Putting PDF into Production
"I know PDF will replace PostScript; it is only a matter of time," Poole states. "I view PDF as an emerging and improving technology. And while it might be good to be on the cutting edge of such a workflow-changing technology, I'm content to eliminate as many variables as possible from my prepress department, which, for right now, means relying on the proven capabilities of PostScript."
Johnson Printing, of Boulder, CO, is more extreme in its perceptions of PDF. Operating a 100-percent PDF workflow, this web and sheetfed operation was one of the first U.S. printers (in 1998) to set its sights on building a PDF workflow. "We sought streamlined, digital productivity in our prepress department, which would expedite processes and allow us to get more done in the pressroom," explains Bob Graham, general manager.
To achieve its goals of increased productivity and the adoption of streamlined, digital tools, Johnson Printing took to the extreme, investing in an Agfa Galileo platesetter, Agfa's Apogee PDF-based workflow solution and Adobe's Extreme architecture.
The Apogee system uses Adobe Extreme to create PDF files and automate production tasks, allowing printing companies, including the 100-plus employee Johnson Printing, to complete more prepress tasks and maintain high pressroom productivity. By incorporating Adobe Extreme, Agfa's Apogee workflow separates file form from file content, and uses digital masters to repurpose content for multiple output options. The efficiency of Apogee is gained by the use of job tickets to control the workflow, and the reliability and production capabilities of the PDF format.
After submission to the system, all files are translated to PDF using the Adobe Extreme PDF generator and a job ticket is created to track job progress and define production characteristics. The resulting job, in PDF, can be used throughout production as the digital master of the customer's original intent, with all fonts and graphics embedded.