Designers: Have you given up Quark for InDesign?



  • Reply 41 of 57
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 533member
    Thanks for your reply, tommy_thompson

    Since I've been been a graphic designer for 6 years and have worked for marketing companies, been self-employed, and currently work at a mid-sized print shop, I can say with confidence that I know what I'm doing.

    I have had little to no problems with Quark files in each version I've used, which began in version 2 in High School and I can say for a fact that I know Quark nearly inside and out, a fact which many of my previous employers can vouch for. Yes, Quark is a mature application, but unfortunately it is also a stagnant application. I had high hopes for Quark 6, even if it was the same application that just works under OS X - but it won't even print to our RIP.

    You may be surprised to know that nearly 2 years ago I hated InDesign with a passion, and was stuck firmly in the Quark 4 camp. I did not like InDesign 2 at all because it was too slow and had a lot of annoying UI elements. Because our print shop went OS X, we ditched Quark for most of our work. I was forced to learn InDesign (I was hired after the switch so I had no say) and eventually I came to love it. I didn't think it was a Quark killer, but it was good. Yes, InDesign has not reached the maturity level of QuarkXpress, but Adobe is moving forward with the application while it appears that Quark is not.

    Perhaps you haven't asked all the printers of their opinion of InDesign because we have not had any problems outputting files to our RIP and have been doing so for almost 2 years now. In fact, I've been told I am lucky to have InDesign to use because most printers are stuck in Quark.

    As a professional designer, I do not rely on the "wiz-bang" features of InDesign (transparencies, drop shadows) to make my designs look good, I use them to speed up my work. I had constantly made graphics that had the same look but did them in photoshop or Illustrator and placed them in Quark. Now I can do a lot of that in InDesign and at the same time have more freedom to move things around within InDesign instead of going back to Photoshop. And none of these features has caused our RIP to crash and burn.

    I liked InDesign 2 but passed on it, and I love InDesign 3 (as imperfect as it is). Since you passed on InDesign 3, perhaps you'll go for InDesign 4, which by my calculations will be out about 4 years before Quark 7 is released.

    Just adding my 2 cents to yours.
  • Reply 42 of 57
    vitaflovitaflo Posts: 35member
    Our design dept (10 people) switched to ID CS when we made the switch from OS9 to X. We absolutely love it, and we do a lot of very unique stuff, not your normal printing fare.
  • Reply 43 of 57

    That was a great reply. I enjoyed it, if you guys really have a handle on it, your the first I have heard. Perhaps I can pass some business on to you to help some of the printers I deal with how to get past some or all of the hurdles they are currently experincing. I have it on good authority that Quark 7 (or what ever they are going to call it) Should be out by the end of the year. I am not holding my breath mind you, last time I did that for Quark, I almost passed out- 3 years of waiting for a re-write of 5 to work in X. Don't get me wrong, I love and use Quark everyday, day in, and day out. It is not perfect, but being familiar with it and knowing the potential few problems and how it works with RIPs and potential pitfalls, etc. I would seriously consider InDesign to use in *some* projects if they would change the way they utilize text and picture boxes. They treat these the same way they did with PageMaker (I called it RageMaker.)

    To me, it seems that Illustrator and PageMaker had whopee and InDesign is their kid. I am not discounting it in the future, but as of present- it is far from usable for me and many I know. 3 had some good jaw dropping things, but after speaking with an Adobe rep about it, he admitted a good portion of their whiz-bang features will have problems on the back-end. He told me that many of the features are very new, and are not really meant for print. Agian, if you have figured out some of these hurdles, I'd be happy to pass your information on to serveral printers I use, they'd be happy to hear from you. Ever since InDesign came out, they have had nothing but headaches. Another complaint from the printers (and myself, from the last version I bought to learn) is that you cannot save back to an older version of InDesign.

    I appreicated your reply- and was pleasantly suprised at your success on the back-end with ID files.

    Please let me know if you are up for some 'prepress tech' for some printers. I know they'd be willing to pay...


    I have had very little sleep over the past few days (blame it on the holiday..) but ignore the spelling, grammatical and any other errors that may be glaring or otherwise...
  • Reply 44 of 57
    4fx4fx Posts: 258member
    I think that age has quite a bit to do with the adoptation of InDesign. In general, I have found that late 30's+ individuals that depend on Xpress to get the job done are less willing to make the switch that younger designers. This doesnt just have to do with the fact that these users have used Quark for quite some time, but also because of generational differences.

    For instance, younger designers tend to delve into new software and think of the learning experience a new oportunity. Conversly, long time designers often (not always) tend to think of learning new software as just another herdle that is preventing them from getting the job done.

    Yes, InDesign has some features that are not very practical. But it also has quite a number of features that make the job so much easier and smoother. Optical kerning comes to mind, as does the ability to place a layered image. Good design does not require an abundance of drop shadows, no one is claiming it does. BUT, when you do need them you can rest easy and know that they are right there at your fingertips, saving you the time of having to go back into Illustrator or Photoshop.

    Ive heard so many people claim that InDesign has useless features, but no one seems to mention the less than useful features in Xpress. XML support comes to mind (though InDesign has this too). Quark has made quite a bit of hoopla about XML, but who on earth would buy Xpress to make websites? Sure you can do more with XML than just make a sites, but this seems to be the feature that Quark is pushing the most now a days.

    At any rate, I would never suggest abandoning Xpress. It is highly necessary for compatability reasons. But I find InDesign to fit my workflow much better. And to this day, I have never once had someone tell me what Xpress can do better than InDesign (other than say its more reliable, yet I havent had many problems with InDesign so I fail to see the plus here). If there is, I would love to know
  • Reply 45 of 57
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 533member

    Glad you liked my reply. I liked it too.

    I know how you feel about Quark being familiar. There are still some aspects of ID that I wish it would handle more like Quark. And I too know what you mean about it seeming like ID is the child of Illustrator and PageMaker - there's some things about it that I like (the ability to option-drag an item to make a copy of it) but I hate some of it's text-box quirks (it doesn't show where your text boxes are overflowing when you're in preview mode).

    I wonder if some of the back-end problems with ID were worked out before I started the job because I've really experienced nothing at all. I guess it depends on the hardware too.

    If age has something to do with moving to ID then I think I'm in the middle somewhere.
  • Reply 46 of 57
    being able to place native photoshop files ALONE was worth the switch. i can't recall how many hours i've spent making a change to a psd file, only to have to create a flattened version for placement in quark. add in the inevitable mistake when you don't create and/or update a flat file from a newly created psd file. the other main benefit (this might have been solved in quark >4.4) is high-rez eps placement. in quark to have and eps logo placed pixel perfect against a bitmap file we would print copy after copy after copy to get it right. it was just damn ridiculous to print a copy to the fiery, run to the computer to nudge the file over 2 times, print again, and repeat the process back and forth.

    tommy, you make some interesting points. but you have to remember that a LOT, maybe most, of indesign and quark's end-users don't deal directly with printing presses or rips. most designers who work for large companies hardly ever deal with the nuts and bolts of the printing process other than going on press checks. i've always had a print producer to do a lot of that work. so the issues you're talking about won't hinder indesign in market penetration. because at some point the service bureaus will be forced to make it work since their clients are switching over. at my last job we had probably 50 stations where the users didn't deal directly with the production at the press. and at one of my jobs i'd say it might be closer to 150 seats that just pass off the work to production.
  • Reply 47 of 57

    From your post "you have to remember that a LOT, maybe most, of indesign and quark's end-users don't deal directly with printing presses or rips. most designers who work for large companies hardly ever deal with the nuts and bolts of the printing process other than going on press checks. i've always had a print producer to do a lot of that work."

    I always wondered how someone could be a designer and still not be able to build a design that could even come close to a printers specs. I couldn't tell you how many designers I have seen that don't even know the difference between RGB and CMYK. Many, many designers don't know or understand what bleed is and why you need it. If you are designing something for print then you had better know something about PRINTING or else it is going to cost you more in the long run. Time is money and ignorance is costly.
  • Reply 48 of 57
    Here, Here! Agreed!!!
  • Reply 49 of 57
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 533member
    There's a "design firm", and I use that term loosely, in the small town in which I work... EVERY file I get from them has something wrong with it and it takes at least 2 times back and forth before they get it right. And the files are PDF's which you would think would be trouble-free. Sometimes they don't even know how to fix the problem I find. I seriously don't know HOW they stay in business.
  • Reply 50 of 57
    It always seems like everyone is pushing for a total PDF workflow solution but I personally can't stand PDF files for one reason. It gives the creators of the PDF to much control. Designers aren't concerned with RGB images and embedded color profiles they are more worried about if the design looks good.

    I wish I had a nickel for every-time a customer of mine sent me a PDF file with something messed up. When a PDF file is messed up it is hard to fix it even with PitStop.

    Its amazing how many designers will send you a PDF at the Trim Size even though the file should include bleed and then they ask if you can just bleed it. If you have the original file (Quark, InDesign) its easy with a PDF file it isn't so easy.
  • Reply 51 of 57
    jesperasjesperas Posts: 524member
    Yes, it's very easy to create a bad PDF. But still, there are advantages to a properly implemented PDF workflow over application files.

    I think education is the key here. For example, supplying clients with spec sheets on how to set their Distiller job options (including bleed specs), or even downloadable job option files that can be dropped into the Distiller folder.
  • Reply 52 of 57
    sizzle chestsizzle chest Posts: 1,133member
    I'm not a full-time "pro" designer, but I switched from Quark to ID when 2.0 came out and I've never regretted it.
  • Reply 53 of 57
    The University Journal in Cedar City moved to InDesign CS at the beginning of the year. Other departments at Southern Utah University moved to InDesign independently. We were pleasantly surprised when we found out that the other departments were also moving to InDesign. I didn't know anything about either one of them, but I researched both of them and found InDesign to be better. I recommended it to our operations manager, but in the end it was his decision. He knows a lot about print and he has a old friend that knows tons about print. His old friend made a comment that the industry was steadily moving to InDesign. I was very happy with the decision. I'm the person that had the pleasure of upgrading to OS X and from what I read about the very annoying security features of Quark 6, I was not looking forward to setting it up and supporting it. I had also had lots of problems with all our dongles (hardware keys) slowly dying in Quark XPress 4.1, so I was happy to get away from such a controlling software company (although I've heard Adobe has some annoying features on the PC side).

    Alexander the Great

    P.S. There's nothing better than taking an ailing lab of Mac OS 9 computers and turning it into a stable Panther lab.
  • Reply 54 of 57
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member

    Originally posted by tommy_thompson

    after speaking with an Adobe rep about it, he admitted a good portion of their whiz-bang features will have problems on the back-end. He told me that many of the features are very new, and are not really meant for print.

    This is true. The printer I used ran into trouble when I put a "luminosity" blend mode on the logo, so it would match the colour of each page. It saved me A LOT of time not having to match the colour of each page manually, but it took them 3 or 4 days to work that out.

    As well, the great integration with Illustrator created some problems. I copied and pasted artwork straight from Illustrator to InDesign, but the pinter wasn't able to properly trap anything I pasted in from Illustrator, and had to send them the original files.

    InDesign is fantastic as long as your printer is comfortable with it. The work flow is so fast, as long as you try not to be a super hero with it and push it's limits and make things tough for the back-end guys. It just can't be beat.
  • Reply 55 of 57
    I switched to ID from Quark last year and never looked back. Quark has lost touch with it's users. Besides that, they treat their customers like shit basically.... Case in point is the Quark 6 product activation. What a nightmare...

    But really I switched becuase ID has so many compelling features at this point. It's photoshop integration and PDF output have made it too convenient for many designers to ignore.
  • Reply 56 of 57
    naderbynaderby Posts: 131member
    Here we still have a box running Quark 4.11/OS9 for older files we hold and people who still bring in jobs in this format. They are getting fewer.

    We have been creating all new job's in InDesign since version ID2. Version 2 was the first real contender to Quark. IDCS is showing some promise but we've had a few problems, although that can be blamed mainly on having to use OSX with InDesign now, and the font glitches that will take some time to iron out.

    Any good RIP installed within the last 5 years will be ok, along as you know what you are doing. We've even pushed through InDesign 2 files through a 10 year old Agfa Star RIP with 32MB RAM. So it is possible. It's moot now anyway, as the more up to date bureau's prefer good PDF files, which are easier to get from InDesign.

    Don't use Freehand for DTP. It does not have the ability to handle text the way a full DTP app should. It should be fine for packaging though.

    Ironically I used to hate having to work in PageMaker instead of Quark sometimes, back 3-4 years ago. Now after a stint in InDesign I can't stand going back into Quark.

    I have not used Quark 6 yet. We haven't had a single Quark 6 job in yet!
Sign In or Register to comment.