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September 23, 2008

Welcome to Adobe Creative Suite 4 - Adobe CS4

I am currently in Cologne at the Photokina where we did the CS4 announcement this morning. It was truly great: the whole Adobe booth was covered by a black curtain that fell at precisely 10:45AM. I had been walking around the structure prior to the "opening" and was kind of surprised about the few people around, and then decided to get in and wait there... When the curtain dropped, literally hundreds of our users rushed into the booth and occupied all the available seat (many had to stand in the back). What a scene! What a surprise! What anticipation!
And yes, CS4 is now officially announced; and we can finally talk freely about all the new features. What a relief. I spent 9 hours doing theatre demonstrations and presiding the Creative Suite CS4 Design Premium pod answering all the questions that came my way. Life at the trade show.
The new features are just so many, so overwhelmingly many, that I decided to not even make a list of them but simply link to to page on Adobe.com where you can see them all [here]. Enjoy, and keep tuned as I will write about my favorite ones in the months to come.
Yours, truly.

September 19, 2008

"Thank you Adobe!"

It took me some time, but then I decided to make a special post on the subject at hand. During the recent Swiss Publishing Week, I did a few presentations on Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop that ended with a Q&A session with the audience. This was a great opportunity for me to gather feedback and feature requests directly from our users. As a matter of fact, one of my presentations was about how and where InDesign gets produced; from customer feedback to product management, from the writing of specifications to coding. Nothing detailed, clearly, but enough for our users to understand that each new release is an elaborate sequence of events, and the hard work of many people.
Now here is what I wasn't expecting, in times where it's so much easier to only complain: users coming up to me, and telling me "Thank you Adobe" for making their life as creative professionals easier, for creating the tools they need, for making each version better than the previous one... And, believe it or not, this happens all over the world.

I then surfed over to Wikipedia and looked up the features that were added to the applications I use most, and here is what I came up with: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator.
Reading a little of the history, brought me back down memory lane to the times when Photoshop did not have layers or a History Palette, when I had to work on Illustrator vector art without a live preview, when InDesign introduced working with transparencies and allowed me to place native Photoshop and Illustrator files. And it goes on, and on, and on...
Yes, over time, Adobe has drastically changed the way I work. One story I always tell, is when I switched over to InDesign 2.0 and started to work the way Adobe was describing in their events and documentation, through the use of native files, of Adobe Bridge (which came later), or implementing PDF workflows, etc...; my production times got reduced so dramatically that I truly had more time for learning new stuff, or spend the time being more creative on the job (or accept more work).
Now, although I too thank Adobe for the tremendous work that has been done over the last 25 years, I remain humbled by the fact that users step up and publicly show their love to Adobe through an employee such as yours truly.
Well, in return, I wish to thank all of our users without the feedback and wish-lists of whom, our products would not be what they are today, or what they will be in future.
Thank you Adobe, yes, but Thank you Users too!

For those of you who are interested in the history of Adobe, I can only recommend this marvelous book by Pamela Pfiffner, Inside the Publishing Revolution: The Adobe Story.

[PS - I will not post gripes here, this post is about the love ;-). For feature requests or bug reports, go here.]

September 18, 2008

Swiss Publishing Week, a blast!

SPW_logo.jpgAfter only three years since its inauguration, the InDesign Konferenz (yes, the one with the big K) was established as one of the most important Publishing meetings in the German speaking part of Switzerland. The enormous success led the three organizers, Haeme Ulrich, Michael Mayerle (both from Ulrich Media), and Martin Spaar (Publisher magazine) to overdo it this year. With a new event, branded Swiss Publishing Week, the name itself naturally became the schedule: one whole week of conferences, workshops and hands-on around the topic of Publishing in general.

The Swiss Publishing Week started with two entire days dedicated to InDesign to be continued on Wednesday with a day about Photoshop and the Creative Suite in general (thus extending the original scope around Adobe InDesign to a more holistic approach which includes all tools necessary for publishing). Thursday was dedicated to color and color management and on Friday a deep-dive into enterprise publishing with a focus on Web to Print.

This was a fantastic place to exchange ideas, for networking with peers, and of course party. On Monday there was a very well attended InDesign User Group party. I was asked many questions and also great suggestions were made for future releases. Being so close to the announcement of Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4), there were many "sneak peeks" performed by the numerous Adobe folks from Germany and Switzerland who participated in the various keynotes. What a buzz, what anticipation. Only a few days before we can actually publicly talk about that... I myself cannot wait. It’s going to be brilliant (see the unveiling of new Adobe Creative Suite 4 on September 23).

The presentations were of extremely high quality, both in terms of speakers and topics touched. A big round of applause to the organizers! I expect the Swiss Publishing Week to become a very important meeting point for experts from all across the publishing industry also in the future.

September 12, 2008

MadinSpain, but still sane

Today I had a one hour slot to talk at an annual international event on design named MadinSpain in Madrid. The conference gathered really interesting speakers that managed to inspire the 1000 or so designers who chose to spend their Friday out of the office.
The morning session included presentations by the Spanish artist and designer, Alberto Corazón, Albert Folch Studio (who presented without a computer, but chose to project their work filming it live on a table before them; now how cool is that?), and Lamosca (being an info graphics freak myself, I truly enjoyed what was shown).
After the lunch break, it was my turn to show off what we at Adobe do to make creative pros go wild! The crowd gave me really good vibes; thanks Madrid, and remember the very important and useful Paleta Apariencia.
Muchas Gracias Madrid!

Then came AKQA, which is an independent, international agency that facilitates its clients into the digital age, Zinkia, Matias from Farfar (Sweden), and Spin (UK).
This was a truly inspiring day! I am so sorry that I will not be able to remain for tomorrow's lineup which includes Helio Vega, Domestika (the organizers of the event), Carlos Ulloa, Jung von Matt, Waskman, Brand New School, and Joshua Davis.

Next stop Winterthur in Switzerland, for the Swiss Publishing Week!

September 3, 2008

Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) to be announced September 23

Those of you who have checked the Adobe.com website today will have noted that the CS4 announce date has been set. Now, you could be asking yourselves, why is it necessary to announce the announce date... well, here's your answer: the event will be broadcast, and you need to register to view it. Cool! So make sure to be there and get the scoop on what's in store.
From the Adobe website: "Are you ready for something brilliant? Be one of the first to see Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 in a special web broadcast on 23rd of September, 2008".