Why paper proofing is a thing of the past. Or, how not to be George Costanza.

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

Tags: Xinet, Xinet Plug-ins, ProofHQ, online proofing, review and approval

george ProofHQblogRemember that episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza’s wallet, over-stuffed with receipts, burst open like parade confetti? We laughed back then, because we could relate. We were still a paper world…in the 1990’s. 

Now, in 2014, we’re becoming paper-less. Trying to, at least. We have the option to pay bills online. We’re asked if we’d like the receipt for our new pair of pants e-mailed instead of printed. Schools deliver information through parent portals, instead of via notes stuffed into backpacks. 

In fact, most everything we do in business is paperless. Think of where your layouts are created (in a computer), and where general correspondence happens (in a computer). It would be silly and time consuming, now, to take out a piece of paper and a pen, write your client a note and send it in the mail. Right? You would look horrifically behind the times for one thing. And, for another, you’d for sure blow your deadlines. Communication would crawl to a snail’s pace and mistakes would inevitably happen.

 “That’s not us,” you say. “We don’t do business like that.”

But look. Right there on your desk; that pile of papers. Edits to a layout? And those three other stacks? Copy changes. How many rounds?  You’ve got staplers, too, of course. And red pens. Or maybe you’ve got a special color-coding system, just to help keep your sanity.  Good for you. But is it really?

How many times has your paper proof not matched the digital file

Even though you checked, double checked and triple checked the latest proof to the earlier proof, and then to the client supplied proof. The file on the server mysteriously changed. You don't know how, or when, or why, or by whom. You only know that somewhere along the way, a mistake was not caught in time. 

With 99.9 % of all print campaigns originating from, and being produced within, an entirely digital space, the only sure way to get it right is with a digital proofing platform that represents where the file lives. 

How do you keep track of who’s requesting what? 

Someone, (you're not sure who) made a comment to retouch out the logo. Someone else had a last minute copy change. On top of that, the client called to say that their website is about to change, and you need to update all of their collateral for the entire year to reflect the new look (yippee)!

Your magnificently organized file cabinet of duplicate paper proofs isn’t going to help anyone who doesn’t have a key to your office (or a view into the inner workings of your thought process). A digital proofing platform, however, tracks, captures and notifies the entire team at once of changes, all in an easily searchable way.

Has your client ever asked for a copy of everything you’ve ever produced for them in the last year?

Unfortunately, those assets were archived long ago. And some were specialty printed with spot colors, varnish coatings, white ink. How can they be converted? How much do they cost to be converted? Digital proofing gives you full access to your work, so you can do with it what you need, including printing, downloading and sharing the same file that went to the print vendor. And it doesn’t cost you a dime.

How often is a job approved, then suddenly "un-approved"? 

With paper proofs, routing a simple, last-minute text change, and expecting it to be a simple process, is impossible. Digital proofing gives you the option to "Approve with changes". 

How many unbillable hours have been wasted printing out paper proofs?

It’s costly to print layouts. Think about the paper and ink. Not to mention the time and labor. It’s also time consuming; taking hours or sometimes days to reach the person who requested it. A digital proofing solution can get a proof in front of your client in seconds!

The bottom line is, if you are still printing out layouts and routing them, you are not working efficiently. In this age of green thinking and instantaneous digital expectations, you cannot be George Costanza; forever tussling with a whirlwind of papers. Not so funny, anymore.

For more information about digital proofing solutions contact us at: echase@napc.com

 

Tutorial: Installing Xinet Elegant Plugins

Posted by Michael Carusi on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 @ 05:00 PM

Tags: Xinet, Elegant, Xinet Plug-ins, Xinet How To

In a previous blog, we discussed NAPC developer plugins for Elegant. These plugins allow you to modify an Elegant site in a less intrusive way. The goal is to allow site's your modifications to work or be easily ported across major new releases of Elegant admin/portal. Plugins reduce the need to wade through the templates for any changes you may have/need to make. Additionally they allow you to enable and disable customized features on a per site basis. This will give you more granular control over your end-users experience.

This quick tutorial will walk you through the three step process of installing Elegant plugins to enhance your Xinet functionality.

WARNING: Do not install a demo (30 day trial) plugin on a production server. It will halt production if it expires!

Installing a plugin is easy. Simply log into elegant admin as nativeadmin on your portal server: http://your-portal-server/elegant_admin/ Be warned: You need a web browser that supports HTML 5 (this tutorial uses FireFox version 20.0)

On the homepage, you want to click the button to the far right called “Manage Plugins”. It will take you to the plugin screen. After that you can follow the steps below:


Step 1: Click Install Plugin

elegant plugin

 

Step 2: Click and drag the Plugin to the grey area. You should see a loading bar and a green checkmark when it’s completed the install

 elegant xinet plugin

 

Step 3: Refresh the page and make sure the plugin appears on the list

 

elegant step 3

That was easy, wasn’t it? Congratulations: You’ve successfully installed your new Elegant plugin. If you’ve taken a look at existing plugins but we aren’t offering functionality that you would like to see, contact us to make a plugin request.

Pilot Seat: How Xinet Pilot Liberates Users From Plugins

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Thu, Jun 06, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Tags: Xinet, DAM Systems, digital asset management, Xinet Plug-ins, DAM, Adobe, Asset Browser

Xinet

Xinet Pilot is a Xinet-aware media browser that will replace the Asset Browser plugins, and a quick look shows it works extremely well so far. North Plains describes it as a powerful hybrid of web browser and production navigation technology that provides Xinet-related tools within creative media environments.

Instead of an Asset Browser plugin, Xinet Pilot is a service that runs directly from the desktop. By launching it once, you can use it across Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign seamlessly. You can drag and drop files from the Xinet Pilot into the three Adobe programs, but you can also upload files to the server and apply metadata on the fly.

The really exciting part about Pilot's upload ability is that it will respect the Template Permission settings for Uploader, Enabled and "Required". So it will work like the Uploader Application in that respect, that we can set data fields to be required. Great! But unlike the Uploader Application, Pilots uploads are limited to singular assets. That's right, one asset at a time. (So far)

North Plains has said that they’ll be “depreciating” Asset Browser plugins and migrating to Xinet Pilot. North Plains has also promised to evolve Pilot in future releases and it will support Adobe Creative Cloud. I'm speculating that people are going to love Xinet Pilot and the first feature requests are going to be for multiple asset uploads.

There's not a lot of configuration options in this first release, but I imagine that will be coming also. Not everybody likes the 'executive black' background. North Plains is rightly taking the approach of providing the right user experience and tools now, and hopefully providing aesthetics in those later updates.

If you haven’t climbed into the pilot’s seat yet, you should.

Xinet Goes Mobile - 'Xaccess' FREE iPhone app

Posted by Kenny Kirsch on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 01:48 PM

Tags: Xinet WebNative Portal, Xinet Plug-ins, Xaccess, Xinet mobile

Over the last five years, few things in the world have grown as fast as mobile applications.   Mobile apps have grown faster than the desktop Internet ever did. At NAPC we felt it was time to show the Xinet community what the technology could be like with simple search/share mobile features. 

We are currently developing our next version of our User Interface product 'Elegant'. Elegant 5 will offer a theme that is being designed strictly for the tablet experience. The goal is simple: 'BLOW USERS AWAY'. The UX and UI will be futurtistic, clean, simple and powerful. Look for Elegant 5 in Q2 2012. For now go get our FREE Xinet iPhone app for Xinet WebNative Portal - Xaccess: http://www.napc.com/xaccess/ or from the iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/xaccess/id509588026?mt=8

iPhone Xaccess2

Custom coding in Xinet: projects vs. products

Posted by Rob Steinberg on Fri, Sep 24, 2010 @ 03:43 PM

Tags: Technology ROI, Xinet WebNative Portal, Xinet server DAM Systems, Buying DAM Technology, Xinet Plug-ins

Here at NAPC have a robust development group dedicated to making the Xinet toolset more accessible, client friendly, productive and profitable for our customers, and in turn, their clients. 

But we also have a strong bias; we’d much rather build a program that is widely applicable to an industry, with a robust admin GUI so that it’s easily adapted to make your client happy. Quickly and cheaply. We avoid one-off’s whenever possible. They’re a dangerous path.

This bias protects you. It’s not perfect. You forgo some neat, cool, trendy functions that have some real WOW.

You have to work within limits, and let go of some ideas. But you also don’t find yourself trapped in a universe of unique code that’s expensive and time consuming to rework as the underlying software evolves. You won’t find yourself in a cul de sac, with no easy exit. And you won’t end up with an unhappy client, who can’t or won’t wait for resources, or who objects to spending more money.

Our job is to both deliver technology, and to protect you from technology. NAPC’s Brand Control Suite is closely aligned with Xinet’s road map. It’s template based, like Apple’s iLife. Simple. Powerful. Adaptable.

Success means close cooperation between Xinet, NAPC, and you, our client.

That’s what we live for. 

Check the plug-ins at: http://napc.com/xinet-plugins.php