Who Killed Print, Part 2

For those wondering where I got the “evidence” against cats, I looked no further than the bookshelf in my kids’ playroom.

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This book was published in 1986, which may explain some of the “fashionable” feline attire, and other details like phones with cords on them.

It got me to thinking, what would a sequel to this book look like? So here’s my take on..

How An E-Book is Made

I’m the design and production cat. I’m creating the template in InDesign and exporting the stories to InCopy.

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I’m the author. I’m writing the content directly in InCopy. I can see the fit and layout.

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I’m adding graphics, hyperlinks, and other interactive elements, plus running spellcheck and other QA.

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I’m tracking changes.

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I’m proofing.

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I’m outputting to PDF.

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I’m creating the book’s website.

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I’m publicizing the book on Twitter and Facebook.

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I’m desperate for Google Juice.

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I got listed on Amazon!

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Oprah likes my book!

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Now maybe I can replace this computer from 1986.

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LOL! I’m so glad print is dead.

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Who Killed Print?

We all know print is dead/dying/coughing up blood. But until recently I never knew who to blame. Then I discovered the ugly, shocking truth which I will now share with you all. Print didn’t just die. It was killed… by cats. Yes, cats. Frigging cats! Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

Who killed print?…

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Let’s take a closer look at this dirty deed.

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Save it for the litterbox, lady.

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Um, no, since you’re pointing to a mouse, not a word. In fact, you’re illiterate. You’re a cat!

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Not as scary as a giant black and white polka dot tie with a red striped shirt. This is your designer?

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That copyeditor looks like he needs some catnip or he’s gonna start shredding the manuscript. Give the poor guy some yarn at least!

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Actually the copyeditor (copycat?) really said, “Here’s another !@#$%! mistake!”

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Of course, the printer was in China so the production director should have said “良好的厚纸!”

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Seriously, an ascot? Since when did Charles Nelson Reilly do prepress?

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OK, fair enough.

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I think the prepress cat is going to kick some tail when he hears this crap.

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Why are these cats so relaxed when the book is totally screwed up? Can’t they see the deadline right behind them? Sure enough…

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Sigh. This is not going to end well.

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Assuming there is a next job.

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I think a few whiskers ended up in the F&Gs.

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Uh, yeah. But instead of going out and selling the book, the cats started a website filled with photos of themselves with silly misspelled captions. And they all got rich and never made another book again.

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And then little kitten fell asleep, wishing for an iPhone.

The end.

PS If you want to know where these images came from, check out Who Killed Print, Part 2.

Publicious Links: The Moonwalking In Threes Edition

They say celebrity deaths come in threes. I say, you see what you want to see. But this past week was pretty hard on 20th century cultural icons. If you’ve lost track of who’s still with us, consult Dead or Alive? Oh, nevermind, I’ll save you the trip: Abe Vigoda still walks the earth.

First off, poor Ed McMahon. The guy spends decades in the public spotlight as Carson’s sidekick. Night after night, and with Memorex precision, he delivers the chiseled-in-the-collective-memory line, “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” For a side gig, he props up a molten Jerry Lewis every Labor Day for the final timpani. He even has the cartoonish celebrity second act with Star Search and the thing that wasn’t quite Publisher’s Clearinghouse. And when he dies, he gets two seconds of attention.

Next up, poor Farrah. I never quite got the obsession with her or her bodacious hair. Yes, Farrah was incredibly beautiful. But I had only one true love during my single-digit years, and that was Lindsay Wagner, aka Jaime Sommers, the true, be-scarfed Bionic Woman. Still, the impact of Farrah’s locks and teeth is undeniable. And happily, she earned major props for her acting craft as well as her looks. So she got four seconds of attention this week.

Which brings me to the King of Pop. What more can anyone say about the Curious Case of Michael Jackson? I was a teenager in the 80s, but it never occurred to me to actually buy Thriller. It would be like buying air. I watched MTV for about four years straight, without blinking, from 1982-1985. I heard Thriller on a daily, if not hourly basis, for years on end. It was like life in a prison in the Phillipines. Now I watch this video of him auditioning for Berry Gordy at age ten, channelling James Brown with such precision that it freaks me out. For his otherworldly talent, this ten year old kid got his childhood replaced with showbiz, and became the most famous person on the planet. The unraveling that occurred afterward, is amazing to me, only in that it took so long.

So to Ed, Farrah, and Michael, I will picture you three moonwalking off the stage together. Rest in peace.

Oops, in my self-indulgence, I forgot this is a blog about publishing technology. How about some links?

First, GridIron Software has just released Flow. It is way cooler than sliced bread. How would you like for your files to know how they are all related? Images know which InDesign layouts they’ve been placed in. PDFs know which documents they were created from. You say you only remember the name of a layer in a Photoshop file? No problem, you can find it. And so on and so on. I don’t like to throw around the word “amazing,” but Flow really is A-freaking-mazing. I’ve installed the trial version and I think living without it is going to be impossible from here on out.

From the how did we ever live without Photoshop category, part 1: Gizmodo has 65 Ancient Video Games I Wish Existed.

From the how did we ever live without Photoshop category, part 2: Wonkette has Sarah Palin’s quixotic and hopeless war vs. Photoshop.

Ever wonder how Adobe came to be? Wonder what it might have to do with Xerox? Check out a nice little bio of founder John Warnock.

Here’s a couple of my recent posts from InDesign Secrets: Honey, I Blew Up the Color Panel, Bridge Font Blind Spot, and Eye Candy, Part 5: Blending a la Mode.

As the digital revolution comes full circle, the phrase “Web to Print” is going to be heard a lot. Bitstream’s Pageflex Storefront uses InDesign Server to power its piece of the Web to Print pie.

GREP Master Peter Kahrel has posted a brilliant tutorial on Dealing With Long GREP Expressions. My advice: caffeinate heavily before reading.

At work, I was asked to evaluate someone’s choice of 100c70m drop shadows. My evaluation was “um, no.” Here’s how to make a blue shadow in real life.

Brian Lawler (author of the Official Adobe Print Publishing Guide) has posted an interesting idea for using Photoshop’s Count tool.

From the It’s A Small World, But I Wouldn’t Want to Print It Dept: How about a digital archive that contains all the peer-reviewed mathematical literature ever published? That’s about 100 million pages. No sweat, say the folks behind the Digital Mathematics Library Project.

Print and prepress guru par excellence Steve Werner is giving a eSeminar on InDesign Best Prepress Practices on July 1. If you miss it, you can catch the recorded version.

Thomas Silkjær has posted a nice set of highly-organized pre-defined styles for InDesign, which you can modify to suit your own needs.

ShapeCollage is a nifty, free tool for making collages out of your photos. You can arrange any number of pictures into any shape.

Popular Science has a prototype color-picking pen, that mimics Photoshop’s eyedropper. It’s supposed to scan the color of any real life object and then recreate that color with ink. Too bad the desinger needs a remedial lesson in the physics of subtractive color and CMYK. Still, it’s a mind-blowing concept.

Publicious Links: The Bing Hits Edition

You probably know that Microsoft has released its own search engine to try and topple Skynet, er, Google. A few days ago, in the WordPress stats I started seeing referrals from Bing.com. Literally, Bing hits. Heh. So I searched for “Publicious” on Bing, and we got 9 out of the top 10 spots. Righteous.

If you weren’t totally exhausted from all the Flash Catalyst stuff I posted last week (or if you ignored it completely) you might want to check out Adobe’s summer-long eSeminar series on the Flash platform (Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst). Please don’t call them “webinars.” Eeeech. Ugliest word ever.

If you want to see what some people are actually creating with all this Flash stuff, check out Smashing Magazine’s 50 Beautiful Flash Websites. Don’t forget to follow Smashing Mag on Twitter for tons more.

Here’s my post on InDesign Secrets about continuation of Adobe branding into our geeky lifestyles, Coasting Into A Suite Life. By the way, I’m all for it. I’d buy some InDesign bedsheets in a heartbeat.

By the way, yesterday was Adobe Patch Day. Get’cher security updates while they’re hot.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, unless it comes in a Bezier box. Best Design Options is offering 100 Websites Where You Can Download Free Vector Graphics.

While you’re up, can you grab me a few free patterns from the PatternCooler? Thanks.

With all that money you saved on your vectors and patterns, you can head over to FlashDen and purchase some little Flash applications. It’s a little app market where developers can hawk their coded wares. Even if you don’t intend to buy, it makes for some fun window shopping.

Want to influence the future of Photoshop? Take John Nack’s survey. Vote early and often.

Gurus Unleashed has a really cool new feature, a monthly wrap-up of the best news, tips, tutorials, etc for your favorite graphix apps. Here’s the May wrap-up for InDesign/InCopy. You can also find wrap-ups for Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, MacPaint, etc. Just kidding, I think the MacPaint news would be pretty sparse. Then again, I could dominate it…

Whoever says print is dead is all wet. Literally, now that you can get almost anything printed on a shower curtain. These will be the coolest thing in the bathroom till we get shower curtains that are tv screens.

Or you can get a monitor that’s bigger than a giant flatscreen TV. It’s only $8,000, and so big it has to be curved around you.

Finally, I leave you with some high art, from Prepress Pilgrim, an excerpt from the world’s first prepress romance novel.

Lunchtime Links: The Happy Birthday Publicious Edition

Happy Birthday, Publicious!

One year ago today, I published my first Publicious post. Here we are 150 posts later! This has been incredibly fun, rewarding, and tiring. In honor of the occasion, all of today’s links are staying “in house.” Sort of a Greatest Hits thing. Without further ado, here are the 10 most popular Publicious posts to date, according to the WordPress stats.

10. Über-Master Pages in which Cinnamon shows she is the Buffy of page layout.

9. Adventures in FontStruction in which I re-create the 8-bit Atari glory of my youth, one pixel at a time.

8. House of a Different Color in which I apply a virtual coat of paint to my in-laws’ house, thereby avoiding the actual job. Gotta love digitizing your chores. Now if I could just apply the Scoop filter to the litterbox…

7. Try to Tri-Fold Correctly in which Cinnamon drops the knowledge of just how tricky it is to make a brochure really right. Almost as cool as being able to fold a t-shirt in 2 seconds. Oops, OK, I’ll let that one external link slide.

6. TLF, My New BFF in which I wax rhapsodic about the possibilities of Adobe’s text tech.

5. Streamlining InDesign Templates in which Cinnamon shows how to build an InDesign document right, from the ground up.

4.  Basically Adaptable Styles in which Cinnamon offers up a sequel to her templating hit.

3. The Road to Hell is Paved With Double Clicks in which I reveal to the world just how far I am willing to go down the rabbit hole in search of that last morsel of geek.

2. Is This What a Kindle Killer Looks Like? in which I think I’m smarter than a company that got 615 million visitors to its website last year.

1. CS5 Revealed! in which I play a Nostradorkus, foretelling of the future of publishing tech in a book that I found at my town recycling center one Saturday. It’s Back to the Future, with mullets and vectors.

Now that’s a spicy meatball. First, a huge thanks to Cinnamon, since four of those top ten posts are hers. If only I could sabotage her sewing machine… Second, there are no posts by Eric on that list, simply because his stuff hasn’t been around long enough to accumulate mad stats yet. However, IMNSHO, Eric’s “Bits and Pieces” series should be required reading for anyone who may have to deal with XML in publishing. Which is, like, everyone, right? So here you go.

The Bits and Pieces I: Making XML

The Bits and Pieces II: Content Model

The Bits and Pieces III: Building Blocks

The Bits and Pieces IV: The Vendors

And what’s a birthday without presents? Here’s a gift for everyone: I’ve found another massively talented person to agree to be a contributor. She’s an amazing digital artist who will bring a whole new area of expertise to Publicious. Who is this person? Stay tuned!

OK, I have to go blow out these candles before the wax drips inside my keyboard.

Lunchtime Links: The Economapocalypse Now Edition

All the bad economic news is starting to get to me. Stocks were up yesterday, but that doesn’t offset the fact that Zillow says my house is worth the same as a pepperoni pizza. I’d be tempted to go to the mall and pick pennies out of the fountains, but somebody probably beat me to them. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Now that my 401k has minned out, the fountain gig is my retirement plan 😉

If the prospect of a Great(er) Depression has got you down too, pull up a bowl of mac and cheese and check out these links. They’ll make you feel better (or at least distract you while the bank changes the locks on your house).

First up, Prepress Pilgrim. It is an excellent blog written by DJ Dunkerley, about marketing, business, and technology issues in prepress. There’s also a whole section of career management posts, including stuff like Trying To Find Job Websites That Aren’t Skanky. DJ used to work for Creo back in the day, developing a little PDF workflow thingy you may know better as Prinergy. For my money, Prinergy is coolest thing in prepress since, um, ever.

So you say you need a content management system, but the global economic crisis has left you broke? Check out Drupal. It’s a free, open source CMS that’s gaining popularity. And it’s the CMS behind Allyouneedischeese.com. What more do you want?

Bulletin Bulletin Bulletin…Adobe makes it safe to swap PDFs with strangers again, by posting a patch to Acrobat 9.

Crowdsourcing: necessary evil or evil evil? Personally, I’m thinking evil evil. Pitting designers against one another, and eroding the quality and wages of their profession, just ain’t my idea of a party. What’s next on the road to the bottom? How about we crowdsource medical care? Post your symptoms and anyone who claims to be a “doctor” can diagnose your illness on spec. Then you pick the treatment that fits your budget. Hmm that might work; Obama are you listening?

If you are a freelancer, or think you might be one soon, check out Michelle Goodman’s blog, the Anti 9 to 5 Guide. She’s been freelancing for more than 15 years and has written a great book on the do’s and don’t of the freelance world. Yes, it’s aimed at women, but good advice is good advice.

This I found interesting bit of Google on Google crime: Hitwise notes that GMail is now more popular than YouTube. It’s well on its way to becoming more popular than food, water, and air.

Another fine blog, this time from inside the Adobe Empire. Bob Bringhurst is the man in charge of official InDesign documentation. Can’t get much closer to the source than that.

On my bucket list is to solve the frigging Rubik’s Cube once and for all. In case I never get there, I can always fake it with a tutorial to make your own Rubik’s photo cube in Photoshop from any image. It also gave me the idea that you could print out whatever picture you wanted on sticker paper and make your own photo Rubik’s in real life. I might have to try that.

Guess I’ll have to put my plans for an origami TV screen on hold. Those super cool OLED flexible screens are also feeling the bite of the lousy economy.

Last, if you might find yourself up on stage in front of a crowd anytime soon, I suggest you first check James Duncan Davidson’s 8 Tips For Speakers. His perspective is literally unique, as he is a photographer who’s shot speakers of all kinds in the act of connecting (or not) with their audiences.

Till next time, I just have one question. You gonna finish those fries?

One Tweet Over the Line

Or maybe two.

I resisted Twitter for a while because I suspected it would amount to enforced ADD and suck up large chunks of my time like a cosmic wet/dry vac. Eventually, I tried it and…I was right. Still, I love Twitter. It has enormous value (and potential for more), and it seems to be where the action is. So I have imposed a modicum of self-discipline and made a Twitter schedule for myself, and only check it a couple times a day. I suppose this defeats some of the purpose, but it suits me. If you are either the Master of Multitasking, or have the ability to tune out a constant data stream, you might find value in TwiterFox, which runs Tweets in a side panel of your Firefox window.

My problem is, I am interested in every tip and trick out there. How to paint photo-realistic onion rings? Cool. Ink jets that print on banana peels? Gotta see those. A set of “salad bar sneeze” brushes for Photoshop? Never know when I might need those.

Of course there are much more practical tips and tutorials, free for the following on Twitter.

My favorite new “follows” this week:

Layers Magazine (How-to make everything with Adobe tools)

NAPP News (National Association of Photoshop Pros).

Kodak Digital Print (Kodak’s Graphic Communication Group)

All are very active and offer lots of quality links.