As a designer in the EdTech space I’ve always been torn between Quark Xpress and Adobe InDesign. I’ve tried to draw a line in the sand a hundred times, but it’s not because I don’t prefer one over the other, but because both have features that are still grounds for a good debate. Image Control is more intuitive in Quark, but InDesign’s type control and conversion algorithms to create ePubs is night and day ahead of Quarks. InDesign hasn’t crushed Quark completely, although since Quark diluted it’s feature set to lure the simple home user and Adobe knows where it’s demographic lies, the race is no longer a tie and Adobe has found an even better way to cater to it’s professional user base.
What’s the new draw? It’s Adobe’s Creative Cloud. It isn’t new by any means, but it has definitely alleviated most of the stress. Every year or so, each of these behemoths introduces new versions and fixes, and charge outlandish amounts to stay current. If you’re a small shop, sometimes the upgrade price of $300 or $400 is a big nut, especially when it’s not just one application that you’re upgrading; there’s hardware and accessories and the list of interesting doodads seem to increase exponentially.
I’ve tried to leave Quark behind many times, and even though I love the InDesign interface because it’s familiar to it’s brethren Illustrator and PhotoShop, I can’t leave Quark completely due to my company’s investment in proprietary Xtensions as well as the unwieldy archives we have of Quark files. So like many small shops, I’m forced to use both products, which means double the upgrade cost; but Adobe’s Creative Cloud allows its users to keep costs down and use even more of their product, cementing even more their stronghold over Quark.
The Creative Cloud seems to be a a great answer to the debate and you can find it at the corner of good user sense and financial freedom; and thus it’s been the savior of small design shops as well as larger agencies. There’s no more upgrading every time there’s a new release, you can use their entire arsenal of software titles, and you’re not limited in any way, you get full versions of every app and the cost per user is only $49.95 per month and you can cancel anytime. Better than that, if you already own a registered copy of the Creative Suite, the upgrade cost is only $29.95 for the first year. You can even give it a free test drive for 30 days. There are also versions for teams and education, and as always, Adobe has multi-user programs and free cloud storage. So what’s not to love?
By David Deutsch
Creative-Founder of TheftyJack Studios, creators of Zombie I Scream for the iPhone/iPad [www.zombieiscream.com] comments to firstname.lastname@example.org