“Adopt the image (and business approach) of an ad agency, not a printer,” is how the basic concept was summed up by Scott Mallen, president of Spectrum Creative Solutions & Services in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The price per page issue was touched on from a different perspective in the only vendor panel at the forum. The representatives from leading hardware manufacturers seemed to agree there is potential for further cost improvements with both electro-photographic and ink-jet technologies.
However, an argument was made that variable data, higher response rates and faster turnaround change the competitive equation. Cost per page is the wrong focus, given that the line item is dwarfed by mailing costs, concluded John Schloff, Pitney Bowes vice president.
Adobe Revs Its PDF Engine
SAN JOSE, CA—Taking the next step toward making PDF the native language of print production, Adobe Systems is introducing the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology. It is positioning this “next-generation printing platform” as a complement to, rather than replacement for, PostScript in the big picture.
The print engine does enable native, direct printing of PDF data, thereby eliminating PDF to PostScript conversions and implementing a common PDF rendering across workflows. Transparency is rendered without flattening and jobs are maintained in a device-independent state to allow for late-stage content changes in PDF and greater production flexibility.
Adobe considers the technology a printing platform, not just a RIP, because it plans to include tools for previewing and soft proofing. The system implements JDF and a native ICC color managed workflow in a scalable architecture for concurrent processing. OEMs who adopt the technology will be able to differentiate their implementations with custom color technology, screening/halftoning techniques and other add-ons.
One of the central goals is to synchronize the capabilities of production systems with those offered in design tools, rather than forcing service providers to compensate for the growing differences, according to Mathias Siegel, senior product manager at Adobe.