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Taking Your Print Publications into the Digital Space - 11/19/2014 -


Taking Your Print Publications into the Digital Space

At a recent AM&P round table discussion, attendees gained a snapshot of what Adobe DPS can offer, with insights from one of the design firms that beta tested the original software.

By Kristin Hubing

Itís no secret in the association world that traditional print publications can engage a variety of audiences by offering compelling digital presentation of their content ó but the best way to go about creating content-centric mobile apps is still up for debate. According to Bates Creative Vice President Ernie Achenbach, the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) offers a streamlined approach to bringing content to life on mobile devices.

Achenbach and his colleague, Amanda Jennison, marketing specialist at Bates Creative, led a session on Adobe DPS at AM&Pís 2014 Annual Roundtable Roundup on Thursday, October 9, at the National Guard Association of the United States. Their design firm began working with DPS three-and-a-half years ago, when the iPad became available to the public; Adobe recruited Bates to beta test their new software.

"DPS is a suite of tools that works with InDesign to allow print designers to create interactive elements in their InDesign files without needing the programming knowledge of a web developer," said Achenbach. "It expands the capabilities of your current design team without having to pull in additional resources."

DPS is used to create individual files called folios, which can be thought of as synonymous with issues of recurring print publications. The folios are then distributed to an app, which is a custom viewer file that is available through distribution services such as the iTunes app store, Google Play, and the Amazon Marketplace ó or though a private, in-house mobile distribution manager.

Three types of apps can be created with DPS:

  • A single-folio app, which provides access to only one file;
  • A multi-folio app, which provides access to multiple issues of a publication; and
  • A subscription, which allows for user notification when a new issue is available on the app.

Another option is to use custom entitlements that require users to log in so that they will only be able to access content that is available to them based on their member status. "This is a good way for you to be able to tie your app solution into member benefits directly,Ē Achenbach said.

With DPS, your designer can simply reformat InDesign files to make them smaller, then use the DPS tools to create interactive elements such as video, audio, and slideshows. Jennison noted that once an app (or a folio within an app) has been downloaded, it can be accessed offline. "Thatís one of the differentiators of DPS,Ē she said.

Achenbach cited recent research indicating that, on average, subscribers spend 50 minutes per month in an Adobe DPS app. Eighteen of the top 20 publications in the iTunes newsstand are created using DPS. "We find this to be a very telling snapshot of the involvement of Adobe DPS," he said. "All types of organizations are using Adobe DPS to take their print publications into the digital space."

Pricing for an Adobe DPS subscription varies by usage ó it is tiered based on number of members and number of apps. The Bates Creative team is happy to answer any questions from Sidebar readers about Adobe DPS.

Kristin Hubing is an editorial associate at AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Association Media & Publishing thanks her for covering this roundtable discussion for our members who were unable to attend.


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