CS3-CS5, you get the first year for $29.99/month.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Are you a designer? You need an iPad!

I've been doing a ton of training, consulting and public speaking lately about Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, EPUB, and designing for tablets. I ask two questions of almost every audience. 1) "How many of you here today are designers, art directors, or production artists?" and 2) "How many of you own a tablet?" Most audiences I speak to are almost entirely designers and related disciplines, so almost everyone raises their hand to question one.

But I'm almost always surprised by the few hands that are raised in response to question 2. In my experience, graphic designers are reluctant to jump on the tablet bandwagon, and this surprises and disappoints me.

I'm convinced that tablets are kind of a big deal. Tablets are primarily content consumption devices. Total worldwide iPad sales hit 55.36 million through December 2011. Trendforce predicts that 94 million tablets will sell in 2012 alone. NPD DisplaySearch predicts this number will be up to 383 million per year by 2017. If these predictions are anywhere near true, that's a lot of people with tablets consuming a lot of content. Who's best at curating, creating, and presenting that content? You, the designer.

Those of us in the design industry share a common problem. When we retrieve the mail, what do we do? We look first at how each print peice is designed, judge it good or bad, look at the typography, try to identify the typeface, smell the ink and determine if it is soy-based, and examine the varnish and the paper stock. Then we look to see if it's addressed to us!

If you think that you're going to learn how to design effectively for tablets without spending the same kind of time looking critically at tablet content that you do print content, you're mistaken. You need a tablet now so that you can be reading digital magazines, consuming on-screen news, reading ePubs and iBooks, and learning what types of interactivity work and which don't. I'm convinced that as a designer you need to immerse yourself in the world of tablets and start developing a new visual literacy in screen-based design.

Three times in the last few months I've been asked to train designers on how to create tablet apps with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, but the company didn't provide the designers any access to tablets. That's like asking a designer to create a full color annual report using only a grayscale monitor, no printer, and no ruler!

Once you start to design apps and eBooks for multiple platforms, you'll find that you'll need to have one of each of the devices you are going to create the content for. So if you are going to create an app for iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Kindle Fire, you'll really need to have access to each of these devices so you can preview and troubleshoot.

So there you have it. If you've been looking for an excuse to get that shiny new iPad, this is it!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CS6 announcement set for April 23

Adobe has posted an invite for a live Webcast of Adobe Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6. The invitation says "Join us for a live webcast April 23 at 10:00 am pacific time to hear how Adobe is reinventing the creative process and be the first to experience the latest innovations within Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Creative Suite 6."


Monday, April 02, 2012

Come to Duluth, learn about Adobe DPS!

If you are anywhere near the Duluth, MN area, come to this April 17 event put on by the Duluth/Superior AAF chapter. I'll be doing a one-hour presentation during lunch to help cut through some of the confusion about creating interactive content for tablets. Then, in a 3-hour workshop after lunch, I'll show how to use Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to create tablet apps. The event will be held at Grandma's Sports Garden. Registration begins at 11:30 with lunch being served at 11:45 and the presentation at 12:00. The workshop begins at 1:15. The registration deadline is Friday, April 13th. Sign up today at http://www.lakesuperioradfed.org/

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