Quark Inc.

zonaBLADE Chooses QuarkXPress 9 to Create its Digital Magazine

Quark announced that zonaBLADE chose QuarkXPress 9.1 and App StudioTM to publish zonaBLADE EVO, the first Spanish gaming magazine created and designed specifically for the iPad.

zonaBLADE is a digital media company based in Barcelona. Founded two years ago when the makers of Blade FM, a popular Spanish podcast that’s now in its 7th season, created a website to host the program and cover the latest news about the video games industry. José Manuel Artés, creator and director of zonaBLADE EVO, explains, “We have built a very healthy and committed community around zonaBLADE.com and now we want to explore new ground by being the first news company of our kind to embrace all digital media platforms, from the web and podcasts to TV and interactive magazines. In fact, zonaBLADE EVO is the first and only Spanish gaming magazine created for the iPad.”

zonaBLADE launched their first two free issues in May and June 2011, but decided to change their technology provider for future issues. “Over the past few months we have redesigned much of the magazine, both the visuals and the functionality, so this new issue will be the first issue of our second season,” said Artés. The new digital edition created with QuarkXPress and App Studio is available here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zonablade-evo/id471862646?mt=8.

QuarkXPress: Key for entering the iPad publishing market

The original layout software for the two first issues of zonaBLADE EVO was Adobe InDesign, but the company decided to switch to QuarkXPress for the latest issue. Many reasons drove the team’s decision, but Quark’s pricing model was key. “We believe that the final pricing model that Adobe chose is neither realistic for the current interactive magazine market, nor suitable for small- and mid-sized companies like ours. And with the fundamental decision to move to QuarkXPress came some other benefits. We really like our ability to choose which hosting service provider to use at any moment because it allows us to adjust the budget we dedicate to hosting as the number of downloaded issues increases.”

Regarding the App Studio pricing model, Artés added, “Quark’s pricing made more sense to us. We like the fact that Quark only charges one fixed amount per issue because we feel that working with a commission rate model, especially when Apple is already charging a commission per issue downloaded, would make it even more difficult for us to plan expenses and forecast earnings.”

Flexible, stylish, and HMTL-friendly

zonaBLADE EVO is a video games outlet and, thus, their readers are keen on interactivity, professional design, and layout. zonaBLADE considered QuarkXPress 9.1 and App Studio to be the best tools to meet and surpass these requirements.

“I think Quark’s technology will allow us to achieve more professional, clean-looking publications than if we used Adobe’s. With Adobe we felt the reading experience of the final issue was a little clunky and it didn’t feel very well optimized. I also like the fact that Quark automated essential features such as adding up and down arrows to scrollable text and pages, and the way we can generate media galleries that look fantastic. And finally, I like the HTML integration and the way you can add pretty much any local or online HTML content to a magazine and make it work seamlessly.”

And to those who believe creating content for tablets is a big draw on time and money, the director of zonaBLADE EVO added, “Creating an interactive magazine is a little more time consuming than creating a static one, but not much more. Once you learn how the software works, you can add interactivity to your issue very easily and, even considering this is brand new technology, I’d say you need 15-30 percent more time than you would need to create a static publication, depending on the number of interactive elements you're adding to the issue.”

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