Is QuarkXpress still relevant?
I'm looking for jobs all over the interwebs and I keep seeing postings by companies saying that applicants need to be well versed in most Adobe creative solutions softwares and then QuarkXpress.
But, when I look at actual studio ads (small studios looking for a new designer) they only mention strong Adobe skills.
Is QuarkXpress still relevant? Or is it a legacy software that only gets mentioned because at one time in the past it was one of the best softwares to use?
I know this might be a very subjective question, but I'm looking for those who ave been in the design world a lot longer than I have to give me insight (I've only just begun my design career).
I haven't seen a QuarkXpress file in 8-10 years. When I do see a QuarkXpress file, I simply use the Q2ID plug in and convert it to Indesign. But that's my office. QuarkXpress is very much still in use for large production houses where they've been using it for 15+ years.
Essentially if a business, or designer, started before the development of Adobe Indesign (Circa 1999) then they may still prefer QuarkXpress. This may be primarily to support older files or because workflows are dedicated to QuarkXpress features. And there are some places which simply don't like Indesign. Many use Indesign because it's bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator, etc and it just makes sense to stick with Adobe rather than pay the additional $1k US for a separate layout application.
While my office has little or no interaction with anyone using QuarkXpress today, QuarkXpress is still very valid for many positions.
Also, realize most help wanted ads are placed by the Human Resources department who know nothing of the software or requirements. They may have a standard ad they place for a position which includes QuarkXpress because it was needed 15 years ago even if it's not needed today. If I were looking for employment, I wouldn't let the mention of QuarkXpress or Indesign sway me away from a position. If you know one well you can transition to the other. It may take a bit more study, but if your'e worth hiring, it's doubtful that knowing Indesign over QuarkXpress (or vice versa) would prevent you being hired.
According to the Wikipedia article, the last reliable report on marketshare for the 2 products was in 2004. It stated that Quark was 8 times more popular than InDesign. As 2004 was almost a decade ago I'd have a tenancy to believe ID has eroded that substantially. When I was going through school from 99-01 they were still teaching Quark, but even then I started using ID 1.5 seeing it's potential right away. Once you started using Photoshop and Illustrator Quark quite obviously was a square peg, round hole in that trio. ID was just natural to use, especially if you had learned AI. Many of the short keys were similar and the learning curve smaller compared to Quark. My guess is that the change really occurred when Adobe introduced Creative Suite. The education system is always pinched for funds, what are you going to buy licenses for, Quark or CS which has an app like Quark along with 4 or 5 other teachable apps? Once Quark started losing that battle it was all over. All that's left is really the dinosaurs of the industry using it.
I last worked doing straight graphics in 2007 and the change was already starting. Co-workers who had worked in Quark for eons were starting to be forced to use ID as submitted files started coming in that format. As we were a print shop we had to basically handle every file that was thrown at us, you could see the transition happening from the client side.
Take this for what you will, but searching Google there are 47m results for InDesign and if I search just search Quark(not excluding for the particle or Star Trek character) and there are 27m results, 9m if I search for QuarkXpress.