Content abounds at small and large organizations alike. The challenge for businesses is to reproduce information in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. Preflighting with FlightCheck helps to check digital content for print quality control, to meet this challenge.
Never before has the world of graphic arts been so dynamic, so ripe with change and new opportunities afforded by emerging creative technologies. Graphic design creations are often made in popular desktop programs, such as QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word. These creations are no longer bound to the traditional constraints of print. These days, businesses create data for any number of purposes.
Even small-to-mid sized companies generate a significant amount of “content” for dissemination in one form of media or another. There are brochures, marketing materials, advertisements, educational and training materials, presentations, web copy, and so forth. Information can be printed and distributed, or used in some electronic fashion (the Web, an Intranet, a DVD/CD-ROM, email newsletter, etc.). No matter the output intention, it’s up to the content creator to ensure that it reproduces with integrity. While the “new media” enables businesses greater opportunity for exposure and reach, it’s prompted content creators to adapt and learn new skill sets.
David Creamer is the owner of IDEAS Training in Bonsall, CA. Creamer says there is a greater burden on companies to stay on top of the evolving world of graphics arts and electronic media. Take a simple concept like the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), for example. While most professionals are fairly familiar with this universally-embraced way to share data, this type of creation is quite complicated. Depending on where and how the information is being disseminated, a PDF file must contain certain attributes to drive output. A PDF file to be posted on a Web site is very different from one to be printed, for example. FlightCheck can handle preflighting for this format and many other file types.
Similar to a Microsoft Word or QuarkXPress file, Creamer asserts, “PDF is just a format. It can eliminate the problem of missing graphics or fonts, but there is still the issue of garbage in, garbage out.”
That’s why a content creator’s continuing education is so critical these days. “I’m not talking about how to design, but how to create files properly – when to use a spot-color guide, when to use a process-color guide, how much resolution is necessary, how to eliminate transparency issues, how to make PDFs, and so forth,” Creamer stresses. FlightCheck can be used for preflighting all of this content.
“Everyone can make a PDF file on the computer, by selecting the Print-to-PDF option. It does not mean that it is a production-quality PDF,” Stephen Shinnick agrees. In his role as vice president of sales for All Systems Integration, an international graphic arts and printing integration firm, Shinnick consults with companies across the globe. He suggests and implements technologies that help his clients create, manage and distribute data in the most effective and cost-efficient way.
Fortunately, content creators don’t have to be formally trained graphic artists to prepare good files, Shinnick suggests. There are very low-cost software solutions referred to as ‘preflight‘ tools, such as FlightCheck for preflighting. These printing solutions help to ensure content is rendered precisely the way you expect.
A preflight tool like FlightCheck by Markzware will check digital files for print quality. These files can be PDFs, standardized forms of PDFs, native application files from popular desktop publishing applications, etc. FlightCheck verifies that the document output specifications are made. For example, a print project should contain only graphics and illustrations that are high-resolution (300 to 600 dpi) and made up of the blend of the four colors used by printing technologies.
That same project, should it be distributed via the Web, must adhere to very different parameters. Graphics are better rendered in low-resolution (72 to 150 dpi). Graphics should also be RGB (a blend of red, green and blue, the color space most electronic displays accommodate). FlightCheck is the ideal pre press software to preflight color and many other details.
Color space and image resolution are but two possible pitfalls a preflight solution will detect. FlightCheck will check documents for potential output errors. This prepress tool can save the average business countless hours and thousands of dollars. Otherwise, this time and money would have been spent fixing file inadequacies or reprinting flawed materials.
You can buy FlightCheck, as well as other solutions for better content and better business, via the Markzware Products page.
Better Content, Better Business