[Scribus] Scribus in the Art Lab

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Tue Apr 4 02:02:17 CEST 2006

Am Montag, 3. April 2006 23:05 schrieb pixelnate:
> Craig Bradney wrote:
> > No.. thats a technical college...
> >
> > Craig
> Art Directors learn their trade in universities or in art schools, i.e.
> Texas State University, University of North Texas, Art Institute of
> Houston (all noted for their design programs in Texas), etc. They do not
> go to technical schools like DeVry or Hallmark Institute.
> Trade/technical schools are for learning blue collar trades in the US,
> such as air conditioning repair, electrical work, plumbing, etc.
> All of the Art Directors I have ever worked with would not, at this
> point, move to less capable solutions, OSS or otherwise. I am glad that
> there are people who can make use of the OSS solutions. Currently, in
> this city of San Antonio, Texas, it would be impossible to dump Quark,
> Indesign, Photoshop, et. al., and replace them with OSS tools. We would
> not be able to produce the same kid of work with them. One job I am
> working on at the moment has an Illustrator file (.ai, not EPS) that
> includes transparency placed in an Indesign file next to a CMYK
> Photoshop EPS with transparent items placed on top of the both of them.
> And the transparency is handled properly with the various transfer
> functions displaying properly on screen! You just cannot do this with
> Inkscape and Scribus. I wish it was possible, but it is not.
> Again, the professor's decision to switch to completely OSS tools was a
> shortsighted one. While it is important to be aware of OSS tools, IMHO
> it would have been better to use them for an intro to graphics class,
> and then move to the _established_ commercial apps for more advanced
> classes. That way the students could see how good the tools are, and
> have something available to them for work at home. Then if they
> progressed to the point where they needed advanced features, they could
> buy those apps later if they chose to.
> For a good number of people who need to do some dtp work the OSS tools
> currently available may provide all the functionality they need. For the
> ad agency I work for, they just aren't at the point where we would be
> able to contemplate replacing our current toolset with OSS apps. That
> may change in the future. Remember, Quark wasn't really accepted by the
> industry until v3.3, and Indesign was a steaming pile of poo for v1 and
> v2. I cannot wait to see Scribus v3!

Hi Nate,

I still think you don't understand the differences. It is one thing to 
understand the _concepts_ (which have nothing to do with software) and 
another to use software.

I fully agree with Louis in that one can spend one or more semesters learning 
the secrets of graphics design, layout or typography without even using a 
computer. There are more important things to learn. Seeing and looking, for 
instance. You have to develop instincts on what is good or bad, aesthetical 
or ugly. You don't need a computer for that, it may even be a handicap. Once 
students have understood the basics, one can start with computers, although I 
still think it's better to let them start on paper, and, with respect to 
typography, learn old lead-based typesetting ;) This will make the ideas on 
why a certain technique or style is applied, much clearer.

As a final step, students can try to apply their skills to computers, but this 
need not be tought. In Germany, no one will teach you InDesign or Photoshop 
at a university. You are expected to be sufficiently intelligent to teach 
this yourself -- there are enough books in the library, and using software 
isn't part of an academic curriculum. And I don't think that's different in 
other countries.

As Craig said, a university exists to teach students to think and to help 
themselves, and also to develop strategies how to learn new things. 
Everything else would be a waste of time.

Just to give you an example: Because we were a bit short of time and manpower 
a few months ago, we assigned a job for the production of a flyer to a small 
one man company. The guy had the software and knew how to use it. But he 
didn't have any education in art, graphics, nor did he know how to "look". 
The result was ugly, to say the least, and I had to spend no small amount of 
overtime to "repair" it.

Compare it to writing: You won't become a good writer if you know LaTeX or can 
use a wordprocessor. They're just tools, nothing else.



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