Our design team couldn’t live without Adobe InDesign and Photoshop CS6. They’re more integral to their daily design workflow than the designers’ biscuit tin (well, let’s not go too far). And the great thing about the Creative Suite apps is that they’re constantly evolving, with new little tweaks and updates every year that just add to the toolkit.
Here’s why designers Paul and Liana love the everyday workflow of InDesign and Photoshop CS6, both available in the new Adobe Creative Cloud for teams cloud-based service, and a few of their secret (or less well known, at least) designer tips for getting the most out of Adobe…
Paul’s top tips for InDesign CS6
Why InDesign CS6 over other apps? “The best thing about InDesign is how it integrates seamlessly with all the other Creative Suite apps we use. Quark has caught up and still integrates nicely with CS but InDesign was there first and generally seems to be ahead of the game. I started using ID from version 1 and I still remember the feeling of me controlling the software rather than working with the limitations of the software.
How long did it take you to learn? “I’m still learning it! When I did first use it, however, I picked up the basics fairly quickly because the interface and icons are similar to other CS apps. The Help menu is also very good for finding where each tool is when you’re just starting out. What I would like to learn more about is the digital publishing side of the software and how to more easily convert print into digital.”
How could InDesign be improved? “With digital publishing in mind, I’d like to see more HTML/HTML5 integration or export options to help move more seamlessly onto mobile devices, which is something that is hopefully going to be covered with Creative Cloud for teams.”
What else do you use to enhance how you work? “I don’t currently use any plugins but I do like pairing InDesign up with a Wacom tablet and a second screen. The Save Workspace options are great for switching between one or two screens, so I don’t need to manually reorganise my palettes.”
What advice would you give anyone using InDesign? “InDesign is a great tool for creating artwork but bear in mind that creating graphics within InDesign may not always be the most productive way of working. Use the other CS apps and import graphics which will be used again and again. Also learn the shortcuts and set up print and document presets – they are a massive time saver! And, don’t forget about the less well-known features like Datamerge, Print Booklet and Layer View options.”
Liana’s top tips for Photoshop CS6
Why Photoshop CS6 over other apps? “I use Photoshop for pretty much all my print and web work, especially importing and cleaning up imagery. Making sure imagery is at the correct resolution and quality is essential for print, and for web I use it for resizing images for our product listings and mocking up whole webpages that can then be sliced. The great thing is Photoshop has advanced so much in recent years, with Content Aware technology and non-destructive adjustments, the opportunities are pretty much endless.”
How long did it take you to learn? “I first used Photoshop CS2 during my Graphic Design A-level at college. I had never used any other computer editing software before, but we were taught to just experiment and find things out for ourselves. Layers were pretty hard to get used to, but after a few accidental merges you soon learn! I’ve been using it ever since and, while I’m no master, I think the great thing about Photoshop is that everyone has their own way of doing things, and there isn’t a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way. It’s great to pick up tips and tricks from the other designers in the office – there’s no fun in not having to ask the question ‘what does that button do…?’.”
How could Photoshop be improved? “One thing I’d like to see is lighting and shadow on the Content Aware Move tool. If you could specify the light source on the image then it’d help with the depth and perspective. The clarity tool in RAW is also useful if used sparingly, so it would be good to see that in the adjustment panel.”
What else do you use to enhance how you work? “There are countless plugins out there, from scripts that enhance images, reduce noise or remove tricky objects, to downloadable brushes, textures and filters. A better designer will be the one that finds out how to achieve their desired effect themselves though; there are so many tutorial videos and forums to help in times of need!”
What advice would you give anyone using Photoshop? “Experiment, embrace and, most of all, enjoy.”
– For more information on how you can stay up to date and manage your Adobe licences, visit our Adobe Creative Cloud for teams page.
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