Digital File Transfer Get Yourself Connected
GAC Color Graphics got involved in digital file transfer back in May of 1996. DAX helped with the initial connection. Now, GAC Color Graphics does everything itself. The company has bundled off-the-shelf hardware and software into a suite of services called Cyberease.
Go With the Flow
Although customers can access Cyberease via a Web browser, most rely on a peer-to-peer ISDN connection. An incoming file receives an electronic job ticket before going into the customer's specific "vault": a secure area on the server that the customer can access. GAC Color Graphics then opens the file, which flows through autotrapping or automatic picture replacement, right to a proofer or imagesetter. GAC Color Graphics may also send a remote proof or soft proof.
"Many of our customers prefer soft proofing, stream-to-stream, where they can mark up the file, and we see it on our end," Gillespie says. "We make the correction, and they see it on their end."
Japs-Olson also does soft proofing. It transfers PDF files to clients for certain jobs. "Anything with serious or critical color I would not consider right now because of calibration issues," Murphy explains.
George Lithograph, in San Francisco, practices remote proofing. The company RIPs files to a TIFF image; the TIFF goes to an output device at George Lithograph as well as to a client's proofer. Since George Lithograph specializes in technical documentation, most of the work involves text. So, customers have no trouble accepting the proofs.
George Lithograph has enjoyed great success receiving digital files via its anonymous FTP site. The company operates its own host computers, as does most of its clients. This direct connection speeds things up. Also, most customers are large corporations working in UNIX environments.
"FTP seems to be easiest and more natural for customers using UNIX systems directly or customers working through UNIX servers that can be scripted to handle the process," says Jim Mekis, director of technical development.