CS5 Revealed!

Yes, that’s right my friends, CS five! Anybody can show you CS4, but only here at Publicious will you get the scoop on CS5. We have obtained super secret plans from our moles within the Adobe empire, revealing a radical new direction for the Creative Suite.

Codenamed XMullet, the Creative Suite is being reworked from the ground up, with a decidedly retro-shock flavor. In addition, it’s clear that Adobe is following in Apple’s footsteps, and providing an end-to-end software-and-hardware package. None of CS5 will run on Mac or Windows. Adobe software will run only on Adobe machines. What a gamble! These exclusive photos show just how far out of the box Adobe is thinking. Will the publishing world be ready?

Heavy metal typesetting: adjusting leading with actual lead! It’s so obvious; why didn’t I think of that?

Here’s one of their radical new input devices. Throw away your mice, trackballs, and Wacoms. You’ll be able to hold type in your hands.

A glimpse at the 3 enormous InDesign Server configurations powering the CS5 revolution.

Actually, I think that thing on the middle right might be a fridge.

Photoshop CS5 will bring a true 3-dimensional workflow. Images are spun around inside a clear drum. Hey buddy, put on some safety goggles!

Behold, Dreamweaver CS5’s mind-blowing Code View.

On top of it all, CS5 is totally “green.” This Illustrator CS5 workstation runs on diesel, but can easily be converted to run on vegetable oil.

Well, there you have it. What do you think? I for one, welcome our new Totally Awesome publishing overlords.

Splitting An Ice Cream Sandwich With McCain

Dude, not THAT McCain. God, I am shameless. And for my link-baiting sins this site is probably being monitored by the FBI right now right now.

The McCain in the title refers to a binding style known as McCain. It is a case-bound and side-sewn style. Jargon free version: folded piles of paper stitched together through the top and glued to a hard cover. Variations on this theme are called Smyth sewn and Moffet sewn. McCain is industry standard for thick, heavy textbooks (are there any other kind?) because of its strength. Schools need something strong enough that eccentric French teachers (are there any other kind?) can throw at a kid mis-conjugating the verb “savoir.” Sacre bleu! Le subjonctif! Yes, this actually happened. No I was not the kid; my pronunciations were “for-me-DA-bleh.”

McCain stitches pinch the paper with great strength, like the way the playground bully used to pinch that spot where your neck meets your collarbone. And just as hard. While the book can lie flat, some of the paper is lost in the pinch and will never be visible unless you rip the book apart. Industry standard for the kind of book I used to work on was to leave a quarter inch or 1p6 on the inside margin of each page empty as a “no print” or “no ink” zone. You can see it if you look at the top or bottom of a side sewn book.

Oh, how tempting it was to put secret messages to the kids in the no print zone.

If you can read this, you’re too close!
I am the Walrus.
Neo, this is Morpheus, get out of that classroom NOW!
Frodo lives.
And so on.

So when you have a photo that spans the gutter, you have to account for the no print zone. Otherwise half an inch of the picture will be lost. This is great if you’re doing a Mad Magazine Fold-In, or have a thing for cyclopses,

+ McCain =

but it’s not usually recommended. My $60 ginormous Beatles Anthology book doesn’t have a NPZ, and thus there’s a cyclops George Harrison on p.450.

The fix is to split the image and move the two halves away from each other a half inch (or whatever your industry standard is), with the gap centered on the gutter.

Say you had to make this ice cream sandwich to look right across the gutter.

Select the frame and copy and paste it in place (cmd-shift-opt-v, or even easier, option-nudge/nudge back).

Throw a guide where you want the image to match up till you get the hang of it, or to check your work. Then move the copy 3p to the right.

Or move the other one 3p to the left, or split the difference and move them in opposite directions 1p6. Which way you go depends on the flexiblity of your layout. If you have no flexibility, you have to scale or crop your image to make it 3p narrower.

Close up the frames to empty the gutter and you’re done. Or leave a little extra something for someone to stumble upon when the book is old and falling apart.

The guides show that the two sides will match up when the book is laid open.


A Blog About Nothing

Tonight was the 10th anniversary of the last episode of Seinfeld (and coincidentally, the last call for Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra). I always got a kick out seeing the Mac in the background of Seinfeld’s apartment, and how he silently “upgraded” each year to Apple’s latest and greatest. In the final season, Jerry even had one of those crazy 20th Anniversary Macs.

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The Road To Hell Is Paved With Double-Clicks

A Lament

Before you read this post, know o faithful reader, that it is but an shadow of a longer, greater, wittier post that was lost in a horrible instant when a flaky trackpad conspired with WordPress autosave to destroy five hours of writing and editing. Would you believe me if I told you it was the best, funniest thing I’d ever written for this blog? Only the good die young. But why, why did it have to be that post?

In concrete terms, my sticky trackpad jump scrolled to select the entire post instead of one line I wanted, and in that exact moment, as I was pressing the delete key, WordPress autosaved the draft, obliterating everything I’d written. No undo. No back-up. Breathtaking. Horror. Finality. Despair. Gone. All gone. Deep breath. Rueful laugh. Writers keep writing. And now we rise from the ashes to give you…

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The Non-Designer’s Design Checklist

About a dozen years ago, as I embarked upon my journey into the realm of publishing, I bought a book called The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams. I’m pretty sure it was recommended to me by the guy who taught my first Quark XPress class. I remember thinking it was a fine and fun book. It may have taught me just enough about design to be dangerous. I made up business cards, and took on a couple freelance jobs designing flyers and the like. Years later I had enough confidence to take a side gig designing newspaper ads. Not exactly the peak of the design profession, but it was fun to at least be the guy picking the fonts. I left that job after I’d made enough to buy a second family car, and then spent the better part of a decade forgetting everything I learned from the Non-Designer’s Design Book. So I was happy to stumble upon a copy of the brand new, 3rd edition a few weeks ago.

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Cool, Kuler, Coolest Color

The colors of spring are starting to pop where I live. The forsythia are spewing pure 100y by the driveway. The birch are popping a crazy out-of-gamut green, something like L74a(65)b65, The magnolias are blooming default [paper] on Comm Ave. and even my grass is a greener shade of brown. So what better time than to play with the swatches palette in InDesign, and see how we can fill it up with cool colors.

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What color is your paper?

Because my friends don’t really understand what I do, I often get asked by them to do things that are outside my area of knowledge

Can you design my letterhead/business card/logo?

I’m not a designer. I know more about design than I used to, and I have a decent sense of the basics, but I’m not going to help anyone create the best representation of their business. But a friend, who is a graphic designer, emailed me recently and said he’d designed some amazing business cards, bought the card stock, gone to Kinko’s, and was very disappointed with what they gave him and wondered what they did wrong.

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XML Rock Band

OK, it’s Friday, time for a little goofiness. Well, a little more goofiness than the other 6 days of the week.



I am so bloody sick of XML. Why, you ask? Isn’t XML going to save the publishing industry? Isn’t it going to make possible the workflow of our dreams: author once, output everywhere? Isn’t it going to fix the economy and halt global warming and bring the Red Sox another World Series? Yes, it will do all those things, at least according to the true believers. And they may be right. But I still have something stuck in my craw about working with XML.

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Photoshop For Cats

What started out as a joke in another post becomes a post in itself. C’est la blog.

Here’s my writing routine: Around 9 PM I head downstairs and settle in on the couch in the family room with my laptop. Shortly thereafter I am joined by two 11-week-old Siamese furballs named Sasha and Storm who make themselves at home on my lap and/or laptop like this.

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Cookbook 2.0 Is Served

Time again to peek in on our cookbook project and see if it’s baked yet. You know they say you lose 10° every time you open the oven door. So does that mean if I opened it enough times, I could turn the oven into a freezer? Just wondering.

We left off last time with

  • decent-looking code, thanks to a bunch of Find/Replaces
  • inspiration from the design of Epicurious.com
  • the ability to harvest CSS code with the help of the Web Developer Add-on for Firefox

So what’s left is to put together a CSS file, point the HTML at it, and see what we get.

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