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

E-Production ASPs
February 1, 2001

The breadth and depth of online resources available to enhance the education and performance of production professionals seems to stretch to infinity. Added to the mix of trade publications, industry organizations, vendor and corporate Web sites, is a new category of online production tools: application service providers (ASPs). As the name implies, ASPs provide software applications that are usually bundled together to improve workflow productivity and efficiency. While most ASPs target printers and prepress providers, many have modules that directly benefit print customers, too, making production operations smoother, faster, more accurate and more predictable. Some ASPs deal with the complete operations chain—from creative through distribution—while

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

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

Getting the Connection
April 1, 1999

Digital transmission service providers help publishers, agencies and other content creators plug in to the right solution for digital file transfer. No workflow is an island. Digitizing your internal operations without creating digital links to your production partners is like packing everything you need for a dream vacation, yet neglecting to make all of your travel arrangements. Goodbye, dreamboat; hello, shipwreck. For the content creator aspiring to an all-digital workflow, the decision whether or not to implement some means of digital connectivity for file transfer is a no-brainer. Just do it. Even if you're managing presently with snail mail and couriers,