Rochester Institute of Technology: Media Lab Switches Design Platform

Frank Romano, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology has written four books about QuarkXPress page-layout software. He also founded a QuarkXPress user group in 1988. Yet today Romano is overseeing the implementation of Adobe InDesign publishing software across RIT as part of an initiative he is leading to standardize student media laboratories.

In recommending Adobe’s InDesign as core software for the labs—along with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, and other Adobe tools—Romano said, “InDesign is emerging as the dominant professional publishing program. It contains the graphics, color, and document sophistication RIT students need to succeed before and after they graduate.”

Students in RIT’s School of Printing, School of Design, School of Photography, and School of American Crafts are increasingly producing publications to document their work, according to Romano. In addition, they are creating visual material for uses across the media spectrum, whether on paper or online, static or moving. InDesign brings different media elements together in one program and then outputs pages directly in various print or electronic formats, including Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) or HTML. “In our New Media Publishing class,” said Romano, “students must create a print magazine ad, a 100-page book for on-demand publishing, an interactive Adobe PDF file, and a Web page. And they do it all in InDesign. They couldn’t do that easily using QuarkXPress.”

Using the software, students lay out pages, edit and create graphics, edit and input text, manage color, compose type, and apply other features to repurpose document content. InDesign software’s compatibility with other Adobe programs, particularly Photoshop and Illustrator, helps streamline the process. The programs share the same tools, commands, palettes, and keyboard shortcuts. Students can import layered Photoshop and Illustrator artwork—and convert legacy QuarkXPress files—into InDesign publications. The integrated environment enables photography students, for instance, to create portfolios of their work, and design students to create and document corporate logos and identity systems. Ultimately, says Romano, “Every student in the printing, design, and photography schools will be InDesign literate upon graduation.”

For more information, contact Frank Romano at fxppr@rit.edu.

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