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Print InDesign PDF: Content Creator Preflighting Solution

The content creator plays an integral part in making a PDF out of InDesign. The success of InDesign PDF print projects today largely depends upon two things: workflow efficiency and content quality. Depending on where in the print manufacturing workflow you reside, you may receive digital data for any number of sources, some more experienced in creating digital documents for print than others. Even the simplest of creative errors, such as improperly spec’d color space, resolution or missing fonts, can stall the print workflow, costing both time and money to remedy. The ideal print workflow eliminates problematic digital files as far away from the press as possible, preferably at content creation. FlightCheck, the preflighting solution from Markzware, can make all the difference in print quality assurance for InDesign PDF.

Stop The Madness: At The Creative Stage
Steven Stelter’s career in the graphic arts industry began in the art department at a Milwaukee television station, where he was responsible for maintaining a Web site and designing both on-air graphics and print projects. Subsequently, he held positions with a marketing firm and a 200-person ad agency. There, he honed his print production skills further, producing everything from brochures to billboards. FlightCheck helped him to preflight InDesign.
Stelter founded his current company, Seattle-based Stelter Design, in 2002, sort of by happenstance. “I pulled up stakes [in Milwaukee] and moved out to Seattle in 2000. I had a number of interviews with design firms in Seattle, but the economy and dot.com fallout was starting, and I never landed a staff job,” Stelter recalls. “I began doing contract work … First, production work, but over the years, that switched to design and art direction.” According to the founder, this design company caters to small and mid-sized companies that “may have a marketing director, but may not have a designer,” with a client base in the great Seattle and Milwaukee regions.

This content creator estimates that 80 to 90 percent of his work is destined for print, so he uses FlightCheck for preflighting. While he’s responsible for the majority of inspiration behind his work, he does occasionally receive data from his customers. “Yes, we often get Microsoft Word docs and occasionally a rough Publisher or PageMaker doc to show a rough layout of what the client is thinking or trying to express to me.”

Core applications for this content creator include InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat from Adobe, plus QuarkXPress from Quark. Complementing his creative workflow, Steven also uses the preflight solution from Markzware, called FlightCheck.

Print InDesign PDF: Content Creator Preflighting Solution

Content creator, Steven Stelter, uses preflighting solution, FlightCheck, to preflight InDesign PDF for print

FlightCheck preflighting software “looks inside” digital files, in a variety of formats (including native application files, PDFs, and standards-based print industry files) and analyzes whether they are complete and accurately created for its print intentions.

“If a file leaves the office, it’s been ‘FlightChecked.’ I have worked with it for about four years now, and what I love about it is the ability to examine all the linked files of a Quark or InDesign file, such as Illustrator files and ensure they are in the correct color mode and resolution It will also warn me if they are not compatible with my file release standards,” Steven affirms. “While InDesign does have a post-flight feature to verify InDesign PDF files, FlightCheck is capable of preflighting and postflighting InDesign PDFs, as well as a whole slew of other formats. “Adobe InDesign has a built-in [postflight] tool; however, it does not tell what it is doing or give me as much information about what is wrong, when a file is wrong.”

Proofing provides another layer of quality control. “I have an Epson Stylus 300 with an iproof systems’ PowerRIPX running on a standalone server,” Stelter explains. “I also send low-res and high-res PDF files for any projects I release on CD-ROM. On occasion, we’ll have a client with more exact color specifications, so we’ll go to a service bureau for a Matchprint.”

Back To The Beginning
To ensure a favorable outcome, quality-control measures must be built into each stage of the print production workflow – at content creation, production, prepress and press. If the format is manipulated, no matter the type, digital print jobs should be verified and re-verified with FlightCheck during preflighting. Print suppliers should support their customers by providing best practices and solution suggestions, like preflighting, that enable them to prepare digital jobs properly and utilize other quality-control means, like digital proofing.

Learning the basics of print production and document creation, as for InDesign PDF, presents new opportunities for content creators, not only to develop a new set of skills, but also to be more of a contributor to the print job’s success. The success of a print job producing InDesign PDF increases with the use of FlightCheck.

This patented preflighting solution is available via the FlightCheck page. Tell your content creator to try the free FlightCheck demo for preflighting and see how successful your next project for InDesign PDF can be. See more printing solutions on the Markzware Products page.

Print InDesign PDF: Content Creator Preflighting Solution