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Presents Digital For Dummies Making Technology Work For You! Your Digital Landscape American Horse Publications Of the about 142 publishers: 36% are under 5,000 circulation 53% are under 10,000 67% are under 25,000 the others face the same problems, just on a larger scale

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Digital For Dummies

Making Technology Work For You!

your digital landscape
Your Digital Landscape
  • American Horse Publications
    • Of the about 142 publishers:
      • 36% are under 5,000 circulation
      • 53% are under 10,000
      • 67% are under 25,000
      • the others face the same problems, just on a larger scale
    • Art departments are probably one to three people
    • Zero to very little technology budget
    • Wear multiple hats to get the job done
    • Love what you do but wish it could get done a little more smoothly
dismissing digital demons
Dismissing Digital Demons!
  • Digital Photography: Just the right pixels please
  • Color Management: Keeping it simple
  • Making Pages: Do it once or do it forever
  • Managing Files: One day we’ll get organized
  • Digital & Film Ads: A little of dis and a little of dat
  • Telecom & Networks: Getting connected







Digital &

Film Ads

digital photos controlling the source
Digital Photos: Controlling the source


Develop a “Digital Photo Tip Sheet” that you can send to your contributors. Images won’t be right unless you help them to know what’s right.

  • Digital quality problems from your contributors
    • Resolution of digital camera images
    • Color balance, just like with film
    • Just plain good photography
  • How images are delivered to you
    • Disk type - can you read it?
    • Mac or PC - cross platform gremlins
    • Transmitted - via email, FTP, AOL
  • “The Holy Spec Sheet”
    • Tell your contributors what you’ll accept, they really want to know…really
digital photos what s usable
Digital Photos: What’s Usable?


  • Set up some standard conversions in Photoshop using the “Actions” tool for the most common “unusable” file formats.
  • - Open in Photoshop
  • Convert RGB to CMYK
  • Check resolution
  • Crop
  • Rename & save as a Tif file
  • Useable file formats
    • Tiff, JPG, EPS can be placed and processed
    • Resolution of 2x line screen133 line screen x 2 = 266dpi image file
  • Unusable file formats
    • Won’t process through prepress operations
    • Wrong color system: RGB instead of CMYK
    • BMP, PCX, PICT, PNG, GIF, Targa, and many others
digital photos how to fix em
Digital Photos: How to fix ‘em


  • Develop some quick standard Photoshop fixes for:
  • Sharpening
  • Color balance
  • Levels adjustmentUsing the “Actions” tools in Photoshop
  • Now that you have digital camera images with problems…what do you do?
    • Cheapest, fastest, best
      • Cheapest: ask the contributor to reshoot and/or fix the images
      • Fastest: unfortunately that means you
      • Best: your prepress vendor can make it right….at a price
  • Tag, you’re it…
    • Ok, then develop some quick and dirty image corrections
      • 1. Sharpening: just enough,not too much
      • 2. Overall color balance: find a neutral
      • 3. Photoshop Levels Adjustment: highlights & shadows
digital ads the copy dot solution
Digital Ads: The Copy Dot Solution


Work towards an all digital workflow (no paper or film). The result will be an easier, faster process with fewer errors. Provide your advertisers with an “Advertising Submission Tip Sheet” to help them send what will work for your pub.

  • How Ads come in….
    • Modern (Digital): Native application files, PDF, or Tiff/IT
    • Historic: Film
    • Jurassic: Art boards
    • Precambrian: On the back of a restaurant napkin….
  • What is Copy Dot
    • Reproduces dot digitally as it appears on the original film
    • Cannot be resized, edited or altered
    • Easier, faster pick ups
    • Prepares you for CTP
digital ads file formats
Digital Ads: File Formats
  • Most “Digital Ads” will be received from your advertiser as an Application File: e.g. Quark or PageMaker.
  • Beware of “non-approved” Application Files: e.g. Microsoft Word, etc. (see again “The Holy Spec Sheet”)
color management what you have see proof print
Color Management: What you have, see, proof & print
  • The “Real” color
    • What’s in the digital file?
  • Your Monitor
    • Calibration and the monitor’s limitations
  • Your desktop color printer and profiles
    • Color laser, ink jet or what?
  • Your vendor’s proof
    • Viewing conditions
    • Type of proof
  • On press
    • Dot gain and other annoyances

Output Devices

> Monitor

> Color printer

> Color proofer> Printing press

  • Visible
  • RGB
  • Pantone
  • CMYK
color management the keep it simple method
Color Management: The Keep It Simple Method


  • Get your vendor to:
  • Calibrate your monitor
  • Help you set up proper viewing conditions
  • Profile your color printer
  • Help you understand the limitations of the press
  • Is color management black magic?
  • The Keep It Simple method
    • Get help from the experts, your vendor
    • Once all is set up correctly, follow the rules
    • Understand the basics & view color correctly
  • Consistency
    • From digital photos and scans
    • To desktop color print outs
    • To vendor proofs
    • To press
color digital proofs what kind for what use
Color: Digital ProofsWhat kind for what use


  • Pick the kind of proof suitable for what you’re proofing.
  • For example:
  • Kodak Approval for covers
  • Epsons for inside pages
  • Color laser for edit pages
  • B&W laser for page composition
  • With dots
    • Example: Kodak Approvals
    • Useful for reading dot values
    • Checking for moirés
  • Without dots
    • Example: Epson 2000, 3000, 5000, 7000, 10000
    • High-end ink jet
    • High quality, less expense
    • Gaining acceptance with printers
page making layout efficiency
Page Making: Layout Efficiency


Sometimes you spend a great deal of time waiting for a printer to spit out a print.

1. Can the paper proof be replaced with a PDF soft proof for internal reviews?2. If not then add more RAM memory to your printer to speed up printing.

  • Use automated tools for repetitive steps
    • Quark extensions
    • “Hot” folders
  • Fast file retrieval
  • Batch changes
    • Touch the page as few times as possible
    • Try to gather the decision makers at major review cycles
  • Invest in faster computer or printer if you are waiting
page making preflight
Page Making: Preflight


  • Put together a check-off sheet of things to review on each page file before it’s sent out the door. Part of that list might be:
  • Check for fonts used and No TrueTypes
  • Trim and bleed sizes
  • Photos: res and CMYK good
  • Other illustrations are OK- Proof reflects current page
  • Preflight tests pages prior to RIP for:
    • Missing page elements
    • Page elements that will not RIP
    • Page geometry that yields incorrect results
  • Preflight creates a high level of page RIP confidence
  • Must be done before it reaches the printerRemember- Do it once or do it forever
color delivering the right stuff
Color: Delivering the Right Stuff


Find your “Expert” at your vendor. Before sending files, ask them for tips and tricks for organizing and sending files that will enable them to process your work with the fewest delays or problems. A few minutes now may save you days later.

  • Deliverable files to prepress services
    • A proof you have approved
    • A file format they can accept & process
    • All the parts and pieces: fonts and artwork
    • You’ve “preflighted” the files
    • Clear directions on scanning
    • Clear directions for special attention to problem pages

Talk to your prepress and printing partners…..all the time

page making staying digital with soft proofs
Page Making: Staying Digital With Soft Proofs
  • Read with free reader software
  • Works on Macintosh or Windows platforms
  • Can print out at remote locations
  • No font problems
  • Can add comments to PDF fileabout the page
  • Relatively small file to transfer


Have a remotely located contributor or editor? Work back and forth with them via a PDF file. Comment boxes can be added to the document for corrections or questions.

page making making pdf files
Page Making: Making PDF files


Learn the difference in making PDF files with low-res images for screen proofing AND making PDFs with high-res ready for prepress and the

  • Oops PDF
    • Set with the wrong parameters for saved file
    • PDF for screen, PDF for press
  • Correct PDF
    • General: default resolution=2400dpi, correct page size
    • Compression: Zip/JPEG
    • Do not check off downsample bitmap images: must be at scanned resolution
    • Embed all fonts
    • Distill with
    • Preserve OPI comments, overprint settings, halftone screen information
the holy spec sheet for digital photos ads
Digital Photos preparation guidelines

All images at 250 dpi or better resolution

All images to be CMYK, not RGB color space

All images scanned or shot to be 100% size on the page

Detail in the white areas but not grayed out (RGB=239), detail in the important dark areas (RGB=30)

Saved as a Tif (or whatever you prefer)

Email (can your email take lots of large files?)or FedX on disk

Digital Ads preparation guidelines

Use a current version professional page layout program: Quark, PageMaker

Final hard copy high quality proof, press proof preferred

No TrueType fonts and send the fonts that are used

Send all artwork

Or send final press-ready PDF

Or send final digital file: Tiff-IT, DCS check with what file types your prepress vendor prefers

“The Holy Spec Sheet” for Digital Photos & Ads
digital ads why is it important
Digital Ads: Why is it important?
  • Eventuality all publishing workflows will evolve to being totally digital
  • Why?
    • Time savings by staying totally digital
    • Reduces publisher’s liability
      • Composing and processing errors for conventional film and art
      • Electronic composing /processing errors in non-stable file formats
      • Simplifies ad pick up
      • Hold ads open later
  • Goal?
    • Bullet-proof ads for the press from the advertiser and publisher.
managing files the importance of being earnest
Managing Files:The Importance of Being Earnest!


Keep a notepad next to the computer and log how much time you spend searching for and retrieving files. You’ll quickly see if you can justify even a small file management software package. Or it might scare you into finally organizing your files on the server or your own computer.

  • Managing files seems like drudgerybut it’s very important
  • Business decisions to reuse creative assets: text & pixs used for future spin-off pubs
  • 30% of production time is spent searching for files & copying them to disk
managing files location is everything
Managing Files: Location is everything


  • Fancy file management programs for $200 to $20,000
  • Just good file management from day one
  • Consistency in file naming
  • Adequate space to save files

Do a little everyday!

It’s like cleaning house. Spend 30 minutes at the end of each day or first thing in the morning to organize page files, artwork, emails and other documents. Simply organize a few minutes per day. It WILL make a difference.

managing files file naming a rose by any other name is un findable
Managing Files: File NamingA rose by any other name…is un-findable!


  • Name it right so you can find it quick
  • Naming format: whatever works for you
    • Dates
    • Project
    • Revision number
  • Name it as though someone else needs to find the file
  • Use file extensions….even on the Macintosh
    • .QXD .PSD .TIF .DOC …etc.
  • Project folders
    • Working artwork, working pages, final pages, PDF’s

Learn how to use the Macintosh Sherlock search engine. Search by:1. Last modified date

2. Kind or file type

3. Index your drive so Sherlock can search the content of a filep.s. read the Mac Help section about Sherlock

digital connections push pixels not paper
Digital Connections: Push pixels not paper


This is not so much a hot tip as it is a “mantra”.

Only FedX photo transparencies…. Send and receive everything else digitally.

  • Internal Networks
    • Email for updates, work-in-progress, and a record of discussions
    • Soft proofing for review and mark-up, less paper and quick distribution
    • Workgroup to post info/proofs once and other group members download for review; schedules and meeting
  • External
    • Internet for collaborative access with your prepress and print vendors
    • Direct Connects with vendors for rapid massive uploads and downloads of page and image files via wide-area networks or FTP sites.
when it all works
When It All Works…
  • Use high resolution artwork
  • Includes the fonts
  • Mechanical specs are correct
  • Ad file is “finished”
  • Saved in a file format that is
    • Transportable across platforms
    • “Bullet Proof” to process without errors
    • Processes quickly
    • Is in a form ready or very closely ready for plate making
key components for success read as less stress
Key Components for Success (read as less stress)

Do it once or do it forever-get a decision, do it and move on

Knowing what a “Final” page is and when it’s ready to send

Understanding who manages the color

Organize &Know where the files are hiding

The Holy Spec Sheet - for Photos and Digital Ads

Digital connection

future publishing technology where s it going
Future Publishing Technology Where’s it going……?
  • No film: photo or printing
  • Digitally captured pictures
  • Editorial and art workflow management software
  • All data/files transmitted (no FedX)
  • Soft proofing (PDF and/or screen) internal pages
  • Digital proofs for covers
  • Much shorter production times
  • Digital ads
  • Much later ad close