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Marketing, website, and branding tips that convert

Adobe Wowshops

Adobe Wowshops. #makethink

3 min read

Adobe did some pretty awesome stuff for the AIGA Make/Think conference. Among them was the Music Cafe they set up in the “design fair” area. Local talent entertaining the designers while they wandered around grabbing samples from all the great sponsors. It made the Memphis experience much more genuine.

Adobe also had a couple of workshops, one on the CS4 trinity (PS, AI, ID).
Here are a couple of sweet little nuggets we picked up at the workshop:

Content-Aware Scaling. Not sure if you’ve played with this yet, but you should.
Edit > Content Aware Scaling
Shortcut on a PC: ALt + Shift + Ctrl + C
Shortcut on a Mac: Alt + Shift + Cmd + C
You can create a mask channel to protect objects you don’t want to scale, if it doesn’t scale like you want. Basically PS looks at the pixels and wherever it sees a lot of detail (change in color) it leaves that area alone. When it finds areas that are similar colors, ie the beach in the photo below, it knows it can most likely stretch this without losing much detail. Pretty nifty.


Workshop #2
Nugget #1
One of Adobe’s ideas is, “You shouldn’t need to learn to code to express your ideas across any media” which sounds pretty sweet for us non-coders, but will this ever be a legitimate reality? We don’t really think so, people are always going to want to customize and there is only so much you can template. Not to mention, developers are always pushing the limits, and adobe will always be behind. But, who knows, maybe this new software will be killer. Adobe Flash Catalyst is in open beta right now. Apparently you don’t need to know any code and it is specifically built for designers to create interactive web sites.
We just watched this video about it here, there is some cool stuff at adobe labs worth checkin out. If anyone has used this software yet, shoot us a comment, let us know what you think. We’re going to dive into it soon and play with it a bit.

Nugget #2
Apparently InDesign has some interactivity buried in it also. Window > Interactive. Some great stuff here for portfolios, like buttons, page transitions, etc.

Nugget #3
That fancy looking page turning effect you see a lot on web-based magazine publications is as simple a checking a radio button when exporting in ID. It is very simple. With a multi-page file opened. Click File > Export > change the “save as type” in the drop down menu to “.swf”. A new dialog box will pop up. Under “Interactivity” check the “Page Curl” option and then bam. Done. Save and open your file in a web browser.

Nugget #4
Adobe Browserlab. Okay this is pretty rad. This app lets you view your web designs in any browser. You can view one at a time, two simultaeously or you can even onion skin. Definitely worth checking out.

Picture 23
onion skin view of ie 6 vs. ie 7 on Martin’s site using browser labs

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