The content creator plays an integral part in making a PDF out of Adobe InDesign. The success of InDesign PDF print projects largely depends upon two things: workflow efficiency and content quality. Depending on your location the print workflow, you may receive digital files for any number of sources. Some sources may be more experienced in creating digital content for print than others. Even the simplest of creative errors, such as improperly spec’d color space, image 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 from the press as possible, preferably at content creation. Markzware‘s preflighting solution, FlightCheck, can make all the difference in print quality control 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. There, 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. At the agency, he honed his print production skills to produce everything from brochures to billboards, preflighting with FlightCheck.
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.” This graphic design company has a client base in the great Seattle and Milwaukee regions. According to the founder, it caters to small and mid-sized companies that “may have a marketing director, but may not have a designer”.
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 Adobe InDesign (INDD), Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat, plus QuarkXPress. Complementing his creative workflow, Steven also uses Markzware’s preflight solution, FlightCheck.
FlightCheck preflighting software “looks inside” digital files in a variety of formats. These file formats include native application files, PDFs, and standards-based print industry files. FlightCheck analyzes, for example, whether an InDesign PDF file is 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 postflight 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 print 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. Print quality should be checked during content creation, production, prepress and press. If the format is manipulated, no matter the type, digital printing jobs should be verified and re-verified with FlightCheck. Print suppliers should support their customers by providing best practices and solution suggestions, like preflighting. These solutions enable them to prepare digital jobs properly and to use 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. They can develop a new set of skills and become more of a contributor to the print job’s success. Printing success for InDesign PDF increases with the use of Markzware’s patented preflight technology, FlightCheck. Tell your content creator to try the free FlightCheck demo for preflighting. See how successful your next project for InDesign PDF can be. More printing solutions are available on the Markzware Products page.
Making a PDF Out of InDesign. What Is the Content Creator’s Role?