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Keeping Pace with Digital and Software Changes

(April 2013) posted on Wed Apr 24, 2013

Upgrading is but one important part of staying on top of technology.


By Mark Coudray

With these big upgrades, we have also seen the downgrade phenomenon. We saw this with Adobe CS6, when they removed all the separation-output options from the program. They just assumed that everything was taking place within the RIP and there was absolutely no need for anyone to have to set the angles, dot shapes, and frequencies from within the files. This was a huge shock to thousands of screen printers who used those features in Illustrator and Photoshop on a daily basis.

Customized software
I feel it won’t be too long before we’ll be able to configure custom menus and interfaces with only the features and tools we need for the work we do. Design and production software has become bloated with too many features that aren’t relevant to the end user. At the same time, the arbitrary removal of features can have unintended negative consequences, as we have just seen. Imagine how nice it would be to configure our own functionality in the same way we can currently set our own inspector pallets or menus.

As an example, a production artist in a separation or prepress environment designed around a non-ICC color workflow with DCS 2.0 output has a very different requirement from a printer using an ICC CMYK or expanded gamut.

One of the things I’ve found to be very helpful is to combine the SAAS model with online tutorials and training. My favorite source for this is Lynda.com. They have been around for many years and their site just keeps getting better and better. The tutorial lessons are very short, usually less than 10 minutes, and you can track your progress, test for competency, and access demo and training files to work through the lessons.

The beauty of Lynda.com is that you get a preview of what is coming. Whenever there is a major release, they are there with excellent training on new features, changes to workflow, demos, and tutorials on how to use the new functionality. This happens on many levels and not just with point-and-click examples, but it does not stop with just tutorials for the applications.


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