Friday, September 3, 2010

Who needs print production when you've got Moving Tales?

Hug me!

iPad therefore iAm.

With this week's wacky mobile-technology media blitz almost behind us - just one more article in the Uniter, a mention in a Telegraph UK blog, and a follow-up in the Projector to go - next week becomes all about the iPad.

This year's advertising majors in the Creative Communications program will be sharing iPads thanks to Red River College's Program Innovation Fund.

I applied and was approved for a grant from the fund during the summer. So, starting next week, the Creative Communications ad majors will be working with second-year Graphic Design students to conceive of and write, design, and publish an e-book in CS5 as a download for the iBooks app, Zinio, and as a PDF, viewable online at and through its (forthcoming) Issuu app.

In a perfect world, we'd also be designing a Creative Arts app, but as Bill Murray said in What About Bob: "Baby steps."

What's a magazine?

Really, this is a pilot project to see if we can work across programs to create a digital magazine. One day it could replace the famous magazine assignment in which first-year CreComm students write, design, and produce (get this!) a paper magazine.

There are good arguments for CreComm students continuing to understand the prepress and print-production processes, but I maintain that you can do that with something small, like a brochure or fact sheet and leave the heavy lifting in other capable hands.

When I was a fresh CreComm grad making my way in a communications industry I didn't understand, I knew nothing of print production. I learned very quickly that when you're dealing with any print job at any print shop, a great print-production planner is your best friend.

A great planner just smiles when you hold up a million-dollar Nike brochure and say, "Make my brochure look just like this one for $2 and deliver it yesterday."

He or she calmly talks you down and makes you understand that when you balance speed, quality, and cost, you shouldn't be sad - 'cos two out of three ain't bad.

Of course, things still need to be printed. Lots of things! But when you've got a kick-ass graphic designer on prepress and an awesome print-production manager on the case, your mind starts to wander away from paper and toward motion graphics.

I recently downloaded Moving Tales' Pedlar Lady iPad app... magazine... book.... story... movie... or whatever it is. It really feels like the future of all of these things and maybe something else.

Words tumble onto the screen and a narrator reads them. The pedlar lady walks into frame in insanely smooth HD motion graphics. You can read the book yourself, or switch it to "automatic" and watch it like a film. It's a steal at $4.99.

The YouTube promo video makes it look like it's for kids, but this app is really for anyone interested in the evolution of storytelling:

I feel an attachment to magazines - I wrote about being a magazine junkie here - but more and more I find myself asking, "What is a magazine?" Maybe it isn't what I thought. Is Dateline NBC a magazine? Is Slate's website a magazine? Is it a WIRED app? A PDF?

Less and less is the answer "ink and paper."

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to this project - it sounds interesting and fun! I really do think being able to say I've done something like this will be a wonderful thing to put on my resume.

    As for print magazines, I still read them, but not nearly as much as I once did. I have this huge pile of magazines here at home that are waiting to be read, but I just haven't gotten to them yet. I tend to just go onto the website of a magazine and read the articles I'm interested in there, instead of reading a physical copy.


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