Next-generation power workstations (HINT: like Apple's new G4) are catapulting prepress productivity to new heights—with help from the ever-omnipotent server. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO More power. More memory. More speed. More storage. More flexibility. More performance. What prepress professionals wouldn't want more in the way of productivity from their power workstations? After all, the key word is power, isn't it? Otherwise, it's just a workstation—and doesn't that sound boring? Up until the recent Seybold San Francisco show, the two most power-packed power workstations gaining graphic arts attention were Apple's 400MHz Power Macintosh G3 and SGI's Intel-powered 320 and 540 visual workstations, which sport a
Adobe. Agfa. BARCO Graphics. EFI. Epson. IBM. Indigo. Heidelberg. PageFlex. Scitex. Splash. Varis. Xeikon. Xerox. The movers and shakers of on-demand got together recently in the Big Apple to promote everything from variable-data software to wide-format output to the latest initiatives in PDF functionality, servers and digital cameras. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Between the digital prepress performances of Seybold Boston and Seybold San Francisco, the greats of the on-demand digital printing industry hit the Big Apple with the latest in digital color presses, variable data software, digital cameras—everything and anything designed to boost the short-run performance standards of the on-demand digital printing market.
Developments in variable data are pushing on-demand print production to new levels of customization. What are the hot new technologies to see at the On-Demand Show? The answer, pun intended, varies. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Talk about getting a little too up close and personal: Bitstream's PageFlex, Agfa's Personalizer-X and BARCO Graphics' VIPLine variable data software solutions, VariScript from Varis and Indigo's Yours Truly, Scitex's Darwin and Xeikon's PrintStreamer, EFI's FreeForm and Xerox's DigiPath—all are striking, almost surreal, examples of the power of variable data in printing. Talk about Big Brother. Imagine getting a customized postcard from a travel agency. A picture
No longer a small niche consideration, large-format printing is elevating POP and outdoor graphics display markets to new heights, allowing commercial printers to break through new profit ceilings. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO The bigger, the better. Wider is better. Big is beautiful. If for nothing else, wide-format printing is an attention grabber. And why not? How can any other form of print convey sheer opulence, tender sensitivity, true magnitude and obvious grandeur with the same, well, monumental proportions as do the wide-format wonders driving new trends in outdoor display graphics, point-of-purchase designs and an array of larger-than-life banners, posters and signage? Why should the
With PostScript 3, PDF and PostScript Extreme delivering on their promises to facilitate faster print production, visionaries at Adobe are casting their view to PDF refinements—and uncovering the next great print production performer. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO The introduction of PostScript placed Adobe Systems at the center of a growing web of desktop publishing solution providers. With the launch of Adobe's PostScript Extreme architecture and the rise of PDF, now, more than ever, Adobe is standing at center stage. What are Adobe's star qualities? Originally designed to demonstrate that PostScript could be imaged at or above engine speeds, Adobe PostScript Extreme expanded its
As more digital color presses hit the market, traditional offset operations, like Dallas-based Harper House, are going on-demand. BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Is investing in a digital color press the right move for progressive, commercial offset printing operations? Buy now, buy later? Buy what? Buy from whom? Why buy at all? The pressure to purchase a digital color printing device or full-force digital color press is only going to get more intense, as more digital color output products—conceptualized and marketed specifically to bolster today's offset printing operation—hit the market. It seems obvious that today's typical offset printing operation—often rooted in tradition and craftsmanship, and rigidly opposed to
BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO Seybold San Francisco may not have the same prepress hardware punch as its East Coast counterpart, but digital file delivery, digital content manipulation, color management and Internet design tools are enough to get the industry pointed in a Golden Gate direction. What to expect? Count on the show emphasizing content manipulation and color management—from creation through output. Be ready to see a variety of software tools to handle everything from creation of files to data storage, archival and retrieval—not to mention unique enhancements to the movement of repurposing digital content for the World Wide Web. Get ready for a hearty serving of alphabet soup—as
Variable data printing is a remarkable tool—especially in direct marketing environments—for pulling individuals into a subject, a theme, a sales pitch. Imagine the value of producing documents rich in custom-organized, image-intensive designs, fully personalized for each recipient. While the on-demand printing systems at today's digital printing houses and high-end commercial sites are actually delivering these personalized prizes, the real enablers of this growing marketing phenomena are the software packages. As a starting point, let's take a look at EFI's Fiery FreeForm variable data solution. Now available with the Fiery ZX line of color servers, FreeForm enables customers to use their existing workstations (PCs, Macs