Sunday, November 27, 2011

InDesign > Quark

I gave it a chance, guys. I really did. I opened my mind to this strange new program. I set aside my Adobe bias for a little while, and I learned about Quark. What I have concluded is that InDesign is far superior. Not only does it have more bells and whistles, but it enables you do do things quickly. Want to use the text tool without trying to click a tiny button? Just press "T." Want to access the type within a text box? Just double click. For some reason, Quark has made all its keyboard shortcuts so convoluted that you need three hands to perform them. Making type bigger requires a shortcut of four keys, and there is no easy way to move from the positioning tool to the content tool without accessing your tiny-ass toolbar up in the corner.

Basically, I'm on Team InDesign. I should make T-shirts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Design program overload

Naturally, when you start a new job, there's a training process. Each company/newspaper/etc. has its own way of doing things, and that's cool. It's what makes them all unique. What I didn't figure out, though, was that I jumped on this design studio bandwagon a few months too early. I agreed to help out in Springfield, Mo., before they rolled into the studio in Des Moines, and the process of "rolling into" involves more than what I thought.

All through college and even at my job in Savannah, I used Adobe-based programs: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. I'd always heard the switch to Quark wasn't too hard, but I never thought I would have to switch at all. I'd always considered Quark the lesser of the two — the more outdated design program. So I was surprised to learn they used it here in Springfield. I was even more surprised to learn that when the paper rolls into the studio, it won't be designed through InDesign or Quark, but something called Layout Champ, which is a subsidiary of CCI, the Gannett-wide, web-based content management system. Learning the content management systems shouldn't be too hard, though, considering the Content Watch debacle in Savannah and how we all pulled through that.

There's also the Mac/PC aspect of the switch. I worked on a PC in Savannah, and I'm currently learning all the Quark stuff on a Mac. However, they will soon be switching us back over to PCs for the switch to CCI. But I have my own Mac at home. Ridiculous.

So, these next few months I am going to be learning a system and a program that I get to throw away come January, when I will learn a whole new system. I know I am probably making a bigger deal out of this than I should, but I just find it amusing. For now, I feel like I'm going into design program overload. I tell you what, though. I am going to be a design program champ when all is said and done.

Design program overload.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick and dirty website

This is my home page. You can find it at
A few months ago, I posted about how I was planning on creating a website for the upcoming SND conference. Well, the conference has come and gone, but I did still slap together something to display some of my design work. You can find it at Now, this is my no means the best portfolio website in the world, but I think it is a good display of how my design can translate onto the web. I am especially proud of the fact that I didn't go overboard with the code. It is really simple, and the only thing I borrowed from other sites was the code for the lightbox on my clips page. You can find the lightbox tutorial here.

I also crafted some coordinating business cards to hand out at the conference. I definitely didn't hand out as many as I should have, though. What do you think? What could I improve on? Feedback is more than welcome!