Who among us is ready for the challenge of learning how to work with every digital media type (images, vector graphics, video, sound, 3-D images, and text), across every delivery channel (print, personal computer, handheld device, and DVD) and using full interactivity and behaviors?
It's a tall order, and that's exactly why small businesses hire design professionals. For many, the tools of choice have come from the 25-year-old Adobe Systems.
Today, a team from Adobe paid a visit to Vancouver to present a full-day demo of its Creative Suite 3 Design, Web and Production editions, plus the "Master Collection."
At the high end, the CS3 Master Collection includes a dizzying collection of software, including page layout (InDesign), image editing (Photoshop Extended), vector graphics (Illustrator), Web design (Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks), video editing (Premiere Pro, After Effects), and much more.
During the presentations, several new features elicited gasps from the audience, and each collective gasp represented a technical solution for a task that once took careful, painstaking effort.
Here are a few examples of what Adobe CS3 users can do:
After describing these timesavers and milking the applause, the Adobe presenters quipped: "Do the job in a few seconds, and then bill your clients for the half-day it used to take." Yeah, right. And industrialization was supposed make us all part of the leisure class. The history of technology is rife with supposed "timesavers" that did nothing of the sort. Instead, the market quickly learns to expect "Faster-Better-Cheaper," and soon the pressure's on for the next level of service and innovation.
Here's what the shift towards multimedia design means for your small business:
The increased complexity does pose a challenge for the design community. Even though the Adobe CS3 Master Collection may appear at first glance overwhelming, containing no less than 20 separate applications, it may well emerge as a competitive necessity for designers to the SMB market to build a broader set of capabilities. Fortunately, the application interfaces have enough in common that any one application should seem familiar enough to an experienced user of another. Furthermore, Adobe has greatly improved the import capability from one program to another, as well as the ability to make changes in one application and have it automatically updated in another.
The emerging shift to the multimedia designer is here to stay, and it's closely aligned with Adobe's interests. By promoting the idea of the "master" designer as an attainable long-term goal for a design professional, Adobe can achieve greater mindshare among its influential audience while selling more USD $2,499 licenses for the CS3 Master Collection. Accordingly, Adobe will continue to encourage designers to bridge the worlds of print, web and video, bringing multimedia capabilities to their customers at the enterprise level and to small- and medium-sized businesses alike.
If you're in the design business yourself, or if you're just the DIY type, check out the Adobe CS3 Product Selector to figure out whether you're ready to be a master of multimedia.
— Ivan Schneider recently set out to start his own business, ivantohelpyou, helping others with theirs. You can write to him here.