Revisiting the Content Manager

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.

The Visionpoint system can now serve the customer as an electronic pointer for low-res images, whether the customer chooses to store them on-site or at Color Associates. Visionpoint utilizes unique fields established within the customer’s database, cross referencing all digital elements belonging to any specific project file.

The customer can have immediate access to all low-res digital images, either directly from the customer’s on-site storage or online from Color Associates via the Internet, a private network, ISDN or T-1 lines. Visionpoint allows Color Associates to offer to its customers multilevel search capabilities, so they can update and retrieve digital images for use in electronic layouts as FPO images.

According to Kevin Nash, director of new media at Color Associates, Visionpoint currently manages several million files from customer documents, ranging from page layouts in Quark or PageMaker, for example, to scans and related artwork. “In addition to managing the archive collection of customer files, a customized version of Visionpoint also manages Color Associates’ digital prepress group’s active files on our production servers, which consist of more than 1.8 terabytes of online space and 18 terabytes in near-line archives on DLT tape,” Nash reports.

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