Starting with IPEX 2002, this blog covers events relevant for UK print, including Seybold and DRUPA. See also website at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I took quite a few words previously from Zac Bolan in PrintAction in a previous post. This must be ok as he has sent me a link to his blog and a review of Creative Suite 5. Of course he suggests you should subscribe to the print version but there is also a link to a PDF. This concentrates on Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. What interests me is the background on what Adobe is trying to do with each release.

By September of 2008, most Adobe output issues became a thing of the past as modern RIPs conquered transparency. A meager 18 months following the birth of CS3, a primped Creative Suite 4 added productivity to its list of key features. Unfortunately the sound of banks collapsing drowned out much of the fanfare as Adobe launched CS4 into an economically challenged market.
So if a modern RIP, assuming they are widely available, can cope with the output issues, then there is nothing left for Adobe to develop and no reason to attend a print show.

If the era of Adobe Classic is over, it is easier to understand the direction since buying Macromedia.
Just as Adobe’s Quark-killer got the page layout market in a stranglehold, designers shifted away from specializing in print and towards rich media and motion. Fortunately Adobe’s considerable depth in the interactive realm meant that InDesign would not be left behind. Reflecting this market shift, InDesign
CS5 has transmogrified from page layout champ into an interactive document powerhouse! Six new Interactive panels allow the rich media designer to build basic animations, add user-responsive buttons and embed video and audio into an InDesign document. The file can then be output to interactive PDF format for distribution or exported directly to SWF (Flash Player) for viewing. The InDesign file can also be exported to Flash CS5 while maintaining all the typographic and layout parameters. 
This is great if that is what you want. But there are implications for the print industry as such.

However, in spite of delivering a strong update with Creative Suite 5, many in the print community question Adobe’s continued commitment to the analogue world. Adobe was noticeably absent from Chicago’s Print 09 last September, at a time when North America’s largest quadrennial print show could have used the
support. As if to further emphasize a new direction, Adobe’s acquisition of the Webanalytics company Omniture went public during that show. More recently, the January 2010 announcement that Adobe would discontinue its popular Partner Connection Print Service Provider Program seemed to punctuate its sentiment with an exclamation mark.
So, again I ask why Adobe would choose now to groom an already fresh Creative Suite? The answer is quite simple: Adobe’s become the de facto enabler of the current explosion in digital media. Make no mistake, while print designers and producers will reap the feature harvest of this latest incarnation of Creative Suite, Adobe is clearly targeting creators of rich media with this release – be it Web-based or application oriented.

At IPEX there is an area described as "pre-media" and it is not yet clear how this is different from "pre-press".

I met Zac Bolan at drupa when he was on the Founder stand. He showed me what is now FounderFX. This seems to be page layout for the rest of us. Not suitable for animation or video, but actually just what a lot of people want. More later in this blog.

I do have one quibble with his review of Creative Suite 5. The approach to masking in Illustrator is described as the same as "featured in Macromedia Freehand before it was absorbed by Adobe." I am not sure it was that way round. The Chief Technology Officer is Kevin Lynch.

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