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Western Laser Graphics (WLG)
Western Laser Graphics is a bricks-and-clicks prepress company based in Valencia, CA. The supplier and its employees have been long-time proponents of industry standards and recognize the importance of good file preparation, especially for digital advertising. So much so, that WLG offers this guarantee: "We promise to take your [digital ad] file and create a standard TIFF/IT-P1 or PDF/X-1 file for less than it will cost you to output film or copy-dot ad film," explains Alan Darling, WLG's COO and DDAP chair (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications). WLG's WeLComm file exchange program enables the supplier to receive digital files in number of ways: FTP, ISDN, WAM!NET, etc.. WLG vows to take any Mac or Windows application file set and turn it into a platesetter-ready, industry standard digital file.
Pack Your Digital Ad Doctor Bag
Here's what you'll need to successfully process the barrage of digital ads you'll soon receive (see "Web Citings" on p. 36 for Web URLs):
1. Preflight/file checking (choose one or two complementary products): Adobe Acrobat Reader/Acrobat 4.0; DALiM SWiNG Normalizer, DDAP's PDF/X-1 Verifier or TIFF/IT-P1 Checker, Enfocus PitStop Server, Extensis PreflightPro, Lantana PDF ImageWorks, Lazer-fare Media Services FlowTools; Markzware FlightCheck; Rorke Data TIFF/ITeyes.
2. Hardware: Be sure that you make digital ad submissions easier than film submissions for your advertiser. Ramp up with an FTP site, T-1, plenty of removable media devices (CD-ROM, Zip, Jaz, etc.). Also, make sure your server is up to snuff, able to handle a larger numbers of processing tasks.
3. Proofs: Even though your suppliers may be able to generate high-end digital proofs for the ad pages you submit, you may desire in-house control, as well. Consider bringing in at least one digital proofer. Continuous-tone devices are certainly less expensive than halftone devices, but depending on volume and advertising base, you may want to wander down the digital halftone route. Finally, consider soft proofing, as well. You may find—as you guide your advertisers into foreign digital lands—that they need a little extra hand-holding. Soft proofing will enable you to communicate real-time with them—and more importantly, with your suppliers—about variances and edits, while you wait for hard-copy proofs to arrive. Soft-proofing technologies/services are readily available from: DGNonline, Digital Art Exchange (DAX), Group Logic, PROOFitONLINE.com, RealTimeImage, Same-Page.com and WAM!NET.