June, 2017

 

Kansas City is spoiled with America’s best barbeque. There’s no other place in the world where meat aficionados can choose from more than 100 closely located barbeque joints in the same area. And there’s no other place that faithfully hosts the best annual barbeque competitions and festivals, like the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle, which took place just last weekend, and the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Labor Day weekend.

In preparation for Independence Day, a celebration often enhanced by barbeque, TCD team members voted on their favorite pit stops. Check out our top 5:

1. Q39

Since opening in April 2014, Q39 has rapidly become a new favorite for Kansas City natives. Smoked or grilled, your meal at Q39 will not disappoint, especially when embellished with their homemade sauces. The interior ensemble is complete with wood furnishings, industrial ceilings, warm lighting, and an open kitchen and full-service bar. Great food, great atmosphere. It’s undoubtedly our #1 pick.

2. Jack Stack

With five locations in the Kansas City area, Fiorella’s Jack Stack is a barbeque phenomenon. They’ve mastered their craft and maintained a loyal following in Kansas City. Their hickory-smoked meat is a local tradition and treasure. Jack Stack’s great service and ambience creates the prime place for a dinner date, a GNO or a celebration.

3. Joe’s Kansas City

Famously known for its Z-Man sandwich, Joe’s serves up stellar smokes every time. This quick-service stop offers satisfying portions at a reasonable price. As if Joe’s couldn’t be any dreamier, they will even ship their barbeque anywhere in the U.S. That’s good info to keep in mind as most restaurants, like Joe’s, close over the Fourth.

4. Woodyard

Woodyard Bar-B-Que is a quaint old place in an unexpected corner of the city (on Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kansas). The family-owned business has been around more than 60 years and has been featured on programs by Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain. The restaurant is small and rustic, but outdoor seating is a must, so you can watch one of the chefs stack the slabs in the smoker or, at the very least, bask in the smoke-scented goodness.

5. BB’s

Another off-the-beaten-track favorite is BB’s Lawnside BBQ. This cozy venue might be known more for its live blues bands than its barbeque, but they’ve perfected both. Try their burnt ends and their giant battered home fries. BB’s menu also features Louisiana favorites such as gumbo and jambalaya, in keeping with its bluesy theme. Stop in on a Saturday afternoon for a jam session or any evening during the week to catch live music.

And since most of us will enjoy home-cooked barbeque on July 4, we also voted on our go-to barbeque meat choices, with pulled pork taking first place in our hearts…and our bellies.

TCD’s Favorite BBQ Meat

Have a wonderful July 4 celebration!

Posted on: June 29th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

After final meetings, training, and phone calls, we are so excited to share that the Académie Lafayette website is live!

Lead designer, Megan Pace, led the initiative to re-map the entire site to create an interface that’s more intuitive and user-friendly. The new design more strongly showcases this amazing school to prospective parents, and it is easy to navigate for current AL families. Our introduction page helps users transition to the new website seamlessly.

Posted on: June 9th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

In summer of 2013, Adobe announced a major shift in its software offerings: the end of relentless versioning of the Creative Suite (CS) to make way for its crown jewel, Creative Cloud (CC).

Four years later, some have continued to hold onto the last release of CS6, while others have charged ahead with the “latest and greatest” CC. As for us, we joined the movement kicking and screaming in fall of 2014. We’ve come to question if CC is really the best option, or if it’s the only option.

We made a pro-con list to illustrate our thoughts about Adobe’s Creative Cloud:

Pro #1: Access to ALL apps.

With Creative Suite, you only had access to the specific applications you purchased. With Creative Cloud, you can access your primary apps and dabble in others you wouldn’t have necessarily bought individually under the Creative Suite model. Creative Cloud has 28 desktop apps!

Con #1: Cost.

CC is not a one-time fee like CS. It’s a subscription you pay for time and time again, whether you set it up as a monthly withdrawal or an annual payment. Based on our past purchase/upgrade cycle, CC has been more expensive, which has been the biggest hurdle to overcome. After the first-year discount, CC costs tripled for our small business. Even with more available apps, we still only rely on the Big 5: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, and Acrobat Pro. We are subject to comply with any cost increase, whether we like it or not, if we want to keep using our creative tools.

Pro #2: Despite its name, work offline.

You might think that Creative Cloud requires you to be connected to the internet to access any programs. That’s not the case. You do need an internet connection to download and update applications, but once you’ve done this, you can use your apps offline. An important piece of info regarding the cloud portion: a membership provides 20 GB of free cloud storage.

Con #2: At the mercy of Adobe.

This con is among our greatest concerns with Adobe CC. As a business, it’s imperative that we are always up-to-date with our subscriptions. Last fall (2016), we lost access to all CC applications on one of our “Creative Cloud for teams” accounts, while other users functioned normally. Instead of operating “business as usual,” the user and tech assistant spent the workday morning and afternoon contacting Adobe Support to resolve Adobe’s error. In the end, we lost billable hours and received a measly $25 credit from Adobe.

Pro #3: Get the latest updates.

A huge perk is receiving regular updates to any and all applications. With CC 2017, the latest version available, we’ve noticed a cleaner workspace and even faster loading and rendering times. After the launch of a new version, you can choose to install any updates as they arrive straight to your computer. These regular updates keep us relevant and educated on innovative discoveries in our industry.

Con #3: Mismatching versions.

With routine updates comes a constant need to watch for changes in interface and functionality. Clients and other team members can fall out of sync when they work on different versions within CC, meaning we may not be able to access documents as efficiently.

Our verdict

Whether you’re for or against “the Cloud,” you shouldn’t expect Adobe to take any steps away from its subscription-based services. Adobe’s market is in good health, so we know CC is benefiting the billion-dollar company.

For the record, we love Adobe products. We’ve been using their services since 1994. Their applications are innovative, robust and user-friendly. Would we recommend it? Yes, with a series of caveats, some listed above.

Monopolizing the market, Adobe surpasses all of its competitors. As users, we need to keep an eye on Adobe’s changes and be ready to question its functions and its rising rates.

Our solution

So how can businesses get more value from Creative Cloud despite the price increase?

1. Stay up-to-date. We aim to keep our Adobe products updated so we can work most efficiently for clients.

2. Use cloud storage. Collaborate and share high-quality, original files with clients and colleagues, even those who don’t have Creative Cloud.

3. Use more CC tools. We’re making an effort to expand our knowledge of CC offerings. What other apps can we utilize to increase our productivity? Take a look at what we learned about InCopy® and how to incorporate it into our workflow.

Tell us about your experience and participate in our poll below. What Creative Cloud applications do you regularly use?

Posted on: June 8th, 2017 by Laura Uber

 

A workflow where editors share revisions for designers to implement can add more time to a project than necessary.

Don’t get stuck in the back and forth of your editing and publication process.

For more than two decades, Adobe’s InCopy has streamlined writing and editing. The robust application allows copywriters and editors to efficiently collaborate with designers. While editors proofread copy, designers can simultaneously focus on InDesign layout, creating a more seamless operation.

Editing and updating with InCopy can increase accuracy and productivity.

Before you learn the specific operations of InCopy, here are 7 ways this tool can better your workflow:

1. It prevents edit overrides or duplicate efforts.

Editors can claim assignments and make changes to an article without worry of another user overriding any revisions. All users can see when a story is open and who’s working on it. Assignments claimed by you, or another editor, are not directly editable in the designer’s layout, which reduces any potential for accidental typos within your publication.

2. It works remotely.

The InCopy/InDesign workflow operates best on a shared server, where latest versions are saved in the same location. While this setup is ideal, a remote workflow is also an option. Share and receive files among your writers, editors and designers — even if you’re working at different locations — through a cloud drive or email.

3. It offers MORE editing capabilities than Microsoft Word.

You can format text, track changes and even crop images. Rather than sharing a revised Word document (or a scribbled paper of edits), you can make changes in InCopy that are then implemented into InDesign. With shared character and paragraph styles between the two applications, you can edit without altering any text already formatted by the designer.

4. It reduces the overall time spent on a project.

The ability to edit directly eliminates potential miscommunications in notes between editor and designer.

Designers can see when content has been modified and refresh the layout without ever inserting the new text themselves.

5. It shows how copy fits in layout.

Rewriting a sentence? Ensure your revised copy fits into the already-designed document. See how copy falls — where line breaks occur, where widows and orphans form, where text overflows — and make decisions to fix any issues.

6. It saves users from extra typing.

The text macro feature is a real time-saver. Instead of constantly typing — or more realistically, copying and pasting — boilerplates or standard copyright info, create keyboard shortcuts and let InCopy fill in the lengthy jargon.

7. It allows editors to create PDFs of the designed document.

Share PDFs around the office during your review process. Quickly export PDFs from InCopy without accessing the designer files. This isn’t necessarily a recommendation for final art but a solution for a tiny tweak before sharing with a colleague, for example. Where the original process involves contacting the designer and waiting on an updated file, you can independently edit and export.

Think InCopy can help your team work more efficiently? Without buying the entire creative suite, purchase InCopy through the Single App form for $4.99/month, reduced from $19.99/month last year.

Posted on: June 6th, 2017 by Laura Uber

The Creative Department is a proud sustaining member of AIGA.

We follow AIGA's Standards of Professional Practice and adhere to its principles of integrity that demonstrate respect for the profession, for colleagues, clients, audiences or consumers, and society as a whole. We utilize AIGA's Basic Terms & Conditions and Intellectual Property Provisions to maintain the professional practices of the design industry.