Adobe Creative Suite Idea Kit
||Author: Katrin Straub|
List Price: $24.99
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Publisher: Adobe Press (22 December, 2003)
Sales Rank: 5,339
Average Customer Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 5 out of 5
This book is great! I just bought Adobe Creative Suite and, although I am familiar with Photoshop and graphics programs, I was a bit intimidated by all the new features. I didn't feel like buying the more expensive 'Classroom in a Book' for each application and went to look for a book which combined all programs in one instruction book.
This book by Katrin Straub is just what I needed. She uses real world projects to show you what's possible with each of the programs in CS and how to integrate them. The layout and instructions are clear and easy to follow. The projects are about high quality design & very inspiring.
Of course, this book does not replace the (online) manuals, but it does not pretend to. However, after using this book, I know what to look for in the manual. Katrin just handles each subject with enough depth to get you going, but not so much that you get bored with details which you do not need yet.
I hope Katrin Straub will publish some more books!
Rating: 2 out of 5
Lots of Gloss But No Substance
This book is the weakest of the Adobe help books I've read so far. I feel it has some serious shortcomings.
Let me put all this in perspective by giving you an idea of my Adobe skill set and what I was hoping to get from this book. I've worked extensively with Acrobat for about three years and Photoshop Elements (PSE) for almost as long. I've been through most of the Classroom in a Book for GoLive 6.0 and LiveMotion 2.0 Recently, I purchased Creative Suite Premium. Through the Classroom in a Book (CIB) for InDesign CS I've become fairly fluent with that program and I've transitioned from PSE to PhotoShop CS very nicely, but still consider myself a beginner with that program. I've had no trouble with GoLive CS and LiveMotion is not part of the Adobe Creative Suite lineup, so that's a moot point. I've had minimal exposure to Illustrator. I do have the CIB for all the major pieces of CS, except Acrobat, so what I'm lacking, I'll pickup at my own pace when I'm ready.
What I was hoping for was a real nice way to tie all these applications together and have fun in the process. That's what the promo blurb promises. Sadly, the projects fall far short. The style of project reminds me of a kids' creative crafts book adapted for computer users. The book is also full of errors and omissions, beginning with the first chapter.
In "An Overview" the author cites Creative Suite being available in two versions, Standard and Pro. The Standard designation is correct, but Adobe lists the other version as Premium, not pro. This may be minor, but it sets the tone for the rest of the book. Not enough validating of examples and checking for completeness of information.
The first project is not fully presented. For the first lesson, you are to design a postcard. Using PhotoShop and Illustrator. Sadly, PhotoShop is drastically underutilized. The student uses it only to check the pixel count of a canned graphic. No image manipulation is performed. Too bad, as that is PhotoShop's forte. Even as a beginner, I could think of a lot more creative uses for PhotoShop. The Illustrator template is easy to use, but I feel the wrong tool was used here. InDesign could do this job simpler and is much more amenable to layout tasks which is what this exercise is reduced to. There is no guidance for using Illustrator to create any graphics. In fact, the student is left on their own to figure out how to properly insert and format text once you've positioned the canned graphic. Oh, yes, and to create your own text while your at it. There is no sample text included in the book.
And so it goes through out the book. I did not expect total hand holding, but I was looking to make better use of this fine collection of tools. While it is much more expensive, I'd suggest buying the individual Classroom in a Book for each application. The lessons are more accurate, complete and provide a higher level of instruction than the Creative Suite Idea Kit. If there is a plus side to this book, it is the graphics. The illustrations Ms Straub uses are wonderful. I only wish we were let in on how she created them.
If I could rate this fractionally, I'd give it two and a half stars. The book is written in a readable manner, but the content is not worth the reading. The illustrations add the extra half star. Clearly below average usefulness.
Rating: 5 out of 5
A great book for the novice Adobe user
This book was perfect for starting me out. As a beginner in the area of graphic design and having little experience with the Adobe software line, I just wanted to learn the basics. Each chapter is setup to guide you through a typical project (creating a newsletter, postcards, CD labels, web pages, etc.) from start to finish. The instructions within each chapter were very easy to follow and there were plenty of figures to look at. After going through a few of the chapters and playing around on my own I felt quite confident in editing and creating my own images in Illustrator and Photoshop and then using the images to create my own PDF documents. This book is definitely recommended for any novice who wants to learn how to create with Adobe.
· Adobe InDesign CS Classroom in a Book
· Adobe Creative Suite All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies
· Adobe Illustrator CS Classroom in a Book
· Before & After
· Adobe GoLive CS Classroom in a Book