How much additional staff is required to produce a Digital Publishing Suite app along with your print product?

Post by Craig Morrow & Will Steuber, MEI

The prospect of putting out an engaging app in addition to your print product seems daunting, we know. How are you supposed to add an entire app to your portfolio without doubling your staff? Well, with the right preparation and some timely training, you could be publishing apps with the InDesign users already on your team. Let us explain how.

One of the greatest strengths of Digital Publishing Suite is that InDesign sits at its cornerstone. That means designers and editors are already familiar with the “new” software environment. So, with some understanding of Digital Publishing Suite and the  Folio Producer tools, your existing print and production team can easily learn how to create and publish interactive apps.

Workflow discipline, project planning and template creation are the essentials of an efficient app-production process. It is important that your team implement good habits upstream, such as proper styling, tagging and metadata management, which can save significant time down the line. And getting some startup help with templates and planning scenarios should further reduce your need to increase the head count. (Note, however, that some Digital Publishing Suite features, such as video and panorama, are more resource-intensive and time-consuming than others, so it all depends on how sophisticated you want to get.)

At MEI, we recently worked with a premiere publication in NY with a circulation of approximately 1.2 million.  They were faced with the challenge of building an app in addition to their print publication. Their designers were very comfortable with InDesign and could build attractive print layouts that were on brand for their publication but like so many publishers, they had grown accustomed to handing off all web/mobile based content initiatives to web developers. Ultimately, they were left feeling like they were losing control over design elements. This publisher needed a user-friendly tool that could leverage the strengths of their creative team, allowing them to maintain more control over the final digital product without adding tremendous overhead to the process.

So with a little investment in training, and the commitment and pre-existing skills of your existing staff, you can likely put out a digital edition and significantly increase your readership in a medium that is revolutionizing how we engage with content.

Craig Morrow is Director of Strategic Accounts and Will Steuber is Director of Creative Services at MEI. MEI was founded in 1990 as Managing Editor Inc., with the goal of providing innovative software solutions to the rapidly evolving publishing industry. Today the company delivers a comprehensive package of digital publishing, editorial workflow and automated ad layout systems for magazines, newspapers and other print and electronic publishers and communicators. Visit the Managing Editor website to learn more about their services.




  • By Basit - 7:42 AM on January 30, 2012  

    That’s really great. Infact what i think, while working on InDesign we shoudn’t be worrying much about the app with the print edition because eventually we are working on both sets simultaneously in a single user-friendly environment. Hats off to Adobe. #LoveAdobe

    • By Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Team - 12:09 AM on February 2, 2012  

      Thanks for the support!

  • By Chris Gregory - 12:33 AM on January 25, 2012  

    We’ve been doing the same in the UK for some leading magazine publishers for a while now and have also produced our own iPad app—Ampersands— using DPS. We would welcome the opportunity to help anyone else dipping a toe into this fantastically exciting medium.