I have decided to use Adobe Indesign (Id) to create my Introductory Skills Workbook although this will require learning another application from scratch. Additionally my workbook will be printed from exported PDFs and then bound.
In my first tutorial CM and I discussed the fluid nature of digital submissions. My original thought would be to collect my work in Microsoft One Note as this seems perfect. However, you cannot export it as a digital entity onto a CD, DVD or Memory Stick. You can export as a pdf which appears to be the solution. I prefer digital submission as I like the look of analogue and I would like to have the flexibility of digital and not have glue on my hands.
However, I want to use layout (i.e. columns and more extensive art ) in the workbook to give it a journal-like feel. One Note is a really flexible tool and allows for jotting down ideas and has easy layout but does not have templates or grids to assist workflow.
I had also investigated using a collage programme (e.g. Collage Factory or Social collage Apps or Piacasa 3) to create arrays of photographs for contact sheets and parts of pages. Putting this with One Note seemed to be the answer.
I was discussing what I hoped to do with class mates and SH suggested that Id would meet my needs as well.
I investigated by creating five mock up pages in Id and exporting them as print ready ( i.e. 300 dpi and RGB (Not CMYK)) PDFs .
I also investigated how I could physically make the book. I reviewed short run (i.e. one copy) printing companies (e.g. doxdirect.com, printexpress.co.uk , photo books (truPrint) and binding methods (spiral, perfect, lay flat).
As the required submission is A3 the book would have to be bound on the short axis.This is unlike shop bought workbooks but ok. The issue was obtaining paper of sufficient weight that could cope with large pages and represent the pictures adequately.
I looked at creating it myself using the college inkjet but the cost would be prohibitive. However, SDC Printing Services could provide a cost effective printing on a heavy paper 280gsm (grams per square metre).
Additionally they could bind along the short axis and would even trim to A3 size so I can have borderless printing using bleeds (using areas of colour that extend over the edge of the page which are cropped physically from the over sized stock (paper)).
I asked them to print out my test pdfs in colour to prove the concept which it did.
Finally I confirmed the entire workflow by printing out a 50 side draft in greyscale of roughed up book with actual prints and place holding text. This they spiral bound and provided an acetate cover.
Although not issue free for example the pages are darker than displayed I believe the finished version will meet my submission needs after having discussed the draft with CM and TW. In addition I will have learned to layout moderately sized book with the the equivalent of roughly 100 A4 sides.
The risk being that it required learning from scratch which was quite a learning curve split between CS6 in college and CC at home.
I had not realised that there would be so many problems moving files from Creative Suite (CS6) to Creative Cloud (CC) versions. Firstly they are not backward compatible and secondly there is a known long standing glitch that converted documents can lose the ability to save when working in CC. An additionally bugbear was how resource hungry the Adobe product range is and the inability of my lap top to cope . Finally outputting in a pdf format ( who would know there was so many), in the college, that could be printed was the final problem.
As with all professional products users need to be current with them (all versions ) to use them at best efficiency and particularly exporting from them in PDF versions that printers can understand.