What I Did on My DesignGeek Vacation

December 31, 2008 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Oh yes, Virginia, DesignGeek is back from hiatus … woo-hoo!

You know I run a design and training business, right? (Check the ad at the bottom of the issue.) Well on top of that, I took on an overwhelming number of additional projects in the last half of 2008 that are just now winding down. And I simply found it impossible to get an issue out. Day after guilt-wracked day, the steady stream of new DesignGeek subscriptions were heartening, as were the occasional e-mails from concerned long-time subscribers ("Could you please check that my e-mail address isn't bouncing? I haven't received an issue in a while.")

As self-imposed deadlines of "next month for sure" came and went, I finally settled on a drop-dead deadline that *for sure* DesignGeek would get back in the game before the year was out. Well if you look at the date of this thing, you'll know why I'm up at 6:00 a.m. on a frigid Wednesday morning, madly typing away on my computer… LOL.

Here's a selection of some of the most interesting projects I've been working on, with links I think you'll find useful. More details, when warranted, will probably be shared in future issues.

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Adobe Extravaganza
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I had fun working on the Adobe CS4 rollout, but it did take over basically every aspect of my working life. They say the part of an iceberg that's visible above the waterline is only about 10% of its truly massive size. And that's how it is, I learned, when a major software company (or I guess any company) rolls out a new version of its flagship product.

As end users, we only see the 10% that are the ads, reviews, and new web pages when the new version comes out. But in the spring of 2008, Adobe hired me and a few hundred others as a freelancer worker bees, enlisted to help construct the the rest of the iceberg hidden below the surface. White papers, sample files, documentation, sales presentation outlines, reviewer's guides, Classroom in a Books, ACE exams, all sorts of projects need to be created well before the release of the software. And with CS4, that meant all these things needed to be created for each of the 13+ individual programs that make up the Creative Suite.

My main focus was on InDesign and InCopy (the latter of which is still not a part of the Creative Suite, even though it carries the "CSx" moniker). I wrote the reviewer's guides for each, which entailed coming up with hands-on exercises that showed off their new features, and making sure they worked with the sample files that another company (another worker bee company) created. Other hired hands wrote the guides for all the other programs.

The reviewer's guides and sample files aren't available for the general public. They're not on the main website, you have to be on Adobe's list of press contacts to get your hands on them. But, as in past rollouts, I'm sure that some of their content will be modified and appear as downloadable whitepapers or tutorials for end users. I'll let you know when they're available.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about what CS4 offers print designers, Adobe is doing some great live eSeminars in January and February of 2009, which are free, of course.

Adobe CS4 eSeminars for designers:
http://tinyurl.com/cs4eseminars

Also, MogoMedia (the good folks behind the Creative Suite Conference and the InDesign Conference, among others), were tapped by Adobe to help them do a CS4 road show around the country. The one-day conference is only $49.00, and includes a giveaway of the CS4 Design Premium package along with other "fabulous prizes."

Adobe CS4 Launch Tour "Shortcut to Brilliant"
http://www.mogo-media.com/seminars/the-adobe-cs4-launch-tour/

  

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