In my 20+ years of working in the business of marketing, branding, and advertising, the search for a single source for Web, print, mobile, and digital document collateral that is fun to read has gone largely unanswered.
Microsoft attempted to answer this need in their suite of Office applications (Word and PowerPoint), but like all things Office, simplicity is often lacking and the controls for making documents is a challenge for the desktop publisher. Additionally, the pleasure in reading such content can feel dry and bland.
Adobe has been closing-in on helping humanity answer the call of fun and educational, and Bing Design has been taking the tools we have at hand to give our clients more options in this pursuit.
In an ideal world, clients would like to produce a single document that can be exported in a variety of ways to reduce the need for having multiple source files. Why would that be a problem? Well most large businesses have many employees, and each document is typically shared between a brand manager or staff member. If you work at a company that has multiple locations, you may have several offices with a similar file in each location, shared between staff. So when a change is made, not all versions may reflect the edits, often leading to confusion in messaging or branding.
The industry standard page layout program for print with most businesses is Adobe InDesign. With InDesign, we can build layouts with photos, graphics, text, and colors to get attention, hold interest, and share your product or service with the world!
But how do you do that from one file? In the past, that one file was sent to a printer, and thousands, if not tens of thousands of pages were printed out, collated, and bound, then packaged and shipped around the globe. This was expensive, time-consuming, and revisions were very costly.
Today, the digital age has made the production of online collateral a necessity, and the speed of communication is now down to days if not just a few hours.
While the speed of collateral is now available, the pleasure of reading such content has dropped significantly. PDFs and Web pages can be boring and bland to look at. To help with this consumer sentiment, many publishers have been trying to find a way to pique user interest, and one of the more popular ways is to mix content with interactivity, using 3D realism and even sound to make your experience more enjoyable!
InDesign has the ability to produce files that can be printed at high-resolution on a printer’s press either by traditional off-set printing or using newer digital color techniques. The same application allows the user to export a PDF, images, and even Flash or Flash SWF files.
These new tools do a great job making content more fun to read, and more memorable. It also provides the user a way to search, zoom, and link to other content such as videos, additional PDFs for viewing/downloading, and reading more online.
One drawback on the Flash SWF option of such interactive collateral, is that Apple’s iOS does not support viewing Flash content. To get around that, Bing is also using tools that can export both Flash and HTML5 content that is viewable on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
As shown below, one of our clients features an eBook that we designed and produced for them initially using the InDesign steps above. The current version uses a new tool we have developed to produce both the interactive Flash page-flip eBook AND an HTML5 mobile-friendly version of the eBook. Below, the eBook link allows users to read, turn pages, search, zoom, and link to websites, videos, PDFs, and infographics all online from a desktop browser (using Flash), or a mobile device (using HTML5).
The user does not have to pick which option to use, as the page will recognize their device and do that for them! So yes, you can have a single document that provides print, PDF, and now eBooks for desktop or mobile devices!
Teradata Corporation’s Omni-Channel eBook on http://www.teradata.com/omnichannel/