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InDesign Magazine On Your iPad

I’m very pleased to announce that InDesign Magazine has finally appeared on the iPad in a free “sampler articles” issue which you can download here or from the App Store on the iPad.


As you would expect, the entire magazine app was created in InDesign, using Adobe’s new (and not yet public) digital magazine solution. Terri Stone, magazine Editor in Chief, has an article in the upcoming issue about how it was done.

The magazine is normally published as a landscape-oriented PDF, so it might seem like the shift to iPad was not a radical departure. But in fact, the iPad version is laid out as both horizontal and vertical pages, depending on which way the reader is holding the iPad. Plus, there was a significant amount of additional interactivity added to the iPad version of the magazine. For example, if you click on one of the color wheels in an article about picking color, it “comes to life” — you can drag over it with your finger and watch the colors appear with labels.


There are also movies (check out Claudia’s great “what’s new in CS5” article), the ability to zoom in on images with important detail, and more. The layout was created by W+W Design with very early beta software (same workflow, as far as I know, as Wired and the New Yorker used). I think we’ll be seeing a lot of these kinds of publications before too long!

If you’re considering subscribing to the PDF magazine, note that this iPad sampler issue has a discount code in it for 50% off the regular price! So that’s another nice incentive to check it out.

Editor’s Note: InDesign Magazine is published by, and has no official affiliation with… except that personally, I (David) co-founded the magazine and am the Editorial Director over there.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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17 Comments on “InDesign Magazine On Your iPad

  1. Wahooo – now just have to get an iPad!

    That article about the magazine being created with this new tool I keep hearing about… sounds tantalising and exciting. I just hope it’s all it’s cracked up to be and you don’t have to have to superhuman coding powers to be able to work it :)

  2. If you want to learn more, David’s going to be talking about the new InDesign “digital magazine publishing” workflow in detail, and showing how it actually works during “Beyond Print,” the second day of the two-day InDesignSecretsLive! seminar in Los Angeles. It’s coming up soon, on Oct 18-19, so if you want to see it for yourself, sign up:

    I loved showing off the InDesign Magazine iPad app (a pre-release version obviously) during the Washington DC seminar, and especially neat was showing the actual INDD files that were used to create the app, courtesy of Terri and her design firm. People got very excited seeing how it was possible to use the skills they already have to create a real-live iPad app!

  3. Thanks Anne-Marie.

    It’s a bit close to organise a trip to the States, unfortunately.

    I don’t suppose this will be recorded and made available to view online?

  4. Eugene, you do NOT need superhuman coding powers to work with the Adobe Digital Magazine Publishing software!

    Creating some of the more involved interactivity took time and effort, but it was a HECK of a lot easier than, say, making an iPad app in Flash or [shudder] Objective C.

  5. @Derek: CreativePro tells me that they have not made any decisions about future issues. At this time, Apple doesn’t really have the concept of “magazine subscriptions” (which is why all the mags out there charge per ipad issue). There are rumors that Apple is waking up to this issue and will provide some sort of subscription model, but who knows when or how much and so on.

    Note, however, that no matter what Anne-Marie says (above), it takes a lot of work to create an iPad magazine, and publishers would be crazy to just give that away for free (as part of a normal subscription).

  6. I know nothing is full proof, but I was hoping for some type encryption of some sort to protect the content similar to Kindle and iBooks.

    It’s my boss, he is petrified of publishing digitally without some kind of protection.

  7. Enjoyed going through the issue. Thanks for the sample.

    I’m a print editorial art director and designer. The majority of my experience has been with digest size magazines containing what is now called textured editorial content. We always referred to it as (the notably less sophisticated sounding) chunked up text. I’m working on translating my skills interactively to the similarly sized ipad, so part of my process has been to study ipad apps as publishers create them for their magazines.

    I’d like to recommend checking out Fortune magazine’s navigation in their sample app. So far I think it’s the easiest and most enjoyable magazine app to navigate through. It’s a very pleasing style of information architecture. Their page viewer makes “paging through” the entire magazine very easy. They’re also freely instructing the reader on what to do on any given page in order to eliminate guesswork on how to access some of that textured info. The reader can focus on the editorial material being presented without the added stress(?) of getting used to this new way of taking it in.

  8. I guess the InDesign Magazine iPad app can only play on an ipad – not an ipod touch?
    (In Denmark we can?t buy iPads yet).

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