Ten things we learned at CreativePro Week

CreativePro Week

May 22-26 was CreativePro Week in Atlanta, Georgia. Our man Ken Jones was there and reports back for BookMachine.

CreativePro Week was a coming together of over forty expert speakers, dozens of developers and over five hundred InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator users for a full 5 days of practical, creative and technical sessions, workshops and discussions.

I was exhibiting there and also attended many of the sessions and extra activities. Great in depth sessions from experts and getting to know many of the exhibitors, speakers and attendees was as valuable as the sessions themselves.

Here’s ten things that I learnt last week.

1. New tools and techniques such as shape builder, live touch type tool and asset export can improve and refresh how you work in Adobe Illustrator.

2. There are now dozens of Digital Asset Management systems which can integrate with InDesign. Some are large and enterprise level whilst some are simpler and can be free.

3. The excellent Nigel French demonstrated how some heavy Photoshop adjustments can force improvements with Illustrator Image Tracing plus many more tips and tricks.

4. Blurb offer an impressive 1 to 1000 print on demand service straight from InDesign and can even handle distribution and will feature your book on their online store for free.

5. Graphic Means is a must see documentary film for anyone interested in the history of graphic design. We had a special viewing on the Weds evening followed by a Q&A with director.

6. I learnt what it is like to present in front of hundreds of industry professionals as I was invited on stage to demo some of my ideas on interactive online publishing at part of Thursday night’s CreativeWOW session.

7. Opentype SVG is allowing colours and transparency into font sets and OpenType variable fonts are coming, which are equivalent of multiple individual fonts can be compactly packaged within a single font file.

8. Reflowable accessible EPUB from InDesign is still not as easy as we would hope with various people sharing tips to tackle it in different ways.

9. Many interesting options to extend Creative Cloud apps by pulling content from PDF, word, excel and google docs into our InDesign workflows.

10. I can’t tell you! Friday was the Creative Developer’s Summit and a full day where Adobe InDesign and Illustrator product managers spoke with developers and discussed their plans for the next two years. Adobe I/O is the new place for developers looking to integrate, extend, or create apps based on Adobe’s products and technologies.

I am now safely home in the UK with a pocket full of new contacts and a head full of new information and ideas. Great stuff.

Ken Jones is a publishing software expert with over ten years experience as Technical Production Manager, software trainer and developer at DK and Penguin Group UK. Ken’s company ‘Circular Software’ provides software tools and services for a range of illustrated book publishing customers including Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Thames & Hudson and Nosy Crow. Contact Ken via twitter @circularken or www.circularsoftware.com