InDesign - Moving from print publishing to ePubs or DPS

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 by Linda Dickeson Latest activity: Nov 8, 2013

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How do we get high school CTE or journalism instructors past the "print publishing" stage into thinking about ePubs, etc. From the model of the Digital Publishing Suite, I don't see how K-12 education will ever use DPS...too complicated and expensive. Print or PDF publishing is about all I see high school teachers handling right now. When I do workshops, it's usually for teachers who have no background at all who were just handed the task of yearbook or journalism classes. Sigh... What do you think about DPS for K-12 education? How can we prepare students for this new type of publishing?

Comments (5)

Suzanne Johnson

Posted on Nov 8, 2013 8:15 PM - Permalink

I know this thread is old, but I wanted to share some thoughts.

I currently have taught DPS as a regular part of my curriculum for half a year now, and I see the project constantly evolving and changing not only technically, but formally (in how you approach publication design). If you know the basic structure/hierarchy of setting up documents for DPS and have a working knowledge of InDesign, its not much further to start building the definition of what DPS can do for a group like yours...

Although I teach higher-education students in Graphic Design, I have a two observations that may inspire some thought on the matter:

1. I feel its easier to teach/inspire the experience of publication design through DPS technology. What some students were not understanding in regards to on screen vs. on the page publications were enlightened by experiencing the difference in physically flipping through the print version and swiping through the DPS version. With younger students, I imagine it's a little more fantastic in a sense that the life of that content can be prolonged by the addition of extra content: videos, interactive components like slideshows, links, and social media. They are no longer bound to submitting a single narrative with some pictures, but thinking about larger concepts of a "touchpoint" (in the commercial sense).

2. The DPS process is highly controlled by structure, organization, and the ability to diagnose and solve problems. Setting up a new folio follows its own commandments... Like many Adobe programs there are several ways to go about doing one thing, but the success is found in best practice. I have experienced a transformation in the students that lacked a structured creative process, change and adapt to be methodical in the way they approach new projects. This made it easier for them to grasp the concepts of craftsmanship and originality (in their own respect) through their work, rather than frustration and imitation due to confusion and lack of time/organization.

Lukas Engqvist

Posted on Mar 5, 2013 8:46 PM - Permalink

If we still had PageMaker I woudl see the problem, but I think InDesign is more modern in that it allows students to begin to think of structure. Learning how to master templates and styles. Also I find that using Indesign creating an interactive storybook using the built in buttons is so easy that students will start to investigate after a brief introduction. Once they have created their first interactive document the logical question is how to publish it. Here the DPS single edition is going to help. Apple iBooks is faster to start, but since the InDesign document can be exported to DPS, ePub, interactive PDF, SWF or a Flash file for further tweaking there are plenty opportunities. I also think it is vital to understand the skills that were practiced in print production are not only bound to print. The skill is information processing, print just happens to be one of the products, but making the content inviting and accessible to the reader has always been the mission of a graphic designer.

Karen Hellyer

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 5:01 AM - Permalink

ePubs are an exciting prospect from both a curriculum delivery mechanism as well as a student publication prospect. I use a small local printing house in San Francisco to publish our school yearbook. I've talked with our printer about the future of print and he's suggested that more and more material will skip paper and be delivered digitally. It has forced him to learn new ways to connect with clients in order to stay in business. That said, more artists and photographers are looking at the printed book as objects of art. Also, in spite of many schools producing video yearbooks and online yearbooks, I'm not so sure that an eYearbook promises to be readable twenty or thirty years from now. Besides, the best part is reading what my friends and teachers wrote on the autograph pages, not what was actually printed in the book!

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 2:59 PM - Permalink

You won't see a change until there is more adoption of the DPS. Also on that note, it will take a student who has gone through the class to learn it and become the teacher in charge of it, meaning it will take a few years of adoption until it finds its way in.

james kinney

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 3:26 AM - Permalink

This is heresy to my print and typesetting roots; however, I don't think that you even need to focus on print, per se. This form will eclipse print consumption and emerge as the dominant mode. If print is done at all it should be as an afterthought in support of digital initiatives. Perhaps if your regional board made an investment or your yearbook printer for that matter!!!!! (they are making loads of money on those vehicles afterall) Have them purchase an enterprise system and have your students work directly on the documents that will be distributed. The board or the printer can then use DPS for other enterprise solutions like alumni or internal newsletters, etc.

Jim