The New Role of the Magazine Printer
Custom publishing is a big business, as many printers know. So Cadmus Communications set up a publishing operation that offers page layout, design, composition and even ad placement services in Chennai, India.
According to John W. Miller, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Cadmus, one of Cadmus’ current business-to-business customers sells ads and writes editorial, and Cadmus handles all design, layout, proofing and file-management services. All design elements and general layouts are agreed upon up front; page proofs are e-mailed remotely for final approval; PDFs are made and then sent to Cadmus’ Richmond, Va., print site.
Cadmus handles between eight and 10 magazines a month (64 to 128 pages) this way, according to Miller, “for less than half of what you’d pay one designer or production person in the U.S.” He says the magazines have been able to condense cycle time and cut roughly 75 percent out of production overhead costs.
Quad/Graphics, Fry Communications and Banta, to name a few, also offer domestic creative services.
Ever since advertising became totally electronic, responsibilities like file inspection, reporting, storage and corrections have become a printer service. Quad/Graphics took this philosophy even further
by offering Smartools, which help the publisher plan and produce its titles. It includes Ad/Sync, which helps ad reps, financial staff and production personnel manage advertising databases; Impoze, imposition software that manages layout planning; and Regional Ad Planning System (RAPS), which automates regional/demographic versions.
Short- to medium-run printer Publishers Press Inc. (PPI), in Shepherdsville, Ky., created PICA, publication planning and management software that automatically feeds PPI’s internal systems, to minimize order-entry errors and save time. PICA allows users to look at any manufacturing option, project costs, avoid conflicts and include all relevant items. It also includes a layout-mapping tool, allowing both reader and imposition views, it tracks all unbound, bound, shipped and unshipped copies, and features a detailed budgeting tool.