Desktop Publishing Software, Prepress & Adobe Acrobat: The Economics of It All

Markzware develops prepress and desktop publishing (DTP) software for Adobe Acrobat PDF and many more file types used by printers. FlightCheck, the preflight solution from Markzware, for example, can check documents for potential printing problems before printing.

As Markzware is interested in printers, we noticed this post from Dr. Joe of titled, “June 10 Economic Webinar Q&A.” This bit mentions the average number of employees at a printer and its potential relation to graphic designers taking on more of a role in prepress:

Q.  Is the average size of successful printing companies increasing or decreasing? Sales volume and or employee count as a measure.

A. Sales are down and our industry has a habit of calibrating itself by adding or shedding businesses as needed. The inflation-adjusted sales per employee is actually remarkably steady, which indicates this. The average size of a commercial printing business has been on a very slow decline for decades. It was around 26 employees in the late 1980s and was just above 19 by 2006. That says more about desktop publishing replacing prepress than it says about anything else.

Adobe has pushed for creators and creatives to send in print-ready PDFs (Adobe Acrobat PDF files) and other industry bodies are marketing the so-called Certified or cPDF and PDF/X-1a, etc. This has made the job for graphic designers not only a creative process, but also a technical, prepress function. I’m not so sure that desktop publishing has lowered the number of prepress people at print shops, as it is the push to create the PDF at the print-buyers, advertisers or creators side.

That is why desktop publishing software and tools, such as FlightCheck by Markzware, are so vital to the greater print workflow or preflighting. FlightCheck is thorough print quality control for so many file formats. This is a detailed article and a great read for any business owner in general, yet alone print shop operators. Here is one last bit to share from the excellent interview:

Q.  Should printers invest in technology that will create efficiency throughout the print shop?

A. It’s hard to make a case for not investing. The print industry often has very efficient press and production floors but with serious problems outside of that. One way to look at it is that print shops are really great calculating costs of goods sold items on their income statement, but when it comes to sales and administrative, it’s another world. Technology can be put into costs of goods sold, and the only approach to sales and administrative is austerity, it seems. A reason for this is that technology investment in production is viewed as increasing sales, but technology investment in sales and administrative functions does not create new sales or new markets, so it’s not worthwhile. That’s really an unfortunate misperception.

Anyone need any Markzware products, such as preflight or desktop publishing software for Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress or Microsoft Publisher? Try the FREE FlightCheck demo and see how FlightCheck scans documents to ensure print quality control before printing.

Desktop Publishing Software, Prepress & Adobe Acrobat: The Economics of It All