Bads Ads? No Excuse!
Too often, publishers coddle advertisers. We make excuses for them. "My advertising base just isn't knowledgeable about digital ads." Or, "They're not equipped to produce a digital ad." Sound painfully familiar? And so, we continue to accept film and the high price of copy-dot scans, despite our better judgment, trusting our advertisers to self-educate and get up to CTP speed as quickly as they can. But in doing so, are we perpetuating a vicious cycle?
It wouldn't be wise of me to suggest that any publication—no matter how fiscally strong—ever turn away an advertiser simply because it, or its agency, is incapable of supplying a preferred digital ad file, a TIFF/IT-P1 or PDF/X-1. We certainly wouldn't! Advertising is, after all, our bread, butter—and the jelly! Still, if a large percentage of your advertising colleagues insist on supplying film, and you're trying to work in a CTP environment, it behooves you to take some action. In certain cases, this action could be as simple as spending some time walking a few of your clients through file preparation based on your specs. Or you might go the face-to-face route, inviting your clients to visit, so you can explain the digital ad quality-control procedures you've put into place. In other cases, you may find it is best to refer your non-digital customers to reputable prepress suppliers. These days, you might even refer them to the Internet for help.
Long ago, prepress suppliers foretold that the wave of the future would lie in digital file transfer, and many quickly embraced technologies that would enable them to quickly and securely exchange digital files with clients and manufacturing partners. This very principle is now the advertising community's new best friend.
With an increasing number of publishers going CTP each year, advertisers must be prepared to replace their trusted film with files. Many do it well. Most of the big agency players have been digital for years, but for smaller agencies and companies with in-house prepress, the transition remains daunting. Recently, PrintMedia went in search of a few resources designed to help advertisers prepare quality and affordable print-ready TIFF/IT-P1 or PDF/X-1 files. We've also compiled a handy list of tools you may want to consider bringing in-house, so your advertisers will get the extra confidence boost they need.