In Perspective- PDF/X-1
Michael Weinglass and Alan Darling expound on the practicalities of PDF/X-1.
Is it feasible to incorporate PDF/X-1 into a publisher's or prepress supplier's workflow now, less than a year since its accreditation? We asked two experts, Michael Weinglass, vice president, production, Easyriders, and Alan Darling, president and COO, Western Laser Graphics, about how they're embracing PDF/X-1.
P&PE: What file formats are you currently employing for content delivery to printers?
Weinglass: Easyriders currently has 14 titles, 12 of which are consumer titles produced on web presses. All of these are delivered as CT/LW files to our printer, which uses ScenicSoft Preps for imposition and a Creo Trendsetter for platesetting. Our workflow begins in PostScript, and we use a Color-Central OPI system before feeding our files to CreoScitex VIP software to create CT/LW files. Our other two titles run 32 pages each and print on a sheetfed press at our Los Angeles-based printer. We're supplying PDF/X-1 files for these books.
Darling: Western Laser Graphics delivers between 3,000 and 4,000 digital pages per month, about 50 percent of the total number of pages we produce. The majority of our pages are delivered as TIFF/IT-P1 files, with the exception of full-page copydot scans, which are delivered as thin PostScript and DCS 2.0 files. In some cases—which we resist—we will deliver application files, as well. The TIFF/IT-P1 files are produced on our CreoScitex Brisque, as are the PDF/X-1 files we produce using CreoScitex's PDF2Go software RIP.
P&PE: Why PDF/X-1?
Weinglass: Our Los Angeles printer has an Agfa Apogee system that is perfectly suited for a PDF workflow. Prior to 1998, we were sending native application files, but then we initiated a new PDF workflow using Acrobat Distiller. Periodic problems with embedded fonts and images—as well as clumsy proofing on the back end—told us that it was only a marginal improvement over what we'd been doing before. Then came PDF/X-1, which promised to resolve these issues.