It's not likely a big surprise that Quebecor World held fast to its No. 1 spot among the Top Book Manufacturers—ranked by book-manufacturing revenue—in the United States and Canada. With a $36 million lead over R.R. Donnelley, and a $273 million lead over third-ranked Von Hoffmann Corp., Quebecor World isn't likely to lose its position anytime soon. Both top seeds, however, saw book revenue drop in 2003. In fact, revenue for three of the top five sank by a total of nearly $130 million. Arvato Print USA (a division of Bertelsmann) and Von Hoffmann were the only two in the top five
The DISC specification from IDEAlliance aims to get photographers and magazine publishers on the same page. While digital photography quickly found favor among consumers as cameras dropped below the $1,000 price point, professional photographers weren't as quick to abandon their trusted 35mm SLRs. But that's changing, and fast. In all key areas—speed, lenses, resolution, clarity, color, light sensitivity, and contrast—images produced by professional photographers shooting with pro digital gear can now rival images from the very best film cameras. Managing editors and production managers at popular magazines say professional photographers are ditching film in droves, with over half the images submitted today as
Structured and, ideally, automated methods of communication, and the interaction between industry organizations, are key to successfully addressing the problems publishers face in reliably delivering printable PDF files. It is clear that consistency and reliability in PDF documents can be achieved when all parties involved in PDF workflow transactions create their PDF documents using approved settings from identical PDF profiles, to verify document printability. Enfocus Software's solution to the problem of exchanging reliable PDF documents began with the 2002 introduction of the company's Certified PDF Workflow technology. That offering streamlined PDF workflows by tracking authors and versions, and maintaining consistency between final production files
The prestigious Yale Club in New York City was recently transformed into a digital photography studio. That's where executives of Quebecor World convened the company's latest session in its ongoing "Customer Seminar Program," an educational outreach curriculum for publishing professionals. The topic: Digital Photography: Reaching Critical Mass. The breakfast, attended by roughly 180 print production professionals across publishing disciplines, focused on print production challenges brought on by skyrocketing use of digital photography. Featured speakers included John Dougherty, director of digital technology at Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.; Howard Bernstein, principal partner of Bernstein & Andriulli; Mike Molkenthin, director of photography for Que-Net Media; and Quebecor World's
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.
New publishing features are in the wind for ASI's Tsunami product. Printing solutions integrator All Systems Integration (ASI), Woburn, Mass., has arranged to bundle Web-based publishing tools from Pageflex Inc., Cambridge, Mass. Mpower and Edit software products integrate with ASI's Tsunami. Adding Pageflex's tools makes Tsunami a best-of-breed publishing solution, with the best price/performance, company officials say. Tsunami is ASI's workflow platform for virtualizing prepress functions. Pageflex's Mpower is an enterprise software program for designing and publishing Web-driven marketing communications. Pageflex's Edit is an Mpower add-on. It lets people without creative skills create documents using Mpower, Pageflex officials say. Among the advantages promised is
The Job Definition Format, an XML-based standard for automating the entire printing workflow, continues to gain support among leading industry vendors. Heidelberg USA is moving rapidly on the JDF front. The company has announced plans to make all of its Prinect workflow products compatible with JDF by next year. This will integrate production equipment with business workflow, and create a digital workflow from prepress to press, to post-press, says James Mauro, product manager for Prinect Press Products at Heidelberg USA Inc., Kennesaw, Ga. For example, the JDF will enable Heidelberg's Prinect Internet Portal to automate print buying and quote generation. Job definitions posted online
Tremendous changes are ahead for the printing industry. Production of printed material will be a small part of a printer's business in the future. Printers who want to survive will have to begin diversifying. That's according to a recent study conducted by TrendWatch Graphic Arts, in New York, which looks at seven years of data. "Printers have to shift to a value-added, customer-centered business model, instead of a manufacturing business model, where they define themselves by the products they create," says Heidi Tolliver-Nigro, a TrendWatch analyst. That's partly because of the weak economy, and partly because new technology, such as the Internet and
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