Defining Your Digital Specs
Determining your digital specifications is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges contemporary publishers face. In what format should you accept advertising? This month, Columnist Eve Asbury answers a question submitted by a publisher, Bridget Burns, who is in the throes of working out her title's spec sheet.
Bridget Burns: I have seen many changes in the publications world, and I will say that this digital one is the most confusing. We are finding out that we must trust our prepress house with the intangible, and it's a bit scary.
With film and proof, we can see if an ad does not fit, or if it doesn't match SWOP standards, or if a moiré exists. With digital files, we see color lasers of output, not knowing if it has proper bleed specs or if the agency sent all of the proper fonts with the ad. We are trying to determine what our specs will be with our publication, Endless Vacation, which has a circulation of 1.1 million. We have consulted with advertising agencies, printers and prepress houses and poured through the SRDS Print Media to determine some semblance of consistency in specifications. There is none.
So, we are developing what we think our own specifications are, which, again, will be inconsistent with the world's. In the meantime, we have come across this word—TIFF/IT-P1—a form of data exchange standard. Can you explain what this is?
Eve Asbury: I wholeheartedly agree that the digital workflow can be extremely confusing, and finding the right answers can be difficult. There are several associations and conferences that will help you find other publishers to talk to who have gone through the workflow adjustment to accepting digital ads. They are as follows: Seybold Seminars; Digital Distribution of Advertisements for Publication (DDAP) conferences; North American Publishing Company's annual MagazineTech conference and expo; and the Digital Ad Lab, an industry association dedicated to addressing digital advertising concerns.