Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quark sold to private equity firm Platinum Equity; publishing software company had been an industry leader

Quark, the Denver, Colorado based publishing software company behind QuarkXpress that once was used by a vast majority of magazine publishers, has been sold to a private equity firm. Platinum Equity of Los Angeles announced the acquisition and said it hopes to "re-invigorate" the QuarkXpress brand.

Quark is a legendary brand that helped create the desktop publishing market and is now helping organizations transform how they publish content both to print and digital media,” Brian Wall, partner at Platinum who led the team pursuing the acquisition, said in the company's announcement. “Quark is committed to its loyal and dedicated user base and we are enthusiastic about the company’s new products which are gaining traction and generating positive reviews. We believe that with their expertise and innovative software, Quark has the potential to revolutionize publishing again.”

QuarkXpress was once the dominate publishing software choice of art directors in the magazine and specialty publishing industry, and many art directors still use and prefer it to the now dominate Indesign from Adobe. What the new owner can do to reverse this will have to be seen.

In its report on the sale MacWorld says that Quark plans to concentrate on traditional publishing formats such as newspapers and magazines. From my perspective, Quark would be wise to become an affordable alternative to Adobe's very expensive digital publishing solutions. The alternative, serving the dead tree industry, does not seem like an attractive alternative.

“This transition comes at an exciting time for our company and our customers," said Raymond Schiavone, President and CEO at Quark. "In the past few years we have made great strides in helping our customers realize dynamic publishing, have re-invigorated QuarkXPress, and have readied Quark to take an early leadership position in digital publishing."


Tablazines said...

I'm still a Quark Xpress user... mostly because I can't afford to cop a copy of InDesign lol.

So it appears that the ability to create digital magazines that is being touted for the upcoming Quark 9 is Aquafader's technology. I had contacted them asking about their Quark plugin since their websites promotes both Indesign and Quark and they told me their Quark plugin would be built into Quark 9.

If they could beat Adobe on the pricing maybe they could recapture the market they're steadily losing.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say, but the question "do you know Quark" is often used to determine how old a candidate is since mostly "old timers" are used to using it.

Tablazines said...

@Anonymous.. lol. That's funny. I learned Quark in 2000 at the Ad Agency I worked for. Back then Indesign was out but wasn't really an option. It's amazing how much changed in 11 years.