Hidden Cost In The Generation of Print

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Technologies enabling businesses to create documents have become more accessible. Despite this, there remains a hidden cost in the generation of print and electronic media. This cost can be offset with some simple tools and best practices, like preflighting.

Perhaps you’ve seen the commercials by print giants like Xerox and Hewlett-Packard. They espouse how cheap print has become. Indeed, the expense to generate color print these days can be less expensive for businesses than it was a few years ago. Printers and the consumables they use have become more accessible to companies on a budget. Yet, there remains an unnecessary, hidden cost in print, document output and electronic publishing — the expense of ill-prepared content.

FlightCheck, the patented preflight solution by Markzware, can check documents for possible printing errors. This can save time, money, materials and labor costs. This pre press software scans documents in many file types to catch printing problems, before it’s too late.

The origin of content
The amount of content generated by businesses these days is mind-blowing! It’s disseminated in any number of ways, including:

  • printed packaging
  • brochures
  • marketing and sales collateral
  • advertisements
  • educational and training materials
  • presentations
  • and more

In combination with their print initiatives, companies also have “new media” opportunities. Each medium requires that the content be prepared just a little differently, based on its output intention. This content can be created for such media as:

  • electronic communications
  • Web / Internet
  • Intranet
  • DVDs
  • CD-ROMs
  • e-newsletters
  • and more

David Creamer, owner of IDEAS Training, Bonsall, CA, says that there is greater burden on businesses to develop strategies for both print and e-media. Creamer further says that, as a result, we must understand the nuances of how content should be prepared for each “product.” A document intended for print, for example, must be created in a very different way than content destined for a corporate Intranet.

Fundamentally, content for print and content for electronic distribution, differ in color space. A file bound for the Web should be set up to enable a monitor, which reads color in variations of red, green and blue, to read and reproduce the file. Electronic files should also be “low resolution,” meaning there are fewer pixels required (and, thus, a smaller file size) to view on a monitor.

Conversely, print is a bit pickier. Most printers read and process in four-color (cyan, magenta, yellow and black, “CMYK). They require very-high-resolution graphics and text in order to output crisply. FlightCheck scans four-color documents, flags potential printing problems and provides a detailed preflight report.

Clearly, it complicates operations for businesses — dealing with how to take all this content, massage it into the necessary form and process it. When content is not prepared correctly, based on its output intention, there is a cost, hard or soft, to “fix” the content. It is best to prevent errors by using FlightCheck to preflight content.

“Making content” is very much like a manufacturing assembly line. As an automobile is created, it passes through production stages, where parts are added until the car is complete. But what happens if the car skips a stage? What if it is left without an engine block, for example, and no one notices the error until the car is rolling off the line? It is an expense to disassemble that car, add the engine, and reassemble it until the car is whole.

Content is similar. Digital files that are incomplete or improperly created can take time and money for their creator to fix. FlightCheck preflight software can check digital files and warn of potential problems before printing.

“Everyone can make a PDF file on the computer simply by selecting the Print-to-PDF option, for example. It does not mean that the file created is a production-quality PDF,” explains Steve Shinnick, vice president of sales for All Systems Integration, an international graphic arts and printing integration firm. Shinnick consults with companies across the globe, suggesting and implementing technologies that help his clients create, manage and distribute content in the most effective and cost-efficient way. FlightCheck can check PDF files and many other file formats.

Fortunately, content creators don’t have to be formally-trained graphic artists to prepare good files, suggests Shinnick. There are low-cost software solutions — commonly referred to in the print industry as preflight software. These solutions help to ensure that content will render appropriately, no matter how it’s disseminated. FlightCheck preflight software can check digital files and verify that output specifications are met.

The investment in preflight software is minimal. It is just a few hundred dollars for a software solution that can save money and time in the re-creation of “problematic” digital files. Try the free FlightCheck demo and preflight the content you create before output. More printing solutions are available via the Markzware Products page.

Hidden Cost In The Generation of Print

Title: Hidden Cost In The Generation of Print
Published on: July 16, 2008
Mary Marchese

Public Relations at Markzware

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