Catalogs Streamline the Print Workflow
CS: If there’s one area in the print production workflow you’d like to see improved or enhanced, what would it be?
Matz: In about a year, I’d love to be at a point where we can do soft proofing, but I’m not quite ready yet. If I can drop a round of proofs, that’s expensive material and labor. There’s no question in my mind that our per-page costs would go down significantly.
creative director, Focused Image Team, Automation Direct
Merchandise: automation and industrial control products
Catalog Success: Your print production workflow largely is based on the creation and exchange of PDF pages. Why PDF? Did you, or do you, have any concerns about the file format?
Hipple: Four or five years ago, we went looking for a new printer, and when we decided on one, we discussed the workflow. I remember, they asked if I would [implement] a PDF workflow. I said, “No way! I don’t want to do PDF. I’ve had nothing but problems with PDF!”
CS: But you did agree to send the printer PDF files, at its request. How come?
Hipple: There was one condition. They had to show me how to set up the PDFs for their presses, and they did. I was very apprehensive, but it was because of my own naiveté about PDF.
CS: So you’ve been happy with the PDF workflow your printer designated. Would you recommend it to other catalogers who are, perhaps, still sending their printers native application files, such as QuarkXPress files?
Hipple: It’s not brain surgery. It’s just prepress. It’s been a very smooth transition for us. We haven’t had any rejected files in the last few rounds of catalogs.
CS: What’s your take on soft proofing? Is it something you see as potentially being beneficial to your workflow?
Hipple: On our next catalog, we’re going to try soft proofing. Color has already been settled at this end, before we send anything out.