Turnhout (Belgium) -- The most recent version of Adobe InDesign, one of the most widespread design applications in the printing industry, has an important new feature: Live Preflight. With this option files can be checked for technical errors during the design phase. The Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communication (VIGC, Belgium) has developed 13 standard profiles for the most important market niches; and is sharing them with the printing industry, including designers, for free. Thanks to the VIGC Live Preflight Profiles many mistakes – and the extra costs associated with them – can be avoided.
“The ‘Live Preflight’ function in Adobe InDesign CS4 is a blessing for the printing industry”, says Eddy Hagen, managing director and trend watcher at VIGC. “You have to deal with problems at the source. Trying to fix them afterwards, which is the traditional process, does not only lead to loss of quality, but also loss of precious time. There are tools on the market to preflight native files from design applications, but these are tools that need to be bought separately. Consequently, they are not used on a broad scale. That is why it is so important that Adobe now has integrated this tool into its design application, InDesign CS4. Today, designers have no reasons not to check their files upfront unless it is to assemble the right profiles. VIGC is filling this important gap in the market with the launch of its 13 VIGC Live Preflight Profiles.”
Essential parameters during design and layout phase
With the Live Preflight in Adobe InDesign CS4 you can check around thirty important parameters. Some of them are obvious, like the number of spot colors used and the resolution of images. “But some are very technical”, says Didier Haazen, senior consultant and PDF Expert at VIGC. “However, they are at least recommended, some others are even essential. Take the ‘transparency blending space’ for example. It is something that many people have never heard of. But if this is set the wrong way, RGB instead of CMYK, when you want to go to print, you will get all kinds of unwanted, strange effects where the transparency is being flattened during PDF file creation. Another example is the use of spot colors and the alternative definition of that spot color. Most people will say it has to be CMYK, but that is the wrong choice. It is only when you choose Lab colors as the alternative definition that you will not get unexpected color shifts.”
VIGC Live Preflight Profiles linked to the GWG profiles for PDF creation and PDF preflighting
The VIGC has created 13 different profiles, which are linked to the profiles from the Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG) for PDF creation and PDF preflight. The file names also reflect the link between the VIGC and the GWG profiles. “It was our intention to link to the GWG, in which the VIGC participates actively,” mentions Hagen. “At the last meeting of the GWG, just last week in Madrid, we presented our profiles and they received a lot of interest from all the parties involved in the workgroup. The different associations represented in the GWG are now investigating and evaluating the profiles.” Haazen completes: “To create a good PDF, you need to start with a quality native document. That is why preflighting during design and layout is so important. With this new initiative people can retain quality control during the complete process, from creative to print output. With that, many problems and many costs can be eliminated along the way, which is of the utmost importance in the current economical situation.”
The VIGC Live Preflight Profiles for Adobe InDesign CS4 can be downloaded for free from the VIGC website: www.vigc.org.
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