After a steep learning curve and much head scratching, we launched our first fully Newststand-native magazine (via Adobe DPS) on Friday.
That doesn't make us experts, but if there's anyone out there cutting their teeth on a DPS product with Newsstand or wants to ask a design print pro about the experience of designing for the tablet market, just holler!
PS Our magazine (Unfiltered) is at itunes.apple.com/gb/app/unfiltered/id525768278?mt=8
Thanks Bob – we're very proud of it. It's fully native, with image sequences, videos, Adobe Edge animation, and has the pedigree of a multi award-winning history in print behind it. We've already been asked by PPA Scotland to enter it for the next round of design awards. So we are, it goes without saying, delighted with what the DPS tools have allowed us to achieve.
Hi, Renny, congratulations and well done!
Would you mind answering a few questions abou your experience? I think it would be very useful for some of us that are trying to row in that same boat and that are full of doubts and questions.
Here or off-forum, as you wish (though here would be more useful and helpful for everybody).
In any case, I repest: Well done, folks!
Gustavo (posting from Madrid)
Congrats on the launch!
I downloaded this and your layout looks very nice. The sample content looks like it's for iPad 2, however. Did you publish it as a PDF? That would help it look crisper on the iPad 3 device.
Hi, Renny, thanks a lot o much for accepting. Here they are:
Excuse my heap of questions but they are just a wee amount of what keeps me asleep some nights
Thanks very much indeed for your interest and your insight!
Our page size is set to 1024 x 768 (iPad 2). I understood that publishing folios to Jpeg was the preferred format for iPad-native folios, and that publishing to PDF is specifically for folios that require pinch & zoom, for example, magazines that have not been designed to read 'at size' on the iPad.
If it's possible to re-publish my mag as PDF (and improve quality for iPad 3) without losing any of the functionality/performance from outputting as Jpeg, then I'm very interested in trying that!
Hi Gustavo – answers below. Hope they help!
Your magazine is published every: week / fortnight / month / two months... What kind of magazine are you? I mean: Are you a suscription-based magazine with a very specialized basis of readers, a magazine sold at the general shops..?
This magazine is quarterly, expecting to increase frequency in due course. It has an existing print subscription audience.
How many designers - layout folks are in your team?
I have a nine-strong team of kick-*** designers.
Has the iPad Version added much extra work? I mean: Is it like making another issue or just like adding some extra work to each issue?
We opted for dual-aspect ratio and maximim functionality, so we created new templates, style sheets etc (using Adobe CS5) to support the digital version of the magazine. In that respect, it is like creating another issue, with the added task of creating two layouts for each and every page layout. However, I understand the layout adjustment featured within CS6 eases that burden considerably!
Do you finish the iPad version at the same time as the paper one or do you make it after printing the paper version?
I would not recommend doing both at the same time, unless you have a very large team, and a cast-iron guarantee that all assets are cleared for publication before you commence layout.
It's also worth considering getting your 'flat' DPS layouts approved by stakeholders before you start overlaying multi-state objects.
Has the iPad version increased a lot the pre production and planning work? Have you had to change much the way you prepare and produce each issue?
We now brief photographers to give us more options from their photoshoots. I shortlist preferred imagery with both formats in mind, but I don't try to second-guess what will work best in print or on iPad.
Have you explored other ways of preparing the Ipad version aside from Adobe DPS? If so, why did you decide the DPS way?
We don't put all our eggs in one basket. We're looking at using PageSuite and have looked at Zineo, and Yudu in the past.
DPS is great. Adobe just 'gets' what I want to achieve. However, it's not the fastest, certainly not the cheapest, nor the least complex way to get your magazine published on Apple Newsstand. It might not be for you.
I reckon that if Adobe can streamline the workflow, make it easier to develop for different platforms, and get the pricing structure right then I could see DPS being a part of every publisher's content distribution hub.
Are you using the professional Adobe DPS or the enterprise edition?
You use the two orientations approach (brave hearts, indeed!). How do you do the two versions? Do you use templates and then start from there, do you base your versioning on fluid-layout or something in betwen?
We do a portrait layout, then a corresponding landscape layout for each page within the same document. Once you get into a rhythym it's not that hard. As mentioned earlier, we're looking forward switching to CS6 to help make it easier!
You seem to have discarded the PDF format for the DPSpreparation (choosing thus PNG and JPG), why? Any particular reason?
We understood PDF was for non-native designs, ie for magazine's that required a 'pinch and zoom' functionality in order to read the content (which we didn't need). I see from other comments (Neil Enns) that PDF format might well be a viable DPS preparation route. We haven't tried it tho.
How do you deal with ads?
With a firm hand!
Joking aside, planning ads for DPS publications is pretty straightforward, and the 'Hide from TOC' function is pretty nice too.
If you had to give one —and just one— piece of advice to somebody starting this way, it would be...?
Expect the terrain to change. If you find yourself running uphill, focus on the goal rather than the hill.
Well, that was really really a helpful answer, Renny.
I thank you very wamrly for taking the time and effort to answer. If you ever come to madrid, I owe you a beer and a tapa. You are the real McCoy!
We are yet exploring and sharpening our teeth into the iPad bussiness but... if we ever manage to get into it, I will try to add my own brick to build the house of a better understanding about the workflow implied. Being a gang of four and a weekly magazine (besides some other things) demands a lot of prudence and planning about this all.
Your experience confirms some ideas I was breeding about all this dps thing, btw.
I agree, PDF is a much better option and if you look at titles like Wired, National Geographic, Vogue, etc. they are all publishing as PDF for iPad 2 and 3.
If you have text in images in overlays you can deal with the rasterized issue by supplying two different assets, one SD and one HD, on different layers.
Colin put together a good document that describes best practices for targeting iPad 2 and 3. You can view it at http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/d igitalpublishingsuite/pdfs/dps-ipad3-bestpractice-apr2012.pdf.
Thanks for the weblink Neil. I'll look forward to reading that document on DPS best practice. I have a feeling I'll be providing an update for our subscribers!
FYI There's a short piece on our DPS magazine on the Creative Review website…
Thanks for the hands-on advice and report of your experience - very interesting indeed.
Incidentally, your review is quite expensive: Subscribe now to Creative Review for only £64*
Regardless I'm off to download your publication and have a good look at it.