Take the Express to the Press
just four months."
"We were very specific about our digital ad specifications," Fox concurs. "We wanted good PDFs, PDF/X-1s or TIFF/IT-P1s. We were not going to accept PostScript files or native application files. "Linda was the one who solicited our digital ads. She suggested that in addition to the printed version of the ad specifications, we post our specs on the Web site, as well. She called all of the production contacts at the agencies, and walked them through how to prepare their ads, if that what was necessary," Fox adds. "For that first bi-weekly issue, we had far above the 25 percent digital ad submissions we expected; it was more like 45 percent, if you don't count the pick-ups."
The second digitally produced issue came in at 43 percent digital ad submissions. "If you don't count the pick-ups, 67 percent of the ads were digital," Fox adds. "Not bad, huh?"
Fox adds that Red Herring received a higher percentage of PDF files for the first issue, while the second issue brought in about a 50/50 split between PDF and TIFF/IT-P1 ads. "We have yet to receive a PDF/X-1 file," she notes. "We had very few problems with the TIFF/IT-P1s. However, the PDFs were more problematic, primarily due to font embedding or color-space issues. If time permitted, we'd request a new file. Fortunately, electronic transmission allowed us to receive new files quickly. On the few occasions that we were unable to receive a new file—or if we received a new file that still had problems—we worked with the advertiser to find a solution."
The people factor
Perhaps the most profound effect of the new workflow hasn't been on the manufacturing of the popular magazine, but rather, on the people who make it. "To perform all of the aforementioned miracles, we've increased the production staff," Fox reports. Peter Discoe, formerly with Ziff-Davis, joined the group as production technology manager. Zach Brenner became production tech coordinator. Dan Mallory joins production director Karen Price and senior production coordinator Jodie Wennberg as ad production coordinator. And Christine Jacobs, as manufacturing manager, was hired to tackle print-buying for each of Red Herring's corporate divisions.