Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
Introduction and guidelines
Taking your first digital publishing steps?
If you’re a print designer that is thinking of jumping on the digital publishing train, it’s normal to have lots of questions. There seem to be so many options and your client might have specific requests that make you feel unsure. And building an iPad application does sound a bit scary, after all you’re a designer right? Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) allows you to stay in your Adobe InDesign comfort zone while working on rich interactive publications. Really, it’s easier to start out with than you think.
1. DO I NEED TO INSTALL ANYTHING?
No. The Adobe DPS tools are already installed on your system and ready to go. The only thing you might need to do is check if your program doesn’t have any available updates, but all the tools are already there. InDesign will use a combination of existing interactive panels combined with DPS-specific panels in your interface to create tablet-only interactive features.
2. ARE THERE ANY LIMITATIONS?
When it comes to creating interactive documents, there are no limitations. You can freely create as many publications as you want for your iPad, Android, Kindle or iPhone devices. These publications will be previewed using a free Adobe app called Adobe Content Viewer. And the resulting documents will give you the exact same user experience as you’d have had you downloaded the finished app from the app store. You can even share your interactive publications online with other people’s devices e.g. clients or co-workers to get feedback.
3. IS IT FREE?
Creating your interactive documents is free (taking into account that you need to purchase your Adobe software first of course). But when you decide to take your publications and publish them as an app you need to use a DPS license. There are DPS licenses for all types of customers and we recommend you check the Adobe website to learn the differences. Are you still not sure what DPS license suits your business? Just send us an email or give us a call! And remember that the document creation is still free, meaning you can create interactive documents for prospecting purposes and you only need to think about buying licenses after being sure you’ve taken in that extra business.
Software and training
1. CAN I ONLY USE ADOBE INDESIGN?
The main layout is created with InDesign, but you need to import assets (just like print documents). The type of assets will differ from what you’re probably used to. These assets could be HTML animations, series of images, video, audio, panoramic images, etc. And these assets need to be created using the appropriate software e.g. Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Edge Animate, etc. Proficiency in these other programs aren’t required to be able to use the DPS solution but the more versatile you are, the richer and more engaging you can make your publications.
2. WHERE DO I START?
The easiest way to start is by taking our 2-day InDesign to iPad course. Having the tools already available to you is one thing, but knowing how to use them is another. And we really recommend you learn how to setup your files, work with device renditions and other key things before you start. Experience has taught us that some clients prefer to learn these setup skills themselves, usually with unpleasant results once you get publishing. This course doesn’t only show you how to operate the tools, it also gives you more information on how to design, what to look out for, how to deal with your clients, how to organize a good DPS briefing, usability, and shows off lots of examples to get you inspired.
3. AND THEN WHAT?
After having done the first 2-day creation course we recommend you start practicing as much as you can. After all, you didn’t only learn new tools you also learned a new way of designing your documents. Once you’re done with your content and you want to distribute it online you need to create an app that holds your document(s). When you have decided on which publishing solution you’ll use, you to move to the second step of the process which is app creation. Building your app requires you to register as an Apple (or Google, if required) developer and get the appropriate accounts, including some sort of DPS license. Then you can book a DPS app building course, appropriate to your license and learn in 1 day how to compile your application and put it online. This course also teaches you about promoting your app, avoiding pitfalls, dealing with Apple approvals and managing your analytics. You’ll be a DPS specialist in no time!