Creating the Mark Sheppard 2019 Appearance List

More Fun Playing With Affinity Publisher's Beta Release

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The List

Updated on 06/13/2019 to reflect Affinity Publisher’s official release date on 06/19/2019. 

For those of you only here for THE SHEPPARD LIST, you could originally view it as an on-page interactive PDF, complete with live links to the convention websites & their social media channels over at MarkSheppardFandom.Blogspot.com, as it was intended to be hosted over there. Unfortunately, site owner Ms. Natalie Peachey has been having some tech issues there and hasn’t been able to romance it into displaying properly.

As a result, I’ve decided to go ahead and host it here to save everyone some time and headaches.

You can view the latest **UNOFFICIAL** 2019 Mark Sheppard appearance list below as an on-screen PDF, or download the *UNOFFICIAL* 2019 Mark Sheppard Appearance List and save it to your phone. We’ll try to keep it updated if/when new dates and info are released.

Apologies to iPhone users if you’re experiencing weird displays and flipbook/page crashing when trying to view. We’ve been in contact with the Flipbook developer and haven’t had much luck getting the issues resolved. We’re currently working towards a workaround.

A Note: The PDF will be updated as new information becomes available, but (as always) you’re ultimately responsible for doing your own adulting and verifying information is correct. Things happen. Sometimes prices change or dates get canceled on account of filming or familial obligations.1*cough* Or sometimes the designer works on a project for way too long and ends up jacking things up in a sleepy stupor and has to go back and fix things. *cough* If something to that effect comes up and affects a con you’re attending, try not to be a giant douche about it. Is it disappointing? Yeah, sure it is. That doesn’t give you license to behave like a total twat waffle, though. Roll with the punches and mind your manners.

Natalie Peachey

Info Provider

Natalie Peachey owns and admins various social media channels devoted to Mark Sheppard, as well as the website MarkSheppardFandom.Blogspot.com.

S.J. Freeze

Design & Layout

S.J. Freeze is an experimental co-creator of worlds and experiences who owns and manages BubblesAndChaos.com, and has recently been named an honorary co-admin of Twitter’s @MarkS_Fandom.2Although she has yet to post anything under the account; Miss Nat & Miss Julia do a swell job with it as it is. 🙂

 


Creating the List: More Fun with AP Beta Testing

I have had SUCH a blast designing this piece! Affinity Publisher has really stepped up its game since its initial beta release last year.

2018

Back in late 2018, after learning that the rumors were true, that Serif really was working towards producing an affordable alternative to Adobe’s InDesign desktop publishing software, that it was not only more than an urban legend, but that it was being offered to users for beta testing… Well, be still my dark, little layout-loving heart!

Creating Sheppard’s 2018 Appearance List (well, what was left of it by then) was my first test drive of the software. I’d snatched the info from Nat’s blog—she’d put together a lovely and detailed list of Sheppard’s whats-and-wheres, but I wanted it to be … LOUDER. After the amazing time I had at the convention I attended in June 2018, I wanted to help get as many asses in those panel seats and as many bods in those op lines as humanly possible.

2019

This year Nat asked me to design the appearance list for her site, which I was more than happy to do. I mean, I was going to do another design this year anyway, and if one of my fave social media masters wanted to sport something I made on her page, hellz yeah… Absolutely! I was SO down for it. Couldn’t wait to get started. I hadn’t used the Affinity Publisher software in a hot minute; having discovered the greatness of one of its sisters, Affinity Designer, I’d been wrapped up in getting better acquainted with it for some time. I did know, however, that several updates had been made to the publishing software since I’d used it last. With a new project on the horizon, I was eager to see how Affinity Publisher had come along since our last fling.

Finding a Theme

Last year I tried to emulate a convention promo poster. I was just messing around and trying it to see if I could do it. I think I did well enough for an amateur.

This year I wanted to try something different. After spending a good deal of time viewing existing posters and flyers for inspiration, I set my sights on more a nightclub vibe.3I might have originally intended to include a “Live Dudes” neon sign in the background. The Husband loved the idea, thought it was hilarious, even—which is ultimately why I scrapped that particular idea altogether. If The Husband is laughing that hard, it’s probably a safe bet that it’s something that’s going to offend, and since I was making this to go up on Nat’s site and not strictly my own… Well, I figured I’d try to keep it classy.

The Process

If you were hoping for a detailed rundown of how I went about it all, sorry. Much like when I’m cooking, I tend to surf around and find a base recipe, maybe research how to do a couple of techniques, and then just jump in and … do … things. I’m not great with writing down my steps just yet—which is an absolutely terrible way to do things, by the way; later in the process, I really wanted punch myself in the mouth for not taking the time to plan or set up any styling as I went along. Would’ve made things so much easier in the long run and saved a lot of time when I needed to add pages or change elements.

Programs used

To achieve the final functioning PDF file, I actually had to use a combination of programs and tools, some paid and some free:

  • Affinity Publisher (free beta desktop publishing software download)
  • Affinity Designer (paid vector-based graphic design software)
  • GIMP (free opensource image editing software download)
  • An online PDF editor (free trial version)

Why so many programs, you ask? Well, because AP is meant to be a desktop publishing software, so while it does have some image creation/editing capability currently, it’s fairly limited. Future versions of the software do intend to hold hands seamlessly with its sisters, Affinity Photo And Affinity Designer, it seems, but that’s sometime in the future. I’m also not an expert-level user of any of these programs; a more experienced and educated designer likely could chop a couple of these programs off of the list.

Affinity Publisher Yays and Nays

âś” Currently free **ON SALE** pre-release on July, 19th, 2019—visit Affinity to pre-order & receive a 20% discount on Affinity Publisher before the price raises to its one-time payment of $50.00! 

âś” Lovely grid layout and measuring tools.

âś” Has a feel that reminds me of InDesign.

âś” Offers precise control of typography.

❌ Official version release date July 20th! Still buggy in its beta version, so does crash here and there—SAVE OFTEN.

❌ Limited instructional documentation.

❌ Lacks hyperlink capability currently.4This is a pretty big nay for the professionals hoping to move away from other desktop publishing software, and is one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen within the beta tester feedback forum. Hyperlinking is now built into the software, and it’s fabulous—Publisher even seems to remember a large number of the hyperlinks, so if you have particular sites you need to reference often in digital documents, it’s fantastic! 

Overall, I’m still loving Affinity Publisher as an alternative to the pricier desktop publishing software out there, and I expect I’ll purchase it when they release the true version. Well-established professionals, however, are less likely to make the switch to  #TeamAffinity until certain kinks are worked out, but

...for those of us whose budgets frown on the subscription model, Affinity products are looking to be exciting options with promising possibilities.

Special Thanks & Shout outs to:

  • Sue Catt, who bore textual witness to many a tantrum during this process from its beginning, and only told me when she was laughing maybe half of the time.
  • Ms. Joy, the admin for Sheppard Addicts, for her keen corrective eye and graceful tact when notifying me that I’d f*cked up.
  • Ms. Nicole, one of a team of admins of Mark Sheppard Fans, for her design eye and for providing a particular text graphic—it wasn’t used in this theme, but perhaps down the line…
  • The Husband, Ms. Eff, and Doc Holliday—my dear analog non-fanpeople—for smiling and nodding enthusiastically when I come at them with my “Look what I made” fangirl ish.
  • The Teen, for volunteering to help me with a technique I was trying to figure out, then for her excitement on my behalf when I was able to manage it out independently.
  • Lil’ Kaos, for ensuring I do not chain myself to my desk.
  • All of the lovely people who’ve tested the PDF and have taken the time to give us feedback on it. So glad to hear that some of y’all are finding it useful.

Tell Us What You Think!

So what did you think of the PDF? Do you have suggestions for additions or improvements to the document? Drop us a comment below and let us know!

 

Affinity Publisher (beta)

$49.99
8.7

Affordability

10.0/10

Ease of Use

7.0/10

Speed

9.0/10

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