Content Workflow

Changing Roles
June 1, 2001

On January 22, 1984, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, Apple Computer aired its brilliant 60-second commercial introducing the Macintosh. Directed by Ridley Scott, the spot depicted an Orwellian world of conformity—a thinly veiled swipe at IBM—shattered by Apple's new desktop. Admittedly, the early Macintosh was underpowered, but expected to improve with time. While many in the prepress business stood back and scoffed, others took a deep breath and went for it, realizing that they were witnessing the dawn of a new revolution, knowing that one day it would significantly impact their business model. And they were right. The greatest impact of the

Dot-com Nation in the After Shock
May 4, 2001

When we think of business failure, we might imagine a ship sinking. In the vision, many of us are left standing by the shores watching the last mast go under. We may sigh in disbelief or disappointment. But the fact is that no matter what regret, sobriety or even puzzlement we experience amid the after shock, commerce operates along the lines of Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest." Do we really want to exist within a market that is saturated with weak links? It may work for TV game shows, but such a business model does not create legitimate success in either long- or short-term

SWOP for the Common Good
May 1, 2001

In the print publication world, we live and die by SWOP. Over the years, we've grown accustomed to the security of knowing that SWOP provides a common goal to which we all aspire. SWOP guides us through print production, from start to finish. And when the job is done, SWOP is our best tool to measure success or failure. We weren't always this fortunate. Before the first set of specifications was written in 1975, the industry could not come to a consensus about what constituted good proofing and offset printing. But as the good souls behind the SWOP group continued to define and refine

Mediating the Super Platforms
May 1, 2001

Can you imagine the Cold War without translators? As difficult a time as the superpowers had communicating, if not for bilinguists, the Cold War would have heated up quickly. In many ways, the world of computers runs parallel to diplomacy. Cross-platform connectivity software allows the two superpower platforms, Windows and Macintosh—and workhorse operating systems like UNIX and Linux, to communicate with one another. Whether they are converting files from one format to the other or allowing multiple varieties of operating systems to interact with the same hardware, cross-platform connectivity is essential to a smoothly operating publishing environment. File conversion One way to make

Frequently Asked Questions
April 20, 2001

Martin Bailey is senior technical consultant at Harlequin, a technology provider. Recently, Bailey sat down to outline the ins and outs of file formats and industry associations. The following is an excerpt from Bailey's discussion: Q. Why do we need another file format? Isn't PDF enough? Bailey: PDF/X is not an alternative to PDF; it's a focused subset of PDF designed specifically for reliable prepress data interchange. Q. What can I do in PDF/X that I can't do in PDF? Bailey: Nothing. The important point is that you can do a lot of things in PDF that are not appropriate for graphic arts use, and that can cause

Themestream Ceased Operations
April 1, 2001

Themestream.com, an e-publisher known for paying writers per click for articles posted to its Web site, ceased operations on April 13, 2001. In a report e-mailed to contributors to the portal, Themestream says it's unable to pay contributors for submissions. The letter also explains that the e-publisher ceased all business operations, but continues negotiating with creditors to sell remaining assets. Themestream advised writers to keep records of online articles should the opportunity and funds needed for payment retribution settle. Themestream defined itself as a content resource for users interested in nonfiction advice, articles and columns on a wide array of subjects

Getting DAL-ed Up
March 9, 2001

At the recent DDAP (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications) conference in Atlanta, Digital Ad Lab (DAL) co-chair Amre Youssef reaffirmed DAL's commitment to the digital advertising and publishing community, and unveiled several exciting new DAL initiatives. The DAL is an international organization dedicated to helping agencies adopt digital workflows. With the help of volunteer industry representatives, the group hopes to expand its reach by launching regionally based chapters to complement the existing chapters in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago and London. Youssef champions the unwavering support of eight DAL sponsors that are fiscally responsible for strengthening DAL's communication, and enabling

Team Work
March 2, 2001

Two weeks ago, PrintMedia InBox brought you the story of Napster and its effects on the publishing industry. This week, Reciprocal's General Manager Matthew Moynahan talks about how digital rights management is coming out of the shadows and onto online portals everywhere. PrintMedia InBox: How does Napster's file-sharing format effect publishing in general? Matthew Moynahan: Napster increases CD and book shipment over the Internet. Napster validates what we do. As a distribution model, it's powerful—it won't go away. InBox: How does a company like Reciprocal tackle this process? Moynahan: Unprotected file swapping isn't legitimate. We develop applications to outsource digital content with encryption technology through applications to

Digital Directions Revisited
March 2, 2001

In PrintMedia magazine's February issue, Linda Manes Goodwin explained the benefits of using PDF/X-1 digital file format. In response, a reader contacted Goodwin for more information: I have read your article and many articles on PDFs and I am still confused about the difference between PDF and PDF/X-1. I work in an ad agency and use PDFs every day, mostly for our clients to view ads before press runs. Using Quark to make a PS file and running it through Distiller seems to be working fine for now, but I want to upgrade my department to PDFs for press runs. Is there a better

Native Application Files? Only in a Fairy Tale World
March 1, 2001

This month marks the third installment in a series of "Digital Directions" columns devoted to file formats. In January, we delved into TIFF/IT-P1; last month, we discussed PDF/X-1. This month, let's take a closer look at native application files. Beauty and the beast Native applications are software solutions we've come to know and love. We use them to manipulate images; they enable us to create breathtaking illustrations, and we employ them to layout documents, books and magazines. Native apps have been around since the pre-dawn of desktop publishing, and the graphic arts community has learned to use them in some notably creative ways. But therein lies