Content Workflow

High-Flying Photography
May 1, 2000

PrintMedia 10/20/00 Red Kite Studios shoots the breeze from a newly digital vantage. If you were to model yourself after a famous kite flier, which would you choose: Ben Franklin, who combined silk and string with a metal key to conduct electricity in 1752, facilitating numerous enlightened achievements; or good ol' Charlie Brown, alleged blockhead and chronic victim of a kite-eating tree? Good grief, Poor Richard, it's a no-brainer! Agreeing that innovation always beats frustration, the three photographers and three stylists operating Red Kite Studios, Tampa, FL, recently "pulled a Franklin" of sorts, using digital photography to give their studio a charge. Founded

Putting PDF/X-1 in Its Place
May 1, 2000

PDF/X-1 has been approved by ANSI (American National Stan-dards Institute) as an accredited standard file format. Great. Now what? Like TIFF/IT-P1, will it take years before tools are created to read, write and verify PDF/X-1 files? And will it take even longer for the industry to adopt a PDF/X-1 workflow? The answer is "No!" In fact, you can begin planning your PDF/X workflow now. Although it's only been six months since accreditation, there are already a host of PDF/X products in development. At the DDAP (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications) association annual conference in March, eight vendors participated in a PDF/X-1 developers panel: Adobe,

The Great Ad Repository in the Sky
May 1, 2000

As 2001 draws near, the graphic arts community must improve the digital ad exchange process. There are few dates that conjure such mystique as 2001. Maybe 1984 was one; 1776 is another. If you happen to be English, 1066 has major significance. The only difference between these dates is that 2001 has not yet arrived. So, why am I enamored with 2001? Hope. For I hope that 2001 is the year in which the graphic arts industry finally gets its act together and makes strides to implement universal digital ad delivery. In searching for a means to a digital ad end, we must look at the

Teaching Class
April 1, 2000

3Com University puts distribute-and-print to the test. 3Com, the Santa Clara, CA-based high-tech company, has a tremendous responsibility to its employees. With a plethora of electronic products in its arsenal, the manufacturer takes great pains to educate its employees and customers about its technologies and business marketing strategies. Each year, the company hosts two educational conferences—one in the States, one abroad. The forum, affectionately named "3Com University," draws more than 3,500 attendees hailing from the corporation's numerous business units. Taking the southern route In 1999, 3Com chose Atlanta as the host city for its domestic event, which promised a 10-day intensive curriculum.

The Story of E
April 1, 2000

The Internet's entrance from stage right produces a rewrite of the commercial printing plot line. Once upon a time, the process of commercial print buying was simple. A print buyer called his or her vendor CSR, requested a bid on a job, worked up the project specs and sent creative to a prepress shop for processing and film output. The film was couriered to the printer, which ran the plates for the press, the plates were loaded, the job printed, and all lived happily ever after. Throughout the story, phone calls were made, proofs were exchanged, status reports floated across the fax lines. Although

Liability & Accountability- The Unaltered State
March 1, 2000

What's all this talk about liability? People seem to think that just because technology has changed, the lines of responsibility have merged, crossed, faded or completely disappeared. They haven't; they remain just as clear now as they were in the analog world. Unaltered states It is true that production functions have been altered by digital influences. Publishers are doing prepress. Prepress shops are printing, and printers are processing ads. It's a crazy, mixed-up world. Still, that doesn't change the fact that whoever prepares a page—whether it's produced from film or digitally, whether it's created in-house or oustourced—the file creator must be held responsible for

X Marks the File
February 1, 2000

PDF/X sets a new standard for digital ad interchange and high-end reproduction. The letter X often represents the unknown—the undefined variable in a mathematical equation or an anonymous entity. In the case of PDF/X, however, "X" indicates identification, specification and standardization. It marks the spot, at least potentially, for the advertising and publishing community. PDF/X is a new, accredited file format intended for use in professional CMYK print production workflows. The DDAP (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications) Association, which initiated the format's development, explains PDF/X as a focused subset of Adobe's PDF (Portable Document Format), which limits the format to specific usage, file

Remote Proofing-The Final Frontier
January 1, 2000

The digital age is here; we're living it every day. For production executives, "better, faster, cheaper" is the digital prize. There is one piece of the puzzle, however, that remains missing. The final barrier to a completely digital advertising workflow is remote proofing. When and if When remote proofing becomes a reality for advertisers, it will facilitate a truly digital workflow that will dramatically change the way we do business. Until then, due to consistency, standards and cost, we will have to be content to ship digital advertisements conventionally, with messengers or FedEx'd disks, along with in-on-paper proofs. But just because remote proofing can't deliver

Taking Chances with One-to-One Communications
September 1, 1999

For printer and customer, taking a chance with variable-data digital printing made all the difference in the world. In the fall of 1998, Discover Color (a prepress, image management and print firm based in McFarland, WI) found itself amidst all the "buzz" about variable-data printing. Discover Color was not alone in its speculation about what the future of personalized printing would hold. Suppliers and print buyers were curious about the viability of variable-data-generated print-on-demand documents. It was in 1998 that Jim Sullivan, president and CEO, Discover Color, began to ponder the idea of providing personalized print services for his customers. Sullivan realized

Preflighting-A Digital Seatbelt
September 1, 1999

Technology has transformed the prepress production workflow considerably during the last decade. Technically, we can do things faster and better than ever before, and with shorter deadlines, we're forced to deliver fast, furiously and accurately. So what happens if the file running at intergalactic speed is missing graphics, has bad color specification or has serious font problems at the printer? In an ideal world, this would never occur, and in the real world, the preflight process can ensure it does not happen. File insurance Welcome to the insurance policy for the digital highway. The preflight process ensures that the file has passed certain tests