Agfa Graphics

P3 Elects New Executive Board Members
August 1, 2004

With the presidential election still in a dead heat and both candidates wooing the critical state of Ohio, it's still too early to predict whether the country will be turned over to a new president. For Partnership in Print Production (P3), a nonprofit professional and educational association of professionals and students in graphic arts, life is much simpler. At its recently held annual meeting, the organization gave its unanimous approval of the 2004-2005 executive board, which includes the election of Rosemary Sirico, production director of Aerosoles Inc., Edison, N.J., as president. Sirico held the P3 vice presidency for the 2003-2004 season and succeeds David

The Next Level in Print Production
April 1, 2004

There's no shortage of acronyms in the print industry. We have cap, PD., PPD, XML, SVG, POD, BOD, and many more. One of the most recent additions to the industry's vernacular is JDF. JDF, short for 'job definition format', is neither an application nor product. Rather, it is a vendor-neutral way to format data based on XML, the extensible markup language. The industry group behind JDF is CIP4, a-k-a the International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress. This consortium of print industry movers and shakers—which includes everyone from equipment manufacturers to software developers, to printers and their clients—built on CIP3's PPF

The Alphabet of Automation
April 1, 2004

The onslaught of technical acronyms leaves many creative professionals, print buyers, and printers feeling as though they're simmering in a pot of alphabet soup. But once they're understood, Adobe's XMP and PDF, and the JDF work together to streamline and simplify workflows from beginning to end. Adobe XMP and PDF, and the JDF start the capture of key information for the creative professionals, and automate tasks throughout the workflow. Although PDF is well known, JDF and XMP are relative newcomers. Perhaps less understood is how they fit together to save time, improve, productivity and, ultimately, reduce costly errors. Think of Adobe PDF as the 'universal communication

Markzware Lands Flightcheck Professional 5.0
February 1, 2004

We talked to three of Markzware's top beta testers about the new Mac OS X compatible release of this popular pre- and post-flight tool. The say the GUI's still geeky, but the Mac OS X support and buffed-up feature set make this PDF validation tool a must-have upgrade. Markzware Software recently launched its long-awaited and much heralded FlightCheck Professional 5.0. The latest generation of the company's flagship quality-assurance software for digital publishers offers a host of desirable features aimed at graphic arts and printing professionals. Topping the list is Mac OS X compatibility, perhaps the feature Macintosh users covet most today. Also new:

Beyond Preflight
August 1, 2003

Just over a decade ago, CTP (computer-to-plate) and direct-to-press digital printing began to alter the playing field for the print and publishing industries. Since then, the majority of printers have successfully completed the transition from film to digital file exchange. But with that shift came new dilemmas. For example, on which types of digital files should the print workflow be based? Who should be responsible for creating these final exchange formats—the content creator, a prepress vendor, or the printer? And what tools and best practices should be put in place to ensure file integrity and a job's success? Great strides have been made by

Workflow on Parade
May 1, 2003

Ken Kingston, production manager for Parade magazine, remembers one defining moment in his move to an all digital workflow. That's when he had what he calls "a gut check." It hit him when officials from his new workflow software provider, Dalim Software, told him they had never integrated their software with an IBM AS/400. The problem: The AS/400 is Parade's computer platform of choice. Kingston swallowed hard. "The Dalim [Software] people calmly said they would work it out," Kingston says. "It took me a second [to recover], but I was okay with that. There were lots of issues we were going to have to

Sublima - All Gain, No Pain
May 1, 2003

For many printers, the move to computer-to-plate technology enabled major improvements in on-press efficiency. Now the focus has shifted to providing higher-quality printing. Today's print buyers demand the best possible image reproduction, exceptional color work, and outstanding graphics. Customers are looking for printers who can guarantee this high level of quality with every job. That said, you can hear frustration in the pressrooms, at industry conferences, and in industry e-forums. The customer-driven demand for the highest print quality is creating headaches at the press. As I write this column, a pre-press manager in an e-forum just posted this plea for help surrounding his use of fine FM

Low-Cost Scanners for High-End Prepress
January 1, 2003

With news reports indicating Agfa and Heidelberg are leaving the low-end market, choices for entry- and mid-range prepress scanners are narrowing. Creo Americas Inc., Billerica, Mass., is stepping into the void with two new scanners marketed at cost-conscious creative professionals. Unveiled at the recent MacWorld trade show, in San Francisco, Creo's iQsmart2 provides 4,300 x 8,200 dpi resolution, and lists for $11,950. The iQsmart3 scans at 5,500 x 10,000 dpi, and sells for $29,500. The price points should appeal to creative professionals who want to cut production costs by moving high-end scanning in-house, Creo officials say. Both products support a high-speed Firewire (IEEE

CTP Round Up
June 1, 2002

Over the past 10 years, visible light and thermal CTP acceptance by printers has moved at a snail's pace. Fewer than 4,500 individual CTP systems exist worldwide, representing less than two percent of 229,000 printing businesses, reports Citiplate ( But because CTP technology is not a complete solution, a digital workflow must also include copy-dot and imposition software, plates and platesetters. Below is a round-up of related technology with which print media executives should be familiar. Agfa ( Besides offering a Mistral line of plates, Galileo, Polaris and Xcalibur VLF families of platesetters and copy-dot software, Agfa also began

The Greening of the Publishing Industry
February 1, 2002

New versus recycled. Petroleum- versus water-based. In the world of paper and printing, these distinctions go a long way toward defining just how a publisher and printer produce their products. And while most proponents of environmental welfare believe that producers of all goods share a responsibility to minimize damage, the pulp, printing and publishing industries have been long-time menaces. Educated by stalwart industry associations and governmental agencies, more users and vendors of publication paper are adapting enviro-friendly practices. Years ahead of this awareness in the U.S., The Canadian Magazine Publishers Association ( advocated recycling. When the group first issued a report more