InDesign may well be conquering the world of DTP, but can it cut it as graphic design tool par excellence in the world of branding and graphic design? Digit found out.
Adobe InDesign CS is a world-beating package. It has grabbed the high ground in the battle for the world of desktop publishing, and it is rampaging through the layout landscape like nothing before. For many users, the war between QuarkXPress and InDesign is over, with many layout artists making the switch and not looking back.
But is InDesign more than a powerful layout tool for newspapers and magazines? With its close ties to other creative tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, can it be used at the coal-face of creativity, for designing branding and graphic art on a global scale?
The result surprised us. We asked some of the world’s leading design and creative agencies – one’s working for the likes of Apple, Disney, British Airways, Revlon, Mitsubishi, Volvo, and Hugo Boss – how they used InDesign in their creative work.
We expected brochures. Instead, we discovered that many of them are using InDesign as their main creative package, designing award-winning poster campaigns, marketing material, and even exhibition stands, using InDesign.
So here, then, is an unabashed look at the joy of InDesign as a creative tool that seems to do everything. Award-winning designers and brand makers have put forward their take on why they work with InDesign, how it removes creative barriers to create truly memorable graphics, and why all designers should make use of its advanced tools to create graphics that previously simply weren’t possible.
InDesign is being used for more than page design – it’s creating the branding and visual imagery that surrounds us. The results surprised us; they may well surprise you. And that really is the joy of InDesign.
Yet even with its structured approach to design, which has seen it scoop awards such as the American Design Award and a gong at the Society of Publication Designers, Flat is most definitely fluid when it comes to design. It has recently completed work for the 2004 NYC marathon – “before we worked with them, their stuff was invisible” says Ringbom – as well as projects for Knoll and Reuters.
“Our practice is predicated on the belief that good design facilitates the smooth flow of information, and enlivens all forms of social discourse,” he says. “In less formal language, I like to say we make surprising things for happy clients.”
“I’ve always been interested in making work with a fluid interaction between type, illustration, and photography,” says Ringbom. “The NYC marathon is one of those projects where it felt natural to go beyond the typical advertisement methodology of big type and big image.
“We wanted the project to fall between an ad and a poster; it had to grab your attention on the street and look good on your wall at the same time. The solution that has really carried through all three campaigns we’ve done for the marathon was to show the huge mass of the race while highlighting individual achievement.”
As to 2005, things look good for Flat, says Ringbom. “In terms of the economy, I’m more optimistic – we see more work than we did two years ago. In a broader sense, it seems to me this industry is dividing into two categories – the huge branding machines, and the smaller, mostly entertainment-oriented image-making shops. Staying both frugal and interesting, without getting pigeonholed, is really Flat's biggest challenge.”
Agency: Warren Group/Studio Deluxe
Clients: ABC, Disney, Mattel, Capital Group, Balance Pharmaceuticals, Heritage Sports, Nouvelles Frontieres, Magic Hour