SWOP and IDEAlliance Join Forces After 30 Years of Flying Solo
Most people have heard of them, but not everyone in the industry appreciates their efforts or their impact. This is one thing SWOP and IDEAlliance hope to change by doubling up their efforts. The two groups have announced that they will join forces to create a stronger, more effective effort that will have a greater impact on the industry's future.
And the union isn't something to be taken too lightly. For almost 30 years, SWOP—Specifications for Web Offset Publications—has been pushing its specs to help ensure consistency and quality in printed materials. Eight years SWOP's elder, IDEAlliance—the International Digital Enterprise Alliance—has been working toward its own mission of enhancing efficiency and speed in publishing.
Why now, then, after so many years of going it solo, have the two groups decided to connect? "We had been going along on independent tracks until this point. But we shared a lot of experts and board members, and some of them suggested we should really work together," says Barbara Hanapole, SWOP executive director, who will serve as marketing associate on the new joint initiative.
"After all, SWOP and one of IDEAlliance's main initiatives—its General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography (known in the industry as GRACoL)—both rely on compliance in the industry for success," notes Hanapole.
"If people in the industry don't understand and appreciate the benefits of the groups' guidelines and specifications, both groups' efforts will be essentially fruitless. Our first step is to build appreciation; the second step will be to build compliance," she says.
By identifying their synergies, the two groups plan to consolidate their efforts into one that will cause a bigger ripple in the pond. "By working together, we'll be able to share resources, and it will enable us to launch some new initiatives that we've wanted to do, but haven't had the resources," comments Dianne Kennedy, IDEAlliance's vice president of publishing technologies and the project director for the cooperative effort's Coordinating Council.