Your Guide to a Digital Workflow
In 1999—fewer than four years after the printing world was first introduced to computer-to-plate (CTP) at Drupa 1995—PrintMedia published a cover story on The New Yorker Imaging Center and its manager, Greg Captain. The editors chose the story because it was one of a very few truly inspiring tales of digital workflow in those days. The Imaging Center had fully embraced CTP then and had significantly invested in its digital arsenal to produce not only the pages of The New Yorker magazine, but also of other departments within the Condé Nast organization.
Partnering with RR Donnelley's Danville, Ky., operations, the Imaging Center was responsible for creating high-res TIFF or EPS images and PostScript text files. "The high-res swap was done using [Open Press Interface] at the plant, [where they created] the workflow file, which was processed through the earliest version of Prinergy," Captain recalls. High-end, contract-level proofs were also produced internally on a Creo Trendsetter Spectrum.
Captain was proud of the workflow, and rightfully so. Producing the magazine digitally cut time from prepress, gave time back to creative and ad production, improved the quality of the printing and tempered manufacturing costs. It was everything he could hope it to be, and the workflow ultimately enabled the Imaging Center to accept new business from its parent company—additional marketing and promotions work for sister titles under the Condé Nast umbrella.
The Imaging Center could have rested on its laurels, continuing over the years to produce the magazines in the same fashion, and handling a finite number of print jobs over and above its primarily responsibility to The New Yorker. But then came PDF, Adobe's Portable Document Format, and Captain knew that the ballgame was about to change again.
"We went with a PDF workflow in October 2000, and provided [RR Donnelley] with files that were ready to be joined with the customer-provided ad files, which were—and are—mainly TIFF/IT-P1 or DCS2 files," Captain explains.