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Revisiting the Content Manager

April 1999
Two years ago, Printing Impressions explored the digital asset management and repurposing services of Color Associates. At that time, its top management reported that selling data services and exploring new ways of distributing client information was the future for prepress providers. Were they right? You bet your assets!


The year is 1997. At Color Associates—a St. Louis-based digital prepress, creative imaging services and display graphics provider—the focus is clear: The time has come to sell, market and fully exploit digital content management and the expanding role of digital communications.

The Internet, they reasoned, would play a major role in Color Associates' maturation from digital prepress provider to true digital content manager. Offerings would branch out into Internet-related services, electronic publishing, CD-ROM and other multimedia repurposing and related avenues for growth.

"We're selling data services; we're distributing information for our customers," stated Chairman and CEO Bill Lamberg, circa 1997. "Our strategy is to sell complete data management and offer a wide array of communications, graphics and digital solutions to our clients."

Fast forward to April 1999. The same man, with the same corporate mission, has teamed with a group of top management professionals, including his Color Associates partner, Gary Stephens, president and COO. And, that same man is still convinced his firm is on the right course.

Color Associates now has two solid years of experience providing Internet-related services, as well as success with its digital asset management, digital repurposing and digital imaging services.

Maximizing the Internet
"We've really evolved over the past two years from a prepress house—a place that produces litho film—to repositioning ourselves, thankfully successfully, as a true digital imaging and digital services company," reports Lamberg, circa 1999. "Color Associates, in addition to its digital prepress services, is also providing Website services, design 2-D and 3-D art, display graphics and stock photography."

What form of digital asset management does Color Associates employ? "The company has internally developed a custom digital asset management program internally, called Visionpoint, to address the specific workflow needs of its digital prepress group," reports Ted Pech, marketing manager at Color Associates. Visionpoint is a digital archival and retrieval system customized to specific cataloging needs on a per customer basis. Essentially, Visionpoint works in four distinct ways.

A customer sends artwork or photographic images to Color Associates for electronic prepress composition and imposition. These images are scanned and digitized at the highest possible practical resolution. The high-resolution, high-volume versions of these digital images are stored and cataloged at Color Associates. Original images are returned to the customer, along with low-res, low-volume digital copies.


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