Publishing system makeover at ACP

If magazine publishing is about creating attractive design, ACP has found an attractive tool to do it with.

If magazine publishing is about creating attractive design, ACP has found an attractive tool to do it with.

The Auckland arm of the Australian company has this month begun moving its New Zealand publications from Quark to Adobe’s newly released InDesign 2, in line with their Australian counterparts. First in line for the software makeover is Woman’s Day, to be followed over the next few weeks by the New Zealand editions of Australian Woman’s Weekly, Cleo and SHE, and Fashion Quarterly.

Production director Michael Turner says Adobe won out in a comparison with Quark, which ACP has used for most of the seven years he has been with the publisher.

“We’re still using Quark Xpress 3.3, which is getting long in the tooth. The upgrade choice between ID and Xpress version 5x was a group decision [New Zealand and Australia], but if you evaluate ID, it’s pretty clear Adobe has competitive advantages.”

He says despite some resistance to change by the company’s Australian designers, the switch there has been hugely beneficial.

The changeover at ACP’s New Zealand operation comes with a considerable hardware cost, as InDesign is not very friendly to older low-spec machines. The company has upgraded to Compaq Pentium IVs with Windows 2000. But Turner says that cost will be offset by gains in the design workflow. He expects the real economic benefits will come later.

“In about six months’ time when we hope to do all our prepress in-house we will expect some considerable gains.”

The company is continuing to use Quark for its trade publications.

The local Quark distributor, QBus, is circumspect about the ACP decision.

The initial cost of InDesign might appear competitive but, considering you will probably need to upgrade every year, the real costs could run very high.”

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