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To PDF? By John Dunn Production Director Wizards of the Coast Periodicals 9/28/01
Who am I? I’m probably a lot like you! • Production Director for Periodicals Group • 13+ years in print, prepress and advertising production • 4 years in CTP and digital advertising • Always learning! • “Jack of all Trades” just like you! • Going Gray…no hair loss…yet!
Where am I from? • Wizards of the Coast…”the Pokémon guys” • Producer of TCGs and RPGs • Division of Hasbro, Inc. • Publisher of 4 magazines… - Dragon Magazine Monthly - Dungeon Adventures Bi-Monthly - Star Wars Insider Bi-Monthly - Star Wars Gamer Bi-Monthly
Why PDF (PDF/X 1 a)? • SWOP standard file format • Works well within our Printergy workflow • Our advertisers are already asking about PDF • Good fit with our vendor • Easy (sort of) to produce on a Mac workstation
Our Workflow • Art Directors build working files on their desktop with forms corresponding to our form breaks. • Identical folders are built on a 14 BG Fire. Wire drive for final files. • As files are finalized they are moved to the Fire. Wire drive. • Production pulls final files over to their Fire. Wire drive as they are completed.
Our Workflow, Part 2 • Production hits application files with Flight. Check. Errors are fixed. • Solid application files are converted to postscript and distilled using Apogee Create. • PDFs are preflown using Enfocus Pit. Stop Server.
Our Workflow, Part 3 • PDFs are converted to PDF/X 1 a and verified using Apago’s X-Checkup. • Final PDF/X 1 a files are sent to prepress via server and digital halftone proofs are produced. • Final files and contract proofs are shipped to printer. Life is sweet!
Does PDF Work for Everyone? Possibly not! If your printer’s workflow does not support PDF and they feel that they cannot take the plunge, forcing ANY file format on them is not in their or your best interests!
Some Considerations • What will be “fixed” or gained with a PDF workflow? • Does your staff have the proper training and understanding of the format to produce locked down PDFs? • Can your printer’s workflow support PDF? • What will the impact be to your current workflow?
Some Considerations, Part 2 • If going out of house to have PDFs produced, how will this impact the bottom line (and, again, your workflow)? • Do you have the associated software/plugins necessary to support your PDF workflow?
If You’re a Publisher Consider your advertisers! Many advertisers are simply not comfortable submitting files at all, and many are not sophisticated enough to produce verifiable PDF/X 1 a. Be prepared to work with them and assist by providing resources!
The Three “T”s of a PDF Workflow TEST
If you expect success on press. . . know what to expect! Always test until both you and your printer are satisfied with the results.