Creating a Lean, Mean Ad Machine
The retouched images were then routed to Russell Cook, digital designer, who would lay out the final file. Quark documents were converted to Illustrator files, rasterized and merged in Photoshop.
"He would take the art director's comp and start building in the
(background)," Kinsella explains. "Then, he'd start building the actual mechanicals from the comp." Finally, he worked on type treatment and embossing effects.
During testing of Altamira's offering, Iterated again approached Deleo and his colleagues about the possibility of bringing in an NT-based, STiNG-driven client/server solution—STiNG reXpress.
To provide an example of the technology at work: a STiNG reXpress image may be placed into a standard layout page—a Quark document, for example
—and resolution is set for the intended output. Once the output device, such as a proofer or a Web-authoring application, is determined, reXpress reads the Quark tags and uses STiNG scaling to resize the image and establish the correct resolution parameters for output.
Burt Smith, vice president of marketing for Iterated, explains Iterated's intent for creating STiNG reXpress: "What we wanted to do was to change the workflow from the beginning, at the scanning stage. Images are scanned at medium resolution, and they are scanned for content, not output."
STiNG reXpress also solves another problem that many digital-workflow folks face: file transfer. STiNG files are reportedly reduced to one-third—in many cases, a fourth—of its original size, allowing for faster and cheaper file transfers.
"You can take a 60MB to 80MB file and STiNG it down to 30MBs," explains Iterated's Dave Gibson. Needless to say, smaller files are a heck of a lot easier to store and archive than bandwidth-hogging gigabyte monsters, a future concern for O&M, as the company begins to evaluate enterprise-wide, digital asset management programs.
While O&M was not particularly concerned with file archival and transmission for the Amex campaign, there were other issues that reXpress resolved.