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By 21 June 2012 | Categories: news

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Amid a full day of creative inspiration at The Forum in Bryanston, Adobe showcased how its recently launched CS6 suite could offer a myriad of workflow improvements to creatives.
 
Amongst a number of lively speakers and workshops, Adobe’s Creative Suite design evangelist Terry White combined humour with software demonstrations that had the audience alternating between laughter and applause.
 
In an individual interview with White in between sessions, he pointed out that digital content was growing by leaps and bounds.
 
He explained that, in the past, those in the print industry were the most resistant to adopting new technology, often waiting till the last minute before integrating new technology into their workflow. Now however, due to the possibilities of new revenues offered by digital, they were “first on board.”    
 
Digital growth
 
It comes as little surprise that much of the growth of digital content – and its creation – is being driven by the fact that people are increasingly consuming content on devices such as smartphones and tablets.  
 
White continued that people want information sooner than what print can provide. However, the biggest challenge facing the publishing industry is that publishers find themselves still needing to develop for print, while developing digital versions of their publications, with constrained budgets and the same staff.
 
He added that, in response to these challenges, the company had implemented certain features in its new CS6 suite that was aimed at making it easier for publishers to design for digital and print simultaneously. For example, liquid layouts meant that designers could more quickly adapt a publication for print to that of one for a tablet, without having to start from scratch.
 
In the future, this could evolve to enabling designers to create one layout that would work across numerous (tablet) platforms.
 
Additionally, he revealed that its key illustrative programme, Illustrator CS6, had been completely rebuilt from the ground up over a two year period, which meant that it not only boasted new features, but was also considerably faster than previous iterations. Additionally, the new version offers the ability to more easily rename artboards.
 
Particularly welcome news though for web designers is that, thanks to the company’s acquisition last year of TypeKit, its web-focused programmes now offer a vaster array of web compatible fonts that users can choose from.White joked that the previous limited (and frankly, boring) selection of web safe fonts on offer was akin to telling someone on a diet that they could have “all the lettuce they wanted”.
 
Terry White, Adobe's international creative suite evangelist.
 
Creative beginnings
 
The good news for those entering the digital content creation sphere is that the growth of digital was quickly making designing interactive content a definitive and promising career path.  
 
White also had some advice for new and existing publications alike. While he stressed that existing print publishers needed to retain their print presence as they explored digital production, he explained that if he was starting out with a new publication he would not enter the print space.
 
Rather, he encouraged content creators to get to grips with Dreamweaver, InDesign, and Flash if they intended to create mobile content. He commented that despite being used in the past for web production, Flash was now becoming increasingly used for mobile applications.  
 
Digital advise
 
Promisingly, the growth of digital content is also indicating that designing interactive content is quickly becoming a definitive and promising career path.  As to what kind of content creation he believes has the greatest potential, White asserted that he expected video to grow the most in the years to come, citing the fact that it was so easy to produce.
 
He added that one couldn’t buy a modern camera in 2012 that doesn’t offer video, not to mention the video production facility that smartphones boast as well.
 
However, he advised that when creating video content for the web, shorter was always better, with two minutes or less being ideal, and five minutes being considered long. Additionally, any web video longer than six minutes, unless it was a video tutorial, apparently showed a marked drop off in visitors.  
 
To the point

While being informative, entertaining, and frequently inspiring, the conference, which covered CS6 features in-depth made something very clear: digital creation and production has never been this exciting or offered such a vast array of features, and looks set to become only more relevant in the future.   

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