Los Angeles InDesign User Group

Using Adobe DPS to Create Magazines on Tablet Devices

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Huntington Beach Central Library

7111 Talbert Avenue, Downstairs, Room C, Huntington Beach, California 92648

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By Alvin Takamori


The July meeting of the Los Angeles InDesign User Group met at the Huntington Beach Central Library. It was one of the nicer facilities in which we’ve met with convenient parking, but it’s going to take a lot more raffle ticket sales to be able to meet in places like that. The host for the evening was Michael Diaz.


Our presenter was Dale Bryson, the Prepress Director at Source Interlink Media, a special interest media publisher which had produced dozens of publications, websites, branded products, events and some TV and radio programs. He showed us how his company uses Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to generate digital magazines.


Dale began by showing examples of his company’s work and pointing out some of the differences to consider when converting a printed piece to digital. The most obvious is the change in the dimensions. Layouts for the iPad 1 and 2 are 1074 x 768, but double to 2048 x 1536 for retina vision on the iPad 3. Designers need to create a different set of files for each, plus separate files for portrait and landscape orientation.


One of the key aspects of a digital publication is the ability to overlay interactive effects. A click of a button can start a video or audio file. Another set of buttons can pop up new images or enlarge text. Several pages of copy can be reduced to a single window that can be scrolled through by a viewer.


Interactivity designed to work in DPS is different from interactivity designed for Flash. Flash isn’t supported on the iPad. As the designer, you have to be aware of the intended output. For instance, an ePub book is going to be more static and less interactive.


Dale explained that to publish using DPS you need one of three accounts. The first is a Single which costs about $400. It allows publication of a single branded app, the app being a shell inside of which an issue is placed for distribution. The second is a Professional Account which costs about $500 per month and allows publication of multiple folios with a digital store front and sales analytics. The third option is the Enterprise Edition which is designed for large companies. The Enterprise interface is customized and much bigger downloads are possible.


Once you have an account you can sign in and access Folio Builder. Dale opened Folio builder and showed the window where interactive features like buttons and hyperlinks are created. Then he made a frame into which audio and video can be placed. The Folio Builder Panel is updated by Adobe an average of every six weeks as improvements are made.


The Folio Producer is like the Cloud. You upload your folio to Folio Producer and subscribers access it through Apple. Producer maintains a list of folio names, dates and product IDs. Technically there is no limit to folio size, but to function well, a folio for the iPad 1 and 2 should be between 200-500 MB while an iPad 3 can handle a file about twice that size. By comparison, an Acrobat.com account can store up to 100MB, which is probably okay for a single ad.


Adobe Omniture Suite handles the analytics, keeping statistics on the demographics of subscribers, how often the folio is launched, and what features, like videos, are played.


Subscription costs vary based on the circulation but, for any digital product like an online magazine, Apple takes 30% of sales. Any app must be approved by Apple before it can be uploaded, a process that can take two weeks. At Source Interlink Media, Dale described how they submit folios with dummy copy, in advance, in order to have approval by the time they have the finished piece ready for distribution. Apple is satisfied to know what the basic layout of the folio is without the final copy.


A major difference between online material, as opposed to print, is the color management. First, everything is in sRGB, and second, you have no control over the monitors of the subscribers. It’s impossible to know exactly what color a viewer will see. Not exactly what a designer wants to hear, but it’s the reality of online media.


Thanks to Dale Bryson for taking time out of his busy schedule to inform us about the work he is doing using Adobe DPS.


In contrast to the May meeting, the winners at July’s meeting were widely distributed, with a different person winning each prize.


Peter Tang won InDesign CS6.

Kaytie Gamble won eDocker Tablet Publisher.

Alex Salazar won PageZephyr from Markzware.

Robin Gray and Pat Cates won Fotalia subscriptions.

Anjanette Rounsaville won a Stock Layouts subscription.

Leigh Newman won TypeDNA.

Denise Katzenberger won a subscription to InDesign Magazine.

Paul Taylor won a subscription to InDesign Magazine for having traveled the farthest to attend the meeting (from San Diego).


Congratulations to all our winners!



Thank you


Thanks to all the sponsors and donors of raffle prizes: Adobe, eDocker, Fotolia, InDesign Magazine, Markzware, TypeDNA, Stock Layouts, O’Reilly Press, Peachpit Press.



Job Opportunities


We are looking for people who want to get involved with the administration of the group. Maybe you have web skills, newsletter skills, an eye for photos, want to conduct the raffles. Whatever. Let's talk.



Next Meeting


The September 20 meeting will be a two-parter. First we will learn about PDFs, then we will take a tour of a real live advertising agency.


Markzware’s Doug Rosen will talk about making PDFs, including typical gotchas and how to solve them. He will then preside over a robust open Q&A session. Be sure to bring all the questions you’ve had about PDFs but didn’t know whom to ask. The first half of the evening will end with a demonstration of PDF2DTP for Adobe InDesign, Markzware’s brand new utility that converts any standard PDF to a fully editable InDesign document.


Following Rosen’s presentation, Jeffrey Schimsky will lead a tour of the West Coast headquarters of Designory, a global full-service agency with offices in Tokyo, Chicago and Nashville. The journey will begin with a presentation of a live InDesign job presented by Designory graphic artist Kirby Williams. Then we’ll see the innards of an agency whose clients include HP, Columbia Pictures, Audi, ABC, Disney, Dreamworks, Nike Lockheed, Warner Bros. Paramount and Nissan, among others. Whew! That’s a lot to pack into two and a half hours!



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