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Challenging traditional workflows (StudioLink discussion)

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Coming from the InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator trio, I had a very set way of working - create your elements in Photoshop and Illustrator, bring them in and place them in InDesign. Images are pre-sized to correct resolution in Photoshop. Anything too tricky such as gradients and shadows can be built into the Photoshop file background, etc. All in CMYK of course, unless you were one of the people that saves RGB to CMYK conversion to the output stage. I would routinely have a folder full of huge PSD files to support a given publication.

Watching the StudioLink announcement and working with it a little, I realised that we can probably be more free to mix and match, and there's no particular reason to have every single image live as its own layered file. If you're just placing a stock photo, why not place the JPG directly and do your minor edits right in Publisher. I don't see any need to go to all the bother of creating a separate file (PSD equivalent) for a lot of that work, unless it's a special composition or something that will be reused elsewhere.

David Blatner suggested something similar with InDesign a few years ago, but I never really took that up because I wanted really clean files going to pre-press, plus InDesign had limited tools for image manipulation. But with StudioLink, I don't think it really matters anymore.

Provided the RGB to CMYK conversion is going to be straightforward and predictable at the point I make a press-ready PDF (haven't delved into that yet with Affinity), I'm really starting to reimagine how to build a publication.

Artists coming from other software or workflows may already be in this mindset but I've come from a background in serial publications where it was very much a folder full of linked images that are all prepped and managed in Photoshop, nothing embedded (only linked), nothing RGB, nothing straight from JPG or not appropriately resized prior to placement, etc.

Interested to hear what others think. Cheers.

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