Putting PDF/X-1 in Its Place
PDF/X-1 has been approved by ANSI (American National Stan-dards Institute) as an accredited standard file format. Great. Now what? Like TIFF/IT-P1, will it take years before tools are created to read, write and verify PDF/X-1 files? And will it take even longer for the industry to adopt a PDF/X-1 workflow?
The answer is "No!" In fact, you can begin planning your PDF/X workflow now. Although it's only been six months since accreditation, there are already a host of PDF/X products in development. At the DDAP (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications) association annual conference in March, eight vendors participated in a PDF/X-1 developers panel: Adobe, Agfa, Harlequin, OneVision, Rorke Data, Scitex, Shira and Total Integration. Several other companies—Apago, DALiM and Enfocus—have since come forward, announcing their intentions to develop for the format, as well. This activity is a testament to vendor/ user cooperation.
When are we likely to see a live ad exchanged as a PDF/X-1 file? We already have. Several months ago, D.D.B. Needham, the New York City-based ad agency, instructed Quality House of Graphics, Long Island City, NY, to create a Bayer Advantage ad as a PDF/X-1; the ad ran in the March 13, 2000 issue of TIME magazine. So, how did it go?
The CT and LW files were first converted to a PDF/X-1 using a Scitex Brisque equipped with Scitex's PDF2GO. Quality House delivered the file to TIME, where it was then checked for compliance to the specification, using the DDAP PDF/X-1 Verifier tool. Once verified, the file was then electronically routed to six of TIME's plants.
This may seem like a curious method for ad creation, and many of you are probably asking, "Why bother converting a rasterized file to a PDF/X in the first place?". Those vendors that have equipped themselves to process raster workflows already have TIFF/IT-P1s at their disposal, after all.