Recently added to the Digital Design Review

Articles, links and generally interesting stuff recently added to The Digital Design Review:

Adobe Fixel, a new mobile app from Adobe Labs promising to bring some of Photoshop’s Content Aware wizardry to your pics on the go.

A short video introducing Adobe’s app publishing platform,  Digital Publishing Suite and what it can be used for.

A free Aperture to Lightroom migration tool.

Affinity Designer, a free (for a limited time) alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

A new analogue watch with activity tracker from French design studio eliumstudio.

A spectacular new book on dynamic typography from Unit Editions.

It’s Nice That‘s logos and identities of the year so far.

A gallery of album covers by the brilliant French artist, Phillipe Druillet .

Posted in apps, Art, Books, Design, Link round-up, srps, Typography | Leave a comment

Digital_Design_Review

Screenshot of Digital_Design_Review

Digital_Design_Review

I recently started posting roundups of various publishing, design, tech and other links that I promote via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I’ve now gathered these into an online magazine via the iPad app, Flipboard. It’s called the Digital_Design_Review, it’s completely free and can be viewed either online or via the Flipboard app.

Aggregating links via Flipboard has proven to be much more immediate and efficient and I can make updates as and when I find something interesting.  The Digital_Design_Review will become my primary way to save and distribute links related to the content on this blog and, this will replace my regular roundup of links.

I will continue to promote interesting topics and links via all the usual methods but you’ll be able to find the whole lot at the Digital_Design_Review.

To whet your appetite, I have recently shared links on:

Adobe’s new Ink and Slide drawing tools

Guido Henkel’s eBook, Zen of eBook formatting

An interview with the great German typographer, Erik Spiekermann

A tutorial on mastering grids in InDesign

And Adobe’s recent announcement about the Creative Cloud Market

I hope you enjoy Digital_Design_Review, please do subscribe if you like it.

 

Posted in Adobe, Books, Business, Design, Digital publishing, ebooks, Photography, Print, Production, Publishing, Social Media, Software, Tip, Typography | Leave a comment

New features of InDesign CC 2014 pt 3, colour groups, searches & Behance

In the final part of my overview of InDesign CC 2014′s new features, I’ll be demonstrating colour groups, directional search and replace and Behance. Colour groups are created and managed by the Swatches panel (in much the same as style groups are managed by the styles panels), you can use the Swatches panel to generate generate folders into which you can drag and drop specific sets of colours. More interestingly, you can also auto generate colour groups by, firstly, selecting a group of objects then by selecting New Colour Group from the swatches panel menu. InDesign will then offer the choice to gather colours from those objects.

Screenshot of creation of colour group in InDesign

Select a group of objects then select create new colour group from the swatches panel

 

Colour groups can also be shared with other Adobe applications.

In this example, the artwork has been generated in Illustrator.

Screenshot of saving colour groups from Adobe Illustrator

From Illustrator, select swatches panel then save swatches as ASE

From the swatches panel, select Save swatch library as ASE (Adobe Swatches Exchange) and choose a location.

Screenshot of loading swatches to InDesign

From InDesign swatches panel, select load swatches

Back in InDesign, repeat the process from the Swatches panel except choose Load Swatches. Navigate to the the ASE file and the groups will be replicated as per the original document. Note that some features (such as gradients and patterns) are not saveable in ASE files.

Screenshot of InDesign swatches panel after import of ASE library

InDesign swatches panel after import of ASE library

A small, but significant change has been made to the Find/Change feature.

Screenshot of InDesign Search forwards & backwards option

InDesign Search forwards & backwards option

It is now possible to specify Forward or Backward for your search and replace, making controlling searches much easier.

Lastly a feature for promoting your online portfolio. Adobe has added the creative social network, Behance to Creative Cloud. Now you can upload your artwork to an online portfolio directly from your Adobe applications. First open the document you wish to share.

Screenshot of sharing InDesign page on behance

Choose a document and then File>Share on Behance

Then go to File>Share on Behance. Log in with your Adobe ID. The current page or spread will be converted to an image and uploaded. You can then add tags and comments before submitting.

Screenshot of Behance upload complete

Behance upload complete

 

Look out for the next part of this series, where I’ll be describing the new features of Photoshop CC 2014.

Posted in Adobe, CC 2014 version, Design, InDesign, Software | Leave a comment

Links to 7 July

Design & typography

Excellent typography manual & accompanying iPad app by Carolina de Bartolo & Erik Spiekermann

Liking the new Wired UK redesign

And this one for Design Observer

Books & publishing

Fantastic archive of Digitized Manuscripts from e-Codices

Interesting graph showing decline of UK print (though not growth of digital) via @arusbridger

The #DigitalPublishing Daily,  roundup of epublishing news.

Music
Mutant Sounds Sampler, weird music stuff from around the web.

 

Posted in Design, Digital publishing, Link round-up, Production, Publishing, Typography | Leave a comment

New features of InDesign CC 2014 pt 2, fixed format epub

Another hugely useful new feature in the 2014 update of Creative Cloud, especially if you publish ebooks, is the ability to export as fixed format epub. The epub format is incredibly flexible for most types of publications except those with extensive use of photographs or graphics. It’s reflowable nature means that designs which depend on certain elements staying in specific places just become messy and incoherent. It was always possible to generate a fixed version of an epub however it required reasonably advanced HTML editing skills and an HTML editing applications such as Dreamweaver. Now InDesign can deliver it almost automatically.

Screenshot of InDesign print layout

In this sample document we can see a typical print design layout. Traditionally it has been tricky to reproduce the edge to edge bleeds and panoramic spreads achievable in print.

Screenshot of InDesign Panoramic spread

Now all you have to do is select Epub (Fixed layout) from the export panel.

Screenshot of InDesign Export to ePub

In the subsequent dialogue boxes you can tailor the output to your specific requirements. The key option is under the General tab under Spread Control. In this drop down you can specify how to recreate the spreads. Enable Synthetic spreads is recommended to keep the order and arrangement from the original layout.

Screenshot of InDesign epub options

You can also embed Javascript and CSS if you want to extend and control the functions of the epub further. The export process also includes a fairly extensive metadata panel so you can supply the right information to identify your file to ebook stores. Tip, you can pre-populate this panel by filling in the information using the File Info panel.

The fixed format epub is restricted to only the epub3 standard and it’s advisable that you check the epub3 specification and the devices & readers you plan to make the file available on as not all support the same (or indeed all) epub3 standards. Similarly, not all InDesign features are supported in epub so check carefully which elements in your InDesign document will be included or omitted.

In the last output panel you can specify which ereader(s) you want to open the file in. The example here is viewed with Apple’s iBooks which displays the full bleeds and panoramic spreads of the original. While there’s no doubt that this is an impressive effect, I don’t understand the point of replicating print spreads in an electronic publication. Sure you can have impressively wide images but this just emphasises the letterboxing effect required to display the document and the loss of all that screen space that could have been used for a more effective design. Personally, I don’t need my ebooks to pretend to be paper.

Screenshot of fixed format epub in ibooks

ePub creation is a notoriously fiddly business and almost always requires post-export adjustment using HTML, Javascript and/or CSS. The same applies to fixed format epub. The HTML generated by this process is difficult to edit and it’s recommended that any changes are carried out in the InDesign original layout before re-exporting.

Posted in Adobe, Digital publishing, ebooks, ePub, fixed format epub, InDesign, Production, Publishing, Software | Leave a comment

Links to 30 June

Screenshot of Tom Phillips book

Software and business

Apple retires Aperture & iPhoto

Enhance your app strategy, 4 part series from Forbes

Informative videos from Adobe‘s DigitalPublishing Symposium 2014

Culture

Sid Smith does a short appreciation of the great Tom Phillips

The Torygraph demonstrates why it should never, EVER write about either tech or pop culture

Intrigued by likely return of Danger Mouse but can it be as good?

Design

The hidden messages in tech company logos

Elegant. Friendly. Or direct. How the forms of letters evoke an emotional response

Final issue of the excellent typography mag 8Faces is available now:

Music

Phenomenal 4hrs of free samples of Stephen O’Malley’s @IdeologicOrgan label. Listen then buy ‘em.

So, I started a Flipboard magazine, Mutant Sounds Sampler, weird music stuff from around the web 

 

Posted in Adobe, Apple, Business, Design, srps | Leave a comment

New features of InDesign CC 2014 update

Adobe released the latest batch of updates to Creative Cloud last week, in the first of a series, I’m taking an overview of the main new features, starting with InDesign. In this part I’ll be covering new features for tables, colour groups and Behance.

Screenshot of Creative Cloud desktop, applications list

Creative Cloud desktop, applications list

The first thing you’ll notice is that these are actually completely new versions of the applications (named CC 2014) and are listed and installed separately via the Creative Cloud desktop app. This has already caused some confusion as it seems that not all third party plug-ins and extensions are completely compatible, so you may wish to run your apps side by side until everything is working 100%.

As the interface of the CC 2014 applications is identical to the previous version, the only way you’ll notice you’ve opened a new one is by it’s impeccable, sober new splash screen.

Screenshot of InDesign CC 2014 splash screen

InDesign CC 2014 splash screen

Editing InDesign tables has become faster and simpler by the new drag and drop feature. Just select a row or column, hover the cursor inside the selection and drag to a new location. Notice that this also works with anchored content and across threaded tables.

Screenshot of InDesign table selected row

Select a row

 

Screenshot of InDesign table row in new location

Drag to new location

Next up is the new Colour Groups feature. Essentially the same as style groups, the Swatches panel can now generate folders into which you can drag and drop specific sets of colours. More interestingly, you can also auto generate colour groups by selecting  a group of objects first, InDesign will then offer the choice to gather colours from those objects.

Screenshot of creation of colour group in InDesign

Select a group of objects then select create new colour group from the swatches panel

Colour groups can also be shared with other Adobe applications. In this example, the artwork has been generated in Illustrator. From the swatches panel, select save swatch library as ASE (Adobe Swatches Exchange) and choose a location.

Screenshot of saving colour groups from Adobe Illustrator

From Illustrator, select swatches panel then save swatches as ASE

Back in InDesign, repeat the process from the swatches panel except choose Load swatches. Navigate to the the ASE file and the groups will be replicated as per the original document. Note that some features (such as gradients and patterns) are not saveable in ASE files.

Screenshot of loading swatches to InDesign

From InDesign swatches panel, select load swatches

 

Screenshot of InDesign swatches panel after import of ASE library

InDesign swatches panel after import of ASE library

 

Lastly a feature for promoting your online portfolio. Adobe has added the creative social network, Behance to Creative Cloud. Now you can upload your artwork to an online portfolio directly from your Adobe applications. First open the document you wish to share. Then go to File>Share on Behance. Log in with your Adobe ID. The current page or sperad will be converted to an image and uploaded. You can then add tags and comments before submitting.

Screenshot of sharing InDesign page on behance

Choose a document and then File>Share on Behance

 

Screenshot of Behance upload complete

Behance upload complete

Screenshot of Behance

Log in to Behance from any web browser to see your work.

Posted in Adobe, Creative Cloud, Design, Digital publishing, InDesign, Software | Leave a comment

srps weekly link round-up to 10 June

So I’m already behind with this idea! Here’s best of the links up to 10 June.

Design & publishing

Smashin’ Chris Ware isometric design for East London Comics & Arts festival

Pentagram creates new branding for Penguin Random House

Designers react to the new Penguin Random House logo. Many people missed the point that this is supposed to work with numerous sub-brands

Designers Explain Why Apple’s New OS X Typeface Is a Strange Choice

Art

Sid Smith does a short appreciation of the great Tom Phillips

Adobe & tech stuff

SafariBooks on the importance of well crafted eBooks

The Adobe Illustrator Story Movie

Learn how to build a custom generator plugin for Photoshop

5 Tips from Adobe On Keeping Your Lightroom Catalogs Organised & Efficient

A brief history of InDesign server

Excellent interactive guide to the history of fixed-format pubs

Book/Technology nostalgia

BookTech nostalgia with How It Works …. The Computer (Ladybird books, 1978)

Culture

The Quietus interview Iain Sinclair

 

 

Posted in Adobe, Apple, Design, Digital publishing, ebooks, Illustrator, Lightroom, Photoshop, Publishing, Software, Typography | Leave a comment

srps weekly link round-up June 03

Trying a new blog thing today. I’ve been meaning to gather up the assorted FB, Twitter and other web links that fly around and don’t always make it here. Aiming to do this on a weekly basis. Enjoy.

Adobe & design related

Massimo Vignelli dies.

Adobe announce Creative Cloud forthcoming new features on 18 June.

Don’t know how I missed @stockindesign before, excellent resource for #InDesign templates of all kinds..

Here’s a useful & succinct guide to colour theory.

General tech stuff

These Keep DRM out of Firefox banners offer as succinct an argument against DRM as you could wish.

The Secret History of Hypertext.

Publishing

New issue of Journal of Electronic Publishing.

Charlie Stross dissects the Hachette/Amazon dispute.

Free ebook edition available of Dave Coplin’s Rise of the Humans-How to outsmart the digital deluge.

Compelling, architectural re-imaginings of the bookshop.

Culture

@TASCHENBooks release major book on making of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Ferocious, electronic free-improvising from Supersilent at @LCMF2014.

Interesting review of the recent, JG Ballard themed, Only Connect festival in Oslo.

Posted in Books, Colour Management, Design, Link round-up | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adobe launches Lightroom mobile

Today (April 8th) Adobe has launched Lightroom mobile, an iPad app which allows you to sync and edit images with the desktop version of Lightroom. According to Adobe, Lightroom mobile will allow you to:

  • Edit and organize images anywhere, anytime on your iPad
  • Enhance everything from smartphone photos to raw images from DLSRs using powerful and familiar tools
  • Automatically sync all of your mobile edits with Lightroom 5 on your desktop
  • Easily share your photos

The app is completely free however it only works in conjunction with a subscription to Lightroom via Creative Cloud. An update to the desktop version of Lightroom is now available to allow syncing with the app. I’ve had a quick look at Lightroom mobile and it certainly offers a wide range of useful image adjustment and organisation tools. I’m looking forward to testing it some more.

Posted in InDesign, Lightroom, Photoshop | Leave a comment