Page by Page cover

Remember when Adobe InDesign was poised to be the next “Quark Killer“? Well, InDesign has surpassed that status and lived 10 years to tell the tale. “Page by Page: 10 Years of Designing with Adobe InDesign” is a beautiful limited edition, hard-bound book commemorating InDesign’s 10 years in the Adobe family.

I was recently sent a copy for review and have included a few sections of spreads from the book.

Adobe Page by Page book spread

Adobe Page by Page book spread

Author Pamela Pfiffner has culled some of the best design moments in the software’s history, along with a look at how InDesign has made its mark on the desktop publishing industry. In addition, the book covers what its founders sought in designing the product, what challenges needed to be met, and the inspiration behind the “in” words to describe the new product that was to become the de-facto standard for designers around the globe.

Adobe Page by Page book spread

Apple’s Steve Jobs even visited Adobe’s Seattle office back in 1998 to view a demonstration. Though impressed, he later advised the staff to bundle it with Photoshop rather than sell it on its own.

The initial code name for InDesign was Shuksan, named for a mountain in Western Washington State and derived from the Native American Skagit word meaning “rocky and precipitous”—a clue to the challenge that lay ahead, and the first of many InDesign code names that referred to mountain climbing. The Shuksan product team met regularly at a Chinese restaurant in Pioneer Square—near the former Aldus’s Seattle office—to debate application features and software object models.

InDesign did succeed as a standalone application after that early visit from Jobs, later becoming part of the Creative Suite bundle of software applications in 2003.

Adobe 10 years of software

The commemorative hard bound version of the book is available at It’s a great read if you’re interested in InDesign’s advances through the years. It contains a good selection of design work from ad agencies and design studios who use the software in their daily workflow. As well, a free PDF version is available for download. Happy 10th anniversary, InDesign!


  • Comment by Stacy — December 17, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

    I downloaded the PDF version of the book and had no idea that each release had these interesting code names. Shuksan and Annapurna?!

    Also interesting to mention David Blatner’s (one of the original QuarkXpress power users) seal of approval later giving InDesign a much needed kick in the pants to get things going!

  • Comment by Jordan — December 17, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    I remember how InDesign was going to be the big Quark killer. For awhile we wouldn’t believe it, but then…bam! I can’t remember what working with Quark is like anymore 🙂

  • Comment by Betty — December 17, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    Quark killer?! I never used Quark, so I can’t imagine those early days of switching programs.

  • Comment by arianec — December 17, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

    @Stacy – I KNOW! I hadn’t any idea either. I owned several Blatner Quark XPress books and now own several (more) of his InDesign Real World series books.

  • Comment by Stephen — December 18, 2010 @ 10:07 am

    Cool book, thanks for writing about it! Gives me some background into InDesign. Just finishing a design program in LA, so this is a great way to see how it’s evolved.

  • Comment by Martin L. — December 19, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    Nice way to show off Adobe’s coming of age. I too remember the Quark XPress days. Took forever to get my mindset InDesign-ready, but once I got going, I never looked back. Can’t believe it’s been around for 10 years now.

  • Comment by Justine — December 19, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

    Wondering if anybody even uses QXP anymore?! My printers stopped using it about 4 years ago.

  • Comment by Nancy R. — December 19, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    I love the book! Thanks for posting this, Ariane.

  • Pingback by History of Adobe InDesign | Document Design and Desktop Publishing — June 12, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

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