"We could no longer open ourselves up to this kind of liability, even if advertisers signed waivers," Captain says. "We didn't want to expose our flank. So we decided to wean the small-space folks off native files, and ask them to submit TIFF/IT-P1 files."
Condé Nast's production department spent months communicating the specs to advertisers. Those who could not produce the files in-house were urged to contract a prepress supplier. "Chances were, if they were sending us film before, they were getting it from a prepress supplier anyway," Captain says. "If they asked their prepress partner [for] a TIFF/IT-P1, the answer was usually 'yes.' "
Advertisers without a prepress supplier relationship are referred to Quad/Graphics' ARM Center, in Sussex, Wis. There small advertisers can get TIFF/IT-P1's and proofs at a very reasonable rate, arranged by Condé Nast.
The effort has paid off. Every single ad since June 2002 was supplied digitally, in compliance with the TIFF/IT-P1 standard. The result: The imaging center was able to avoid virtually all remedial file interventions. "We've saved an enormous amount of time [by not] fixing ad files," Captain says. "We're doing about a tenth of the work that we once had to do, enabling us to take on more Condé Nast projects that we can charge back to internal departments.' That's made the imaging center "about 60 times more profitable," he says.
The consensus is in, and publishers agree: Moving digital ad workflow to files based on accredited standards saves time and money for everyone in the production chain. But publishers and advertisers don't have to go it alone. Leaning on prepress and printer partners can accelerate adoption of accredited standards and implementation of digital workflows.
"We provided [one] client with a system that conformed to our specifications, thereby eliminating guesswork on their part," says Nicky Milner, CTO for Quebecor World Inc., in Montreal. Milner's system includes built-in preflight checks that automatically reject files that don't conform or fail preflight profiles.