Quark Vs InDesign: The Catalog POV

Brief overview of the war offers interesting insights

The web­site Multchannel Merchant has today pub­lished an arti­cle on the con­tinut­ing com­mer­cial shake­out between QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign amongst cat­a­log pub­lish­ers. The insights are intrigu­ing not so much because they are sub­stan­tial­ly dif­fer­ent but because they come from such a spcial­ized branch of the design world.

Different demands, Same Concerns

One might think that, when speak­ing cat­a­log design and pro­duc­tion issues, the demands of cat­a­log pro­duc­tion would be slight­ly dif­fer­ent, but not so much.

Pro-InDesigners cite ease of use and pow­er­ful new feaa­tures (includ­ing the use of the eye­drop­per tool to con­vert an image to CMYK, some­thing Eric Graffam, art direc­tor for Portland-based Cuddledown of Maine, point­ed out: “You could nev­er do this in Quark” the arti­cle quotes him as say­ing. InDesign’s faci­il­i­ty with PDFs also seems to rate high.

Coming from the Quark direc­tion the dri­ving force to stay with XPress seems to be, as always, the per­cieved dif­fi­cul­ty of switch­ing from one par­a­digm to the oth­er, and the hard-to-argue-with ben­e­fits of stay­ing with a an already-proven tool that works for the indi­vid­ual enter­prise.

By and large this seems to reflect at least one of the dia­log streams that tend to hap­pen when­ev­er dis­cus­sions of mov­ing from one to the oth­er are tak­en up.

The Future of Quark?

Where XPress takes Quark, Inc after the debut of ver­sion 7 is anyone’s guess at this point. A par­tic­u­lar­ly inci­sive view is tak­en by Russell Viers, own­er of com­put­er train­ing firm Digiversity, who is quot­ed by the arti­cle as say­ing that “Quark may be forced to regrow its busi­ness based on the remain­ing Quark 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 cus­tomers who want to upgrade”, sug­gest­ing that the market-share ero­sion suf­fered by Quark in the days since InDesign became a seri­ous com­peti­tor may be a larg­er obsta­cle to over­come than some might have guessed.

QuarkXPress 7, analy­sis, InDesign, switch­ing

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1 Response

  1. woz says:

    And what about the news­pa­per busi­ness? Here in Europe we’ve still got a lot of news­pa­pers with old xpress based work­flows. Nationwide they only accept cer­ti­fied PDF (by Enfocus). However, because of their old work­flow they are NOT able to process any­thing else then full-color or greyscale PDF’s. You might think ‘so what?’ BUT espe­cial­ly the local news­pa­pers still print black+spotcolor for ads. (Not all pages are full­col­or). This has gone ter­ri­bly wrong in the recent past, even with Xpress 6, and/or re-saving the PDF in Acrobat as .EPS and plac­ing that in Xpress. It’s one of the biggest prob­lems news­pa­pers face when rely­ing on (old an new) Xpress work­flow!