It’s been two years since Brown Printing began incorporating the online web publishing software it uses today into the publishing process. And according to Jim Walker, this development has streamlined operations considerably. Brown says they use two different programs:
“The first is a virtual proofing system that allows everyone to be on the same page, literally. For instance, one of our clients has their editorial team based in Buenos Aires. What we used to have to do was generate the hard proof here in the States and overnight it to Argentina, which in reality takes about two days. Then they would look at it and approve it or make changes and have to send it back. The whole process would literally take a week or so. With this virtual proofing program, the editorial page is uploaded and everyone’s monitors are calibrated such that what you see on the screen is exactly what you’re going to get on the page, significantly cutting down on all of the back and forth associated with the conventional process.”
The other program Brown uses is called B.Direct, which is an innovative solution for the display tracking and administration of pre-media production, allowing all project participants real-time access to specific information from the convenience of the standard web browser. Explaining how B.Direct differs from the proofing system, Walker comments, “The virtual proofing system handles only the proofing process. The B.Direct program is more involved, tying in all of the other elements of production. All project participants share a common virtual workspace in which they administer, track, preview, review, approve and print information in real time.”
He gives the example of his Argentine client who was covering the world cup. While the magazine’s editor was in Germany attending the games, the editorial was coming into the system from Buenos Aires, and the ads were coming into the system from New York. Meanwhile, the editor was able to log into the system from Germany and facilitate the production process. Walker says that without the system in place, this sort of collaboration would simply not be feasible.
The cumulative result of employing these advanced systems, says Walker, is a greatly refined approval and proofing process, which can cut proofing costs alone by as much as 65%-75% alone, and save countless hours of back and forth between printing house, client and ad-agency.