Make Digital File Exchange Easier
"If publications would be willing to standardize resolution for the TIFF/IT-P1, then it would go a long way in minimizing costs and ultimately a lot of confusion," Elliot concludes.
The inconsistency in specifications for resolution has to do with whether the output device is metric or imperial. The resolution of a metric device is res 100 (2,540 dpi) for the LW and res 12 (304.8 dpi for the CT. The resolution of an imperial device is 2,400 dpi (LW) and 300 dpi (CT). However, most output devices can handle a range successfully, which is why some publishers offer a number of options in their specifications. They may say they prefer 2,400 dpi but will accept files between 1,600 and 2,400 dpi. This inconsistency is confusing and costly. (An exception occurs when bitmap images are included. The image resolution must then match perfectly that of the output device settings.)
Another factor that complicates TIFF/IT-P1 exchanges is that the specification covers seven file types. This means that the CT and LW may be accompanied by an FP, HC, MP, BP or BL file, as well. TIFF/IT-P1 is supposed to be a standard. Why then the plethora of options? Although each extension represents a slightly different format, can't we settle on one?
Alan Darling, COO of Western Laser Graphics, notes, "This is one of the areas in which the DDAP (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publication association) should be leading the way. This is especially true now with the association between the DDAP, SWOP and DAL. With these three organizations, we should be able to develop an effective solution in a relatively short period of time." And that's just what the group intends to do. Hopefully, creating and delivering TIFF/IT-P1 files in 2001 will be more elegant and economical than ever before. Stay tuned.