Make Digital File Exchange Easier
We know that a number of publishers have converted to digital workflows and are pleased with the results. We read about them monthly in the pages of PrintMedia. Still, as we watch the digital adoption rate only modestly increase, we know that there is something preventing the majority of publishers from following suit.
I'm sure there are several reasons for this, but one of the more obvious ones—and one that I'm going to address in the next three installments of "Digital Directions"—is the difficulty involved in exchanging digital files. This month, let's look at TIFF/IT-P1.
TIFF/IT-P1 is an accredited ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and ISO (International Standards Organization) standard. It's wonderful that the industry was able to agree on a reliable, secure format for digital file exchange. Unfortunately, the specifications for preparing TIFF/IT-P1 files have grown a bit wild and wooly, and they're in need of some grooming.
I recently learned that some agencies—those that are wisely
supplying their digital ads as TIFF/IT-P1s—are having to pay more for multiple sets of files than they did for multiple sets of film. This is largely because publishers' specifications vary.
Lauren Elliot of Wicked Good Print Productions (formerly with McCann-Erickson A&L) notes, "Agencies are ready, able and more than willing to embrace digital delivery. However, from the agency perspective, it is difficult to explain to [agency] clients the increase in costs for digital files versus duped film. Where's the motivation for the agency to send digital files when the costs in many cases are higher? Let's say, theoretically, I have to send a standard page ad to six publications. I create one common size mechanical and send it to the engraver. Traditionally, I would be billed for six sets of dupe film. But when sending the materials digitally, I may be charged for three TIFF/IT-P1s at 2,450 res, two TIFF/IT-P1s at 2,400 res and one in PDF/X-1 format!