Imagine Publishing launches tablet-only magazine for beginning Photoshop users, Photoshop 123

The UK publisher Imagine Publishing, which has been producing replica edition apps for the Apple Newsstand, has released a brand new iPad-only publication designed to make learning Photoshop easy, Photoshop 123.

Photo123-coverThe new app promises 12 issues a year and is priced at a low price point: £0.69p ($0.99) for individual issues, or £3.99 ($4.99) for a year’s subscription.

“Photoshop is used the world over and we wanted to bring a new digital magazine to market that inspires users with creative ideas and then teaches them the techniques, tips and tricks to make those ideas a reality,” said Editor in Chief Dan Hutchinson in the company’s announcement for the new digital magazine.

The app is, as far as I can tell, the first to be released that was developed in partnership with 3 Sided Cube, a Bournemouth, UK digital studio.

The app is designed in portrait and is very simply created using pages with no interactivity. In fact, tapping the display in expectation of something happening always brings up the navigation on the bottom the page, which pops up very cutely, but very annoyingly.

Photo123-iPad-articleIt is odd that a publisher would have needed a design studio to create this app. Any of the PDF-based digital publishing platforms could have done the job just as well. If Imagine Publishing is currently not in a position to develop similar apps then I would suggest they’ve been wasting the past four years fiddling about.

The new magazine is a good way to start to learn about creating digital edition, so one would hope that the publisher’s editors are learning from the experience and that not all the design work is outsourced. In fact, I would think that their current art directors might be able to improve the look of Photoshop 123 which looks and feels like it was previewed on an iPad mini, with its rather large font choices.

Having said that, it will be interesting to see if Imagine Publishing continues down this path of launching digital titles that fill a void in their portfolio. Launching a digital edition is an excellent way to test a concept before going to print, cutting print costs while allowing for the testing of content. I also think creating digital titles is a great way to test the abilities of junior editors, inching for their first title to manage.

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