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

Saturday, May 15, 2010

draft story. if no updates next week this is roughly what I might discover

Probably first one around Adobe hardly being there.

They are shown as attending but no stand number. I think they have moved online. Since Macromedia they concentrate on Flash. Also I cannot find a stand for Quark. No Apple, they were not at drupa. Not sure what "pre-media" means. It could be just plates, proofing, colour management for a workflow that assumes the PDF files arrived ok from somewhere else. So all the desktop design is somewhere else from people who actually are more interested in web animation and video. 

Bit sweeping but will check out what is there.

Ghent PDF talk Tuesday 3.30. will aim to send something for OhmyNews soon after. They are definitely still concerned with PDF but looking at other formats.

Adobe in London looking at web analytics. Guardian guest speaker - not studying manroland

next story about inkjet, runlengths etc. I will wait on other sources to reach a conclusion. The IPEX 2002 blog will link to Andrew Tribute as soon as I find where he is blogging.

Digital Printer at the back wall of the HP area will have a series of online updates. Printweek are producing a show daily on Komori offset so are not entirely convinced about digital. But I think Digital Printer will have a few facts established by about day five. 

This is the Twitter IPEX. Simpler to argue than the social media IPEX or the social networking IPEX. And it seems to be true, much stuff on Twitter already including plans to meet up in weatherspoons on the first Saturday.

More later. This page will be updated. Please contact if you would like an invite to add something

Will Pollard

@will789gb on Twitter

Friday, May 14, 2010

Searching on "IPEX + Adobe" on Twitter finds just enquiries as to what might be happening. There is nothing from Adobe about IPEX. I seem to find more on four years ago.

Probably next week the Adobe concern will be on Google. Twitter finds this take on the I/O event and the prospects for Flash on a mobile device.

Apple of course will not be at IPEX at all. They were not at drupa. The context for hard copy is a challenge.

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.
Ghent PDF Group still on about PDF. I have found a meeting on 19th about PDF at the Knowledge Centre
Many will agree that PDF had once seemed to be the ideal format for exchanging and publishing information – and has undoubtedly been a tremendous boon to premedia workflows. In this session, Zwang will discuss its relevance in the new world of information publishing. As new electronic distribution tools continue to debut, many wonder if print is being replaced by these new technologies; such as smartphones, tablets, pads, and more.
So it could be that the PDF world accepts that other formats have a role. Reflow is an issue on small screens, also the time it takes for files to load. Adobe is still not advertising where it will be so I conclude that they don't see the show as that interesting. Postscript and PDF are not growth areas. Flash will be discovered online so there is no need to talk about it at shows.

Meanwhile Microsoft offer online versions of Office roughly similar to Google Docs. The era of desktop software may be coming to an end except for special interests such as Creative Suite.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blogsearch finds Adobe at IPEX. Mystery continues on where there may or may not be a stand (booth) for Adobe at IPEX 2010. There is nothing on the UK Adobe website and no stand on the IPEX listing. But blogsearch has found a release from Fujifilm about the presentations each day on stand 9-CD360.
The final two demonstrations of the day that will take place in the Integrated Production area will allow visitors to understand all about “Managing personalised print” at 15.30pm, with Adobe rounding off each day with an overview of its vision for the “PDF Print Engine” at 16.15pm.
So the PDF Print Engine is a "vision". Maybe there will be more detail over the next couple of weeks.

Following up some links from drupa I also found a PDF of some pages from Print Action, published in Canada. Zac Bolan has a blog with links to selected articles, including a report from Print 09 in Chicago. The headline is "Quark Promotes, Markzware Searches and Adobe Stays Home".
I spent my last day at PRINT 09 wandering the North Hall looking for old friends in the prepress software world. I set out in search of Adobe’s booth, as this company has always been a mainstay at these printing shows. After a cursory sweep of the hall, however, Adobe was nowhere to be found. I realize that times are tough (Adobe just announced a 29 percent drop in its Q1 profits for the current fiscal year), but fact remains that Adobe is still turning a profit, and in spite of Adobe’s push in new-media directions, the bulk of its empire still rests on a foundation of print. Adobe owes a presence at these shows in respect of the community that built its business.
As if to emphasize the perception that Adobe has moved on to greener online media pastures, the news broke during PRINT 09 about its acquisition of Omniture, a well-known Web-analytics entity. The floor was buzzing with speculation about Adobe’s intentions with this unlikely accession. Most felt that it signalled Adobe’s interest in expanding its Web portfolio to include support for e-commerce and online marketing – yet another step further away from print.
Zac Bolan has got a point. The acquisition of Macromedia was shift enough. Acrobat development is now an advert for Flash. There is nothing new about PDF. Connect can work just as well outside Acrobat. Perhaps we should just accept this. Postscript and PDF are open standards with ISO documentation. Adobe are not investing much in variations. Marketing theory suggests promotion of the rising stars and forgetting about the cash cows. If only the paranoid survive, it is urgent to concentrate on the next thing and not  to lose focus on existing customers.

At IPEX there may be competing options for most Adobe products from the classic phase before Macromedia. Perhaps Adobe have just accepted this as what is going to happen.

But if anyone knows a stand number for Adobe at IPEX 2010, please add a comment.

Monday, May 10, 2010

In my story for OhmyNews I quoted a statement from the London Book Fair that the iPad has got five fonts in ePUB mode. A comment has led me to this blog where it appears there are lots more.

I still think that ePUB is intended to be mostly text and because the screens can be small the less design the better in terms of anything fancy. A paperback from the 1930s had some colour on the front but the pages are mostly continuous text in the same font. not very exciting maybe but paperbacks did get better. So I think 5 fonts would be ok. But thanks to Bob Maguire for sending the link. 

This has turned up in email. Notice the Guardian is the sample copy. What to think at IPEX? there will be a debate hosted by Frank Romano. A few years ago the Guardian spent millions on manroland kit. So somewhere near Print City there will be a related discussion.

Linked In has a topic on the IPEX 2010 group.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

OhmyNews has put my story from the London Book Fair on the front screen. Also there is a transcript of a speech by Oh Yeon-ho, founder of OhmyNews, at the LIFT Conference in Switzerland. They have used the chart from IDPF on e-book sales as lead graphic. And they have included my opinions at the end. (You cannot just put your own views into reporting, but often they allow something brief for people who complete reading the whole story). The published version has been slightly changed, but I think this is an improvement for clarity.
Next month at IPEX, a print show in Birmingham UK, Frank Romano will chair a discussion on whether the new devices will kill print media. It is very unlikely that print will suffer a sudden death but it is not too soon to discuss the rise of new digital book formats in the future.

Digital Printer ahead of IPEX includes a report - "iPad conversion tools arrive" (page 7). This features Woodwing and Express KCS. I do not know if they will be at IPEX. They might have been at the Digital Zone of the London Book Fair. so far as I know the companies at the Digital Zone will not be at IPEX. But I don't see why not. There is a workflow that might go to print or some format for screen.

Previously I have imagined things a bit out of time and space so that there is a print show in the bit of Earl's Court left over from the bookfair. This is obviously fiction and not the sort of thing to put in reports for Ohmynews. But the tag #totalEC2 may find this and also link back to this post.

More later from actual IPEX.
Another post on what I don't know. There will be more of these. I have now got a press badge for IPEX 2010 as a Citizen Reporter for OhmyNews. So what is a Citizen Reporter? I think I am getting to be more concerned with finding out things. But the reporting is about things I am involved with anyway. I have worked around printing in various ways so the writing about it is not my main task. Maybe that is where citizen journalism is distinct. The journalism comes about with the editing. So I hope there will be a flow of stories around IPEX. If they are not in OhmyNews try Twitter and #IPEX2010 plus something else to search on.

The editors in Seoul switched my headlines for a report from Digital Print World / Total Print Expo. I thought the news was that Heidelberg turned up and demonstrated litho for short runs. the chosen headline was a sub story about the London College of Communication conference about e-books.

Back to things I don't know, or the main one at the moment. Apparently Adobe will have a stand at IPEX but there is no info about this. The UK site on events is mostly about Flash and video. In Digital Printer Simon Eccles suggests there will be something about APPE so maybe there will just be a map on where else to go. At least there may be a real person to talk to. In the UK we sometimes get an email and an invite to a Connect session. But at IPEX there may be a chance to ask a question. For example, why is there nothing new about PDF in CS5? Has Mars been terminated? Meanwhile carry on blogging and see what turns up.