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

 

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.