More than a decade into the “CTP revolution,” many of the promises of digital workflow have yet to be fulfilled. The publishing industry is far from achieving the hands-off, utopian workflow many envisioned when film went away and content went digital. While some in the industry once resisted the notion of a digital workflow, most now agree that the evolution from film to files has been a positive for the publishing world—as profound a development as desktop publishing. With digital content, publishers can now cut out much of the prepress expense for their print workflow, and perhaps even more importantly, their content is now
Group Logic Inc.
Nowhere is the adage "time is money" more appropriate than when applied to the business of publishing. Publishers and printers are always on the lookout for faster, better, cheaper ways to speed the production workflow. Widely adopted technologies such as word processing, desktop publishing, digital photography and editing, accredited file formats, electronic file transfer, content management, and zero-make-ready presses all exist for one fundamental reason: to speed publishing production. Of all the points along the publishing workflow, one area remains doggedly resistant to time optimization: proofing. Publishing costs creep upward with every tick of the second hand as pages are being trafficked and proofed.
Printers don't just put ink on paper anymore. From design consulting and pre-press before the print job, to mailing and fulfillment after a publication is built, printers are evolving into one stop shops. It's the strategy of choice for leading printers facing evolving technology, expanding customer requirements, and the raw economics of a tough market. But are publishers well-served by this trend? It was inevitable, perhaps, that printers would add services beyond applying ink to paper. Technological advances continue to render certain craft skills obsolete, or less important. At the same time, many publishers want to streamline operations by focusing on core business processes.
The computer-to-plate digital revolution is in full swing, but print buyers are finding that turning their back on film hasn't led their organizations to the promised land. While film production processes are largely linear, slow, and inefficient, they are, in the eyes of many print buyers and manufacturers alike, supremely manageable. Contrast that to digital computer-to-plate (CTP), where content moves at a dizzying pace, with dozens of people-including content creators, prepress suppliers, and printers-interactively massaging, moving, tweaking, sharing, and perfecting the digital data files that, at many shops, have pushed film and hard-copy proofs aside. While going digital and working in real-time offers many
Since digital files replaced film, file sharing stepped into the spotlight. Many networking solutions provide a keen infrastructure for exchanging files within a publishing company or print shop when the process is often complicated by platform variation and slow transmission time. The following companies provide forms of cross platform, digital connectivity and file compression solutions. If you would like more information, read PrintMedia magazine every July when the editors publish a special Digital Workflow issue. Cross Platform Solutions ADIC: www.adic.com Connectix: www.connectix.com DataViz: INSERT LINK TEXT Intergraph Computer Systems: www.intergraph.com Miramar Systems: www.miramarsys.com Network Technologies: www.networktechinc.com Océ Printing Systems USA: <a
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
Too often, publishers coddle advertisers. We make excuses for them. "My advertising base just isn't knowledgeable about digital ads." Or, "They're not equipped to produce a digital ad." Sound painfully familiar? And so, we continue to accept film and the high price of copy-dot scans, despite our better judgment, trusting our advertisers to self-educate and get up to CTP speed as quickly as they can. But in doing so, are we perpetuating a vicious cycle? It wouldn't be wise of me to suggest that any publication—no matter how fiscally strong—ever turn away an advertiser simply because it, or its agency, is incapable