Planet Quark is an independent website, created and maintained BY users of Quark products, FOR users of Quark products. Contributions come from users around the world who want to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for Quark products with other users of Quark products. Its intention is to support Quark users by providing helpful information relating to all aspects of a Quark user’s professional life.

Jay Nelson
editorial director

Jay NelsonJay Nelson, Planet Quark’s editorial director, has been an active user of QuarkXPress since 1989.

Since 1992, Jay has been the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. Completely subscriber-supported and ad-free, his publication is read in more than 41 countries.

Jay is widely acknowledged in the industry as an independent voice speaking out for the creative professional. His articles praise or condemn software and hardware providers, depending on whether they improve or diminish our ability to get our work done. While products and companies may come and go, Jay remains dedicated to steering creative professionals to the products and services that work the best — regardless of how big their marketing budget happens to be.

In 2006, Quark asked him to record a brief video demonstrating every new feature in QuarkXPress 7; this video was included as a training resource in the box with the newly shipped QuarkXPress 7. Jay then recorded a 5-hour professional training video for Lynda.com.

Jay is also a popular speaker and writer who has contributed to many conferences and publications such as:

Macworld Expo & Conference, Seybold Conference, HOW Design Conference, CRE8 Conference, Print Oasis, GraphExpo, Mac Live, AABP, and the legendary Thunder Lizard Conferences.

Macworld, Layers, Photoshop User, CreativePro.com, InDesign Magazine, X-Ray, Step-by-Step, and others.

Earlier in his career, Jay managed a printing company and a prepress service bureau. He also owned a graphic design firm and training company. Jay’s love of design and typography began in junior high with a Speedball pen, a bottle of India ink and a calligraphy book. It blossomed when Apple invented Macintosh and exploded with the release of QuarkXPress 2.1.2, FreeHand 2, and Photoshop 4.


Jeff Gamet

Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the managing editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press

When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.

Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.

In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.


Matthias Guenther

Matthias Guenther is heading the Desktop Publishing division at Quark, Inc.

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people. Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software. Early on Matthias has focused on interactive and digital publishing solutions while continuing to love Print. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup. Matthias is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences worldwide, helping both individual designers and large organisations to uncover the possibilities and implications of digital publishing, including the business considerations, design and technology implications, and business capabilities offered by digital design and publishing tools.
Since 2014 Matthias leads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and therefore is responsible for QuarkXPress.


Alistair Dabbs


Alistair DabbsAlistair Dabbs is an editorial production specialist based in London with 18 years’ professional experience in commercial journalism.

A former print buyer and magazine production manager, Alistair retrained as a sub-editor at the London College of Printing at the beginning of the desktop publishing revolution of the late 1980s, kicking off his editorial career working with QuarkXPress 2.0. He went on to work on a great many titles at different publishing houses as sub-editor and chief sub before embarking on a career as a freelance journalist in 1994.

Today, Alistair teaches, practises and writes about sub-editing, page layout, print production and digital imaging. His book co-authoring credits include ‘The Digital Designer’s Bible’, ‘InDesign Production Cookbook’ and ‘The Print Manager’s Handbook’. He is a QuarkXPress Certified Expert and an Adobe Certified Expert.

Over the years, Alistair has worked at every level from editorial assistant to editor-in-chief, and worked for countless magazine publishers and several national newspapers in the UK. Alistair’s byline as a writer can also be found in sports and travel journals, while his technical tutorials and opinion columns appear regularly in graphic design and computer magazines. Much of his work is translated and syndicated across Europe.

Alistair particularly enjoys working on new launches as an editorial production consultant and trainer, and continues to work shifts as a production editor, sub-editor or proof-reader whenever he can, simply because he loves it.


Robert Underwood

Rob UnderwoodTechnical Consultant, Instructor Aquent Graphics Institute

Rob has nearly 12 years of print production experience on top of his formal education in the graphic arts. He worked in production and later as Systems Administrator for Media News, publisher of multiple weekly newspapers in suburban Boston, prior to becoming a consultant and instructor for Aquent Graphics Institute.

Rob’s expertise lies in editorial workflow systems, he is an expert in News Edit Pro, K4, and Woodwing. He teaches both QuarkXPress and InDesign and and has a full understanding of Quark Copy Desk and InCopy. Rob has the ability to observe a production workflow and make suggestions on how to enable people to work more efficiently. Either with a database solution, or something much simpler. He also teaches Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat.

Rob has used QuarkXPress for more than 12 years now and has been teaching both QuarkXPress and InDesign for nearly 3 years. Rob travels around the country seeing real production problems every day. He has the unique perspective of someone who knows what both QuarkXPress and InDesign are capable of, and how they measure up against each other in the different fields they are used in. He has coordinated countless upgrades and conversions between the programs and enjoys meeting new people and examining the different ways people accomplish the same task, and the many different ways people use page layout programs. His real world experience with everything from building templates, font management, and color correction, make him a valuable asset during transitions and upgrades.

On his own, Rob is still a freelance designer, and loves page layout. His favorite interests include his two daughters, Lynda.com, and anything related to Star Wars.


Shaun Crowley

Shaun Crowley Shaun Crowley has worked as a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant.

Shaun currently works as a communications manager for a major UK publishing company and is the author of The Freelance Designer’s Self-Marketing Handbook and 100 Copywriting Tips for Designers and Other Freelance Artists, both available for instant download.


Ted LoCascio

Ted LoCascioTed LoCascio is a professional graphic designer and an expert in Photoshop, Bridge, Version Cue, Photoshop Elements, InDesign, Illustrator, Font Management, and QuarkXPress. He served as senior designer at KW Media and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) for several years, and has created layouts and designs for many successful software training books, videos, and magazines.

He is the author of Mastering Photoshop CS3 for Print Design and Production, InDesign CS2 at Your Fingertips, The InDesign Effects Book, and Combining Images with Photoshop Elements: Selecting, Layering, Masking, and Compositing (all from Sybex publishers, a division of John Wiley and Sons). He has contributed articles to Photoshop User magazine, Creativepro.com, the Quark Xtra newsletter, and InDesign Magazine, and has taught at the Adobe CS Conference and PhotoshopWorld.

Ted is also the author of several graphics software video training titles available on CD-ROM and through the online training library at Lynda.com. Video topics include: Bridge CS3, Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2, Quark Interactive Designer, Expression Design, and Font Management.

A graphic designer for more than ten years, Ted’s designs and illustrations have been featured in several national newsstand and trade magazines, such as Photoshop User, Mac Design (now called Layers), Nikon’s Capture User, Great Output, Interiorscape, AAA Going Places, and Florida Trend. As a professional designer, he has used a variety of graphics software applications to create layouts for magazines, books, and various advertising and marketing materials, including brochures, product packaging, posters and signs, and interactive PDFs.

A Chicago native (born a hopeless Cubs fan) and Columbia College alumnus, Ted relocated to the Tampa Bay area in 1994. He currently resides in Tarpon Springs, Florida with his wife Jill and their son Enzo.