Have you considered print on demand? Was: Re: Which image format-Clarification

Subject: Have you considered print on demand? Was: Re: Which image format-Clarification
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 14:27:51 -0800 (PST)

To add to Dick's stirling advice, various parts of printing are often "unbundled"--the most common is binding. However, there are also independent prepress houses that may make excellent sense for doing everything short of the plates--sometimes even the plates.

In my experience, the expertise of the prepress department is often key to having the best results.

Additionally, printers are manufacturers and may often be specialized in a particular kind of printing. Often, two printers with the same margins may be grossly different in bids because one may be set up to be much more efficient for your particular kind of printing. Therefore, if you have widely varying kinds of printing to do, it may behoove you to have relationships with a handful of printers.

Another option today is to have printing done on a print-on-demand basis. Often, you can have pre-printed covers made in color and have black and white pages printed when the customer orders them and have the POD printer handle fulfillment tasks.

Many software companies are now putting the documentation on the CD with the software in Acrobat format. Thus, the customer can print as many copies as needed on their own dime. If a POD printer is added to the loop, printed and bound books can be created to be ordered either through your firm or directly from the POD house, depending upon your preference.

If you have a product that ships internationally, you can use POD printers in the area of your customers to save very much on shipping, inventory, and often on taxes due.

I frankly don't see printed documentation being totally phased out for many years if it's available for a reasonable cost. Using POD, your customers can have it *their* way...and they get the latest version of the document as of the time of order and thus not have to deal with "errata" pages and the like.


-----Original Message from Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>-----

T. Word Smith wrote:

> Actually,
> 1) I recommend a good working relationship with your
> print vendor (not a job-by-job one like we have here).

Solid, Jackson. I've been doing this for a long time and know where the
gremlins hang out. ;-)

> 2) I recommend a vendor with a decent RIP, PS level 3.

I recommend a vendor who knows how to control the behavior and mitigate
the deficiencies of his RIP. Any idiot can buy one that looks good on
paper, but if the prepress staff don't know how to get good output from
it, what good is it?

> 3) Some knowledgeable Adobe folks also have
> recommended letting the printer handle the RGB, so it
> ain't just me (heck, I don't do color at this gig).

Depends on the printer's workflow. Bottom line, I give the printer what
they ask for, to their specs.

> 4) You should never have surprises. Set the job up
> right, establish a relationship, make it so.

Absolutely. When I get a job printed outside, I work with a printer I've
already got a relationship with. The wrinkle comes when submitting
something to a publication (ad, illustrations for a white paper, insert
for a trade show brochure, whatever), in which case it is important to
read the art specs carefully and, if they are ambiguous or unclear, make
_direct_ contact with the printer who will be receiving your film or
your files, rather than relying on some drudge at the publisher or show
sponsor to get straight answers and convey them accurately to you.


Re: Which image format-Clarification: From: Dick Margulis

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