26 December 2007

Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

26dec07: Rain-soaked commuters scurry under the Chinatown arch at 7th and H Streets NW in Washington DC.

Not much to report. My mind is being stretched in new and dangerous directions. Suffice it to say that, uh, how shall I put this....

[warning: publishing/design industry-geek rant follows]

Going from the wacky, carefree days of magazine design in Quark to a fully packaged workflow using the InDesign/InCopy/K4 bundle (complete with meta-tagging the shit outta everything for the new CMS to feed the pub's website) is rather like going from an anarchist commune to fascist Italy in one move.

No more flowers for me! I'll have the Browning .50 caliber machine gun instead. With the fixed mount for use on lightweight rigid warships. Thanks! Damned flowers. Quark Xpress....
.......What was I saying?

But then, that's the devil's bargain of database-publishing workflows, yeh? Sure it's efficient (so they say), but at what cost? A designer's mortal soul? Will truly brilliant, last-minute, spontaneous layout solutions be possible in this Brave New World?

To be fair, I'm still learning the evil thing, but the K4 evangelists have yet to prove its worth to me. And honestly, the value seems tremendous to the Managing Editors of the world, for workflow tracking and whatnot. InDesign has its faults but I could learn to love it...on its own terms. It's the full K4/InCopy package that looms over my creative process like some Orwellian vampire robot with killer laser-beam fungus eyeballs.

I mean, jeepers... Mussolini made the trains run on time, right? So maybe fascism isn't all that bad.

They say even Jim Jones' monkey drank the Kool-Aid. I think his name was Mr. Muggs. Poor little bastard. [ed note: alas, it looks like Muggs went out with a bullet. So much for bitter monkey irony.]

[publishing/design industry-geek rant ends]

1 comment:

Reya Mellicker said...

Not that I really understood anything you wrote ... but ... software isn't just about functionality, it's about style. What kind of software "feels right"?

Apparently, not Quark anymore. Yikes.

Happy New Year. Love the pic of Chinatown. i LOVE the gate, so fancy and superfluous here in sensible, nose-to-the-grindstone DC. Yes.