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3D Meets Marketing —Sherburne

November 2007
THIS YEAR’S Graph Expo was exciting and fun, and it was great to see so much energy after the last several years of difficult times for the industry.

One of the highlights for me was the increasing number of 3D applications that were being shown. You might ask: What does that have to do with marketing? I saw a lot of opportunity with these applications to allow differentiation of your company, which is key to an effective marketing strategy.

3D is primarily being used in packaging. One great example was a pair of applications from EskoArtwork—DeskPack 3d-X, a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator, and Visualizer, which the company got with its acquisition of StoneCube. Both are slick solutions that allow designers to more effectively design dimensional packaging. But what was intriguing to me was their ability to also streamline the proofing process.

For example, once the designer has finished the design using DeskPack 3d-X and Illustrator, the individual can make a 3D PDF. This means that the PDF can be sent for review to the customer who, with the free Acrobat Reader (Version 6.0 or above), can actually manipulate the packaging image in 3D to see all sides of the package.

Taking it to the next level, with different ambient light conditions applied to the design via Visualizer, the designer can make a movie of the final design in specific lighting conditions that can either be manual or auto-run. This takes virtual proofing to a new level, and is a terrific example of digital technologies being leveraged to improve productivity and reduce cost and cycle time. Esko has an online demo at, under the Software tab.

DALiM was showing a technology demo of a new 3D capability for MiSTRAL, the company’s project management and job tracking system. Once a magazine or catalog has been laid out using MiSTRAL, it can be converted into a 3D image of the publication for more realistic proofing. The image embeds all essential metadata, so the client can check color values and other aspects during the proofing process. This actually puts the publication in e-zine format.

So, in addition to acting as a dynamic proofing mechanism, it is also an independent format for publishing magazines in electronic form. The electronic publication can include embedded links and other interactive features. And, rather than being generated by a third party like Zinio or others, it is a new service that you, as the print service provider, can offer.

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