De voornaamste functie van een schaduw in productfotografie is het ‘neerzetten’ van het product op een ondergrond. Maar het handmatig maken van schaduwen in Photoshop is iets dat veel tijd kost en daarom vaak niet gedaan wordt, het klokje tikt immers door en voor veel klussen is minder tijd dan je zou willen. Gelukkig is er InDesign. Met een snelle handigheid kun je de ‘saaie’ standaard dropshadow van de InDesign-effecten gebruiken om een realistische schaduw te maken. Ideaal voor productfotografie! Read more
De Nederlandse InDesign User Group heeft een volledig nieuwe website, waaraan ik ook meewerk. Op de website kun je korte artikelen over InDesign en Adobe-gerelateerde zaken lezen en wordt je geinformeerd over nieuwe bijeenkomsten en ander nieuws van de Nederlandstalige InDesign User Group. Daarnaast kun je er gratis en voor niets meerdere volledige PDF magazines vol tips en tricks downloaden. Neem zeker even een kijkje!
Just a quick note: I’ve disabled comments. Lots and lots of Russian spam was clogging up this ExpressionEngine blog. I might have a look at it sometime in the near future if I get around to it. Right now I’m helping out Nynke with her StartUp Royalty Free Models: Find and Book Models yourself, no expensive Model Agency required. And best of all: The price is All-in: It includes all royalties.
Ripping a video from YouTube used to be easy-peasy. Just start Firefox and install FlashGot. View the YouTube video in Firefox and go to Extra / FlashGot / FlashGot Media to download the video source file. When the download is complete add the extension ‘.flv’. Open the file in Quicktime and re-save as mpeg, mov or whatever format you choose. Done. Youtube’s new video format codec VP8 can be ripped as well, but there’s a slight difference. Read more
InDesign kent een erg goede functie: “Er komt overlopende tekst voor op deze pagina”. Helaas zie je in dit venster ook een checkbox. Als je deze aanvinkt kun je deze waarschuwing in de toekomst voorkomen. Echter, je document heeft dan nog steeds een probleem met tekst die niet getoond zal worden, maar je zult hiervoor niet gewaarschuwd worden. Stel dat je nu per ongeluk ‘Niet meer weergeven’ hebt aangeklikt, hoe krijg je dan toch de waarschuwing terug? Je kunt de voorkeuren (of preferences) verwijderen, maar dat is wel erg rigoureus. Dit is makkelijker: InDesign / Voorkeuren / Algemeen. Klik op “Alle waarschuwingsdialoogvensters opnieuw instellen’ en je hebt je waarschuwing weer terug! (via @Studea).
Via InDesignUserGoup Amsterdam De RGB-workflow… Voor de ene de heilige graal, voor de ander een onsamenhangend en onduidelijke oerbrij van kleurprofielen. De tijden dat je zeker kon zijn dat je zorgvuldig uitgedachte InDesign-ontwerp alleen maar aan een papieren substraat werden toevertrouwd zijn voorbij. Het is belangrijker dan ooit om je kleuren daadwerkelijk in beheer te hebben. Maar waar begin je?
Peter Maas weet er heel veel van. En het mooie is dat hij bereid is om een stukje van die kennis met ons te delen. Een tipje van de sluier, zogezegd. Hij zal in ieder geval tijdens deze sessie op dinsdag 5 juli de knuppel in het spreekwoordelijke hoenderhok gooien: is een RGB-workflow wel zo geweldig, of kleven er toch ook behoorlijke nadelen aan? Zijn er momenten waarbij het van te voren omzetten naar CMYK wel een goede keus is? Met voorbeelden uit de praktijk, zodat we zo duidelijk mogelijk het verschil kunnen zien. Uiteraard besprenkeld met de nodige tips en trucs en met aandacht voor de adders onder het gras.
Ik zeg: Be there, or be cmyk.
Relevant artikel: 10 Pre-Press Tips For Perfect Print Publishing
Als grafisch ontwerper of Art Director is het mogen organiseren van je eigen fotoshoots zonder twijfel één van leukste werkzaamheden. Wat is er mooier dan zelf alles voor een nieuwe campagne te kunnen bepalen? Uiteraard kijk je eerst bij de bekende modellenbureaus en je klant is ook erg enthousiast over je concepten. Tenminste… dat was hij tot hij de offerte van het modellenbureau ziet en je hem uitlegt dat hij vervolgens elk jaar opnieuw dient te betalen voor het gebruik van de modellen in de foto’s die je wilt gaan maken. Oh, én dat hij ook de rechten voor de verschillende media dient af te kopen. Wil hij later de foto’s ook online gebruiken? Bijbetalen. Outdoor? Opnieuw bijbetalen. Wat volgt is een discussie over prijzen, portret- en auteursrechten en een klant die er niet enthousiaster op wordt. Regelmatig eindigt zo’n discussie met de klant die aangeeft dat er één budget is voor ‘deze klus’ en dat jij dan maar wat in moet leveren of op zoek moet gaan naar betaalbare alternatieven. Read more
Via Printtools: “David Caolo warns that Mac OS X 10.6.7 introduces issues with PostScript-flavoured OpenType fonts. In a thread on Apple’s Discussions boards Kurt Lang describes problems with regards to printing and PDF handling. My own experience indicates this is also true of Pages documents. My PS Dell Printer errors out when I use the fonts I have had embedded in my Pages templates for years.” Read more on Stephen Beals website Printtoolz or join the Printtoolz Linkedin Group.
Update: Hellrod said @typegirl A lot of people are having success with Onyx. More detail at the end of this discussion: http://t.co/dTCfCgv
Update2: I talked to Adobe Evangelist Rufus. He already upgraded. He had only tested a PDF done by InDesign and experienced no problem. But InDesign has it own render engine. After tests with Apple Pages Rufus’s Mac now also creates bad pdf files with broken letters. Check out his screenshot.
I had a small chat with Petri, one of the developers of PhotoEQ. He’d love to talk about their new App on my blog. The App, PhotoEQ is a really lightweight and fast program to get your daily image editing tasks done. PhotoEQ can be used for color correction, image editing and color management. You can process a single image file or use PhotoEQ’s ToDo queue to batch process multiple image files and folders. Petri tells us what inspired his team to build PhotoEQ, how long it took to code the 1.0 version and shows us a short demo. Read more
By IC11 The fourth edition of the Dutch Infographic Conference IC11 is called ‘Inside Infographics’. Main topic: how do you draw the reader’s attention to your storytelling? How do you get the user inside your infographic? That’s not only the case for printed or interactive graphics. But also in applications such as games and tools like augmented reality. Read more
Zoals vaste lezers weten is nog niet zo lang geleden “InDesign CS5 Pro” van Frans van der Geest verschenen. Mocht je dit uitstekende en zeer gedetailleerde boek nog willen kopen dan heb je pech want alle winkels zijn door de voorraad heen. Ze zijn nergens meer te krijgen, ook niet meer bij bol.com. Daarom kun je vanaf nu ook kiezen voor de extra voordelige én volledig geüpdate versie van deze titel als eBook voor slechts € 17,50. (We hebben het hier over 532 pagina’s!).
Het eBook biedt bovendien enkele belangrijke voordelen: zo is het volledig navigeerbaar op computerscherm in Adobe Reader en de iPad (De Good Reader app werkt erg goed met dit eBook!). De inhoudsopgave, de index, bladwijzers en kruisverwijzingen werken als hyperlinks. Dit maakt het vinden van relevante informatie nog makkelijker. Uiteraard is het boek ook volledig doorzoekbaar op elke term.
Hoe is het mogelijk dat zo’n populaire titel nu ook als eBook te koop is met meer functionaliteit en toch voor een aanzienlijk lager bedrag? Nou, met het failliet gaan van de uitgever van Frans van der Geest (Easy Computer) zijn alle rechten op de titel bij de auteur terug. Frans heeft het boek onder zijn eigen uitgeversnaam uitgegeven als eBook PDF met nieuwe ISBN, omslag en ook bijgewerkte inhoud. Wanneer de titel is ondergebracht bij een andere uitgever kan het zo maar zijn dat dit eBook weer wordt vervangen door de gedrukte titel. Dus ik zou zeggen: Sla je slag en koop dit eBook voor slechts € 17,50. Het eBook “InDesign CS5 Pro” is direct te bestellen op de website van Frans. (PayPal of iDeal mogelijk).
Uit de inhoud:
• Tekststijlen en kleurgebruik • Afbeeldingen invoegen • Afbeeldingen invoegen • Lange document-functies • Alles over stramienen • Werken met lagen • Kleurmanagement in de praktijk • Afdrukfuncties • Samenwerken met InCopy • Maak de juiste ©PDF • Info over ePub • Praktisch werken met XML Lees verder voor meer gedetailleerde afbeeldingen en screenshots.
De nieuwste door Henk Gianotten opgestelde lijst met gecertificeerde drukkers in Nederland. “We duikelen wat naar beneden omdat één gecertificeerde naar België verhuisde (van Grinsven Venlo) en er diverse Thieme bedrijven stopten, cq het certificaat verloren”. Link naar PDF file met lijst.
InDesign CS5 is having some serious scaling issues that can end up costing you a lot of money. I’ve noticed this crazy behavior with InDesign CS5 documents (on different MacPro’s running Snow Leopard) more than once now, so I feel save in warning you. When placing Illustrator artwork InDesign CS5 can change the scale from 100% to 99.997% or 100.002% when you alter the artwork and it get’s updated in InDesign. It’s a really small change, so you won’t immediately notice. However if you’re using InDesign to create Certified PDF files for complex work like packaging your printer IS going to notice. And it’ll be YOUR fault for supplying wrong artwork. After Photoshop’s ‘‘Couldn’t save .psd file because no write access was allowed” (rough translation of Dutch error message) I’m starting to feel a bit like a Beta-tester, Adobe.
Of we dit aan Adobe of aan Apple hebben te danken laat ik even in het midden, maar dat het een kritieke bug is, is wel zeker. Wat is er aan de hand? Bij het werken in een groot Photoshop bestand druk je ‘Save’ in en krijg je de melding “Kon .psd niet opslaan omdat er geen schijftoegang is verleend”. Vervolgens probeer je het bestand op een andere locatie te bewaren en loopt Photoshop vast. Opnieuw bewaren is daardoor niet mogelijk. Het ergste is: Je originele bestand is compleet gewist van de server! Adobe adviseert om niet vanaf een server te werken. Mooi is dat… Een oplossing is vooralsnog niet voorhanden. Terug naar lokaal werken voor Photoshop files…
Macles is een nieuw initiatief dat met behulp van duidelijke korte filmpjes switchers en mensen voor wie de Mac (of Snow Leopard) nieuw is uitleg biedt. Dank zij Macles wordt je snel bekend met OSX en alle handigheden. Ik ben benieuwd welke video’s er nog meer allemaal komen. Aan de kennis van de oprichter zal het niet liggen: Met zijn jarenlange Mac- en software-ervaring helpt hij al jaren zowel de beginners als de Pro’s. Zie bijvoorbeeld deze video voor Digital-Engineer: “The Elusive Pathfinder Panel”. Succes Guy!
VosLibert Leeuwarden is op zoek naar een goede projectmanager voor haar “Food & Fast Moving Consumer Goods” (FMCG) klanten. Heb je (minstens) enkele jaren ervaring en interesse? Kijk dan snel op de website voor alle details. Als je meer wilt weten over het soort klanten waar we voor werken, bekijk dan deze cases en kies ‘food’.
I had a superb time at ‘One Hour, One Magazine’. I didn’t think it would be so much fun to work under intense pressure with people I didn’t even know. There was a lot of energy in the place and everyone finished in one hour. You can have a quick look what is was like in this video. There were (video)camera’s all over the place so I suppose more photo’s and video’s will be uploaded this week. Here’s a nice photo galery.
Photo by: J. van de Loos
Tomorrow at the Northern Film Festival I’ll be joining a group of other designers in creating a magazine in one hour from start to finish. Love the idea. Each team will take care of 5 pages. As I have never worked with any of the other designers we’ll see how everything turns out. There are still a few ‘seats’ left so if you’re interested sign up. Photo’s from the first 1 hour, 1 magazine right here on Flickr. (Can’t understand why we don’t have internet-access during the hour by the way. There is Wifi, but no internet. What’s up with that? Surfing the internet is a great way to do some quick research…)
I’ve been busy creating an online portfolio using the Behance Network. Why Behance you might ask? There sure are a lot of ‘Portfolio-websites’ out there and there’s even more ‘Portfolio’ software. What made me choose Behance was the fact it can be added to your Linkedin Profile. (If someone is able to view your ‘full Profile’ that is). Apart from that it’s very easy to create your own online portfolio using Behance own Tools. You can do it all inside the browser. Because it’s easy and quick I don’t have to waste time learning new software and I can just upload my designs. Speaking of designs: I was cleaning out my attic and stumbled upon some old graphic designs from 1996 and 1997. Back then I was still a student, but already I had a few clients. Together with two friends we created concert posters, tickets and books for a local Church Choir. There was almost no budget and we were only allowed to use one Pantone color. (Printing was expensive in those days). We used a pen, a scanner, Macromedia Freehand 3 and QuarkXpress 3 and we rocked! (You can check out more designs as I will be adding more to my Behance Portfolio in time).
Oh I’m really lovin’ this new InDesign CS5 Link pallet. Why? What’s new? Well, I always receive a lot of artwork created by others. And for some reason especially designers from Germany really like to use Photoshop and Illustrator EPS files. (EPS stands for Extremely Poor and Shitty). I use Photohop .PSD, TIF and .AI files because of transparency and spotcolor support.
Anyway what’s so cool about the new Link pallet? After I finished automatically converting every .EPS to .TIF using a Droplet I was able to quickly update all the 280 EPS files they placed in the layout. How? Well, have a look at the screenshots. First thing to do is to point the Link Pallet to the new directory and then all that is required is to activate the radio-button that says “simular filename, but with this extention….” Enter ‘tif’ and Bob’s you uncle. InDesign CS5 will automatically update all images. Excellent work, Adobe Engineers!
The website is up and running once again. Please note the older Dutch Archive of MacMojo is not online yet. We’re working on that. Apart from this website you can also follow the author Marco Kramer via Twitter. I know your time is precious so I’ll only post Twitter updates when I publish an article. Only occasionally will I send a short messages to other ‘digital engineers’. If you’re in to graphic- and webdesign and pre press I encourage you to link to my Linkedin Profile. If you do you can also check out my online portfolio. If you’re not into Twitter and all that, you could also just view my Flafors.me and see al those things in one place.
Some time ago I held a talk at my company regarding print Ads. Because of the world-wide recession Ad budgets dropped. I wanted to know: Is anyone still buying print-ads? If so, who? Why do they choose to advertise in newspapers? This information might help the new business team. Anyway, hope you enjoy the SlideShare presentation. Read more
Everyone loves free fonts. There is one major problem with free fonts though. Suppose you’ve created a nice looking design using a free font like say, the Adorable. Nice font right? But after your client approved the design he sends you the actual text and suddenly you know why the font was free… Read more
Het blijft voor een CS3-migrant opletten bij het exporteren van je PDF in InDesign CS5. Ditmaal betrof het een PDF gemaakt voor print, maar mét knoppen er in. De gedachte was om -naast de prints – het rapport ook als PDF te verzenden. Een interactieve PDF met knoppen naar Youtube-films welteverstaan. Knoppen maken is een makkelijk zat in InDesign. En een interactieve PDF, die had ik ook al vaak genoeg gemaakt. Echter… geen van de knoppen bleken ‘klikbaar’ in de PDF. Wat was er aan de hand? Read more
Back in 2008 Frederik Ruys and others set up the very first Infographics Congress. At the time Professional Illustrator Frank De Man and I were present and Frank wrote a very good article regarding Infographics. With the help of Frederik I was able to set up a short in-house presentation regarding Infographics for the company I work for, VosLibert. I’ve now uploaded it to SlideShare for you to read. Read more
I was asked to do a presentation for one of our clients, the ROC Friese Poort (a Graphic Design education) some time ago. The topic they’d like me to talk about was “what are Certified PDF files and how do you create them. I stumbled up on the Keynote files a few weeks ago and decided to put them up on SlideShare. I talk about the basics, the costs of ads in newspapers and what the main advantage of Certified PDF is. Read more
I’ve been working with InDesign CS5 for some time now and there are several small things that drove me nuts at first. (I’m a Creative Suite 3 migrant, so some of you CS4 users might already know about these things). First thing I noticed right away was I now need to pay close attention as to where exactly I click when I grab an InDesign image frame. Why? Well ,I didn’t know this but I tend to always grab an image frame in the center. When I work I pick up and move stuff around at lighting speed but I started noticing empty image frames. Now I knew I filled that frame and I also noticed the outline frame when I released it and jumped to another part of the page. But why was it empty now? Read more
Oh yeah. I just finished my very own Flavors.me and it only took me about 30 minutes from start to finish. The Flavors service is very good. It basically allows anyone to create their own online profile that will show all of their online interests. If you want to add, include or modify anything (like say the layout, fonts, colors) it can all be done using just your browser. Very nice and totally free. (The 20 bucks full-service allows for much more customization and extra’s like custom url, favicon, inserting movie-clips and more). Check it out. The photo I used was made by Photographer Henri Vos.
By Enfocus: Enfocus launches Instant PDF 09, the latest version of its easy and reliable tool to produce press-ready Certified PDFs. By preflighting and automatically correcting PDF files after creation, Instant PDF 09 brings unprecedented simplicity and standard compliance to the desktops of designers. The latest release comes with support for Adobe CS 5 and QuarkXPress 8 applications, as well as the latest industry standards. Read more
Een tijdje terug heb jij getwitterd,
en niet eens heel erg verbitterd,
dat men doodleuk had besloten
jou VosLibert uit te stoten.
Dat verbaast mij uiteraard,
want jij was elke euro waard.
Maar ik ga, tot mijn grote spijt,
niet over VL’s personeelsbeleid.
Je vindt ongetwijfeld heel snel weer
een baan als ‘digital engineer’.
Jouw gedicht was toen een mooie geste,
mede daarom wens ik je het beste!
(Jouw gedicht heb ik helaas niet meer.
Die heb je toen intern verstuurd en daar
kan ik al heel lang niet meer in.)
Wim Platje, NetCopy, de online tekstwinkel.
(Mijn hart-onder-de-riem gedicht aan Wim indertijd is helaas verloren gegaan).
By Richard Kelly: I’ve been in this business just long enough to remember when art directors did marker on paper comps. My memory is slightly romantic, but it seems to me that the alternative using stock photography for comps is in a way “F*©king with the magic*” of the creative spirit of custom photography. Read the rest at his own website. (Via Wouter).
A new update regarding ISO 12647 printers in the Netherlands has been provided by Henk Gianotten. As most of you reading this blog know, the purpose of ISO 12647 is to create and standardize the quality of print. There have been a few changes with regards to the last update. Some printers had to be removed from the list, either because they went ‘belly up’ or because they could (temporarely) no longer guarantee the ISO 12647 quality. This is not to say they suddenly became bad printers, but rather they were not able to produce the formal quality papers
ISO 12647 the Fogra, BVDM, UGRA, WAN-IFRA or SCGM organizations demands. When those printers do provide the documents they will once again be added to the official list. You can view the new list after the break.
The Belgian company known as Fontshop has been kind enough to put in writing exactly what every designer needs to know about fonts: Erik Spiekermann’s Type Tips,
Seven Rules for Better Typography,
A Primer of Typographic Terms
and The Right Font for the Job,
Type Selection: Beyond the Look of the Letter. This is great stuff you really need to know. Check out the PDF-files right here. And, as if that wasn’t enough, check out the 52 page PDF-book called Meet your Type. Pure gold. (Via Rufus). Dutch designers, please forgive him for being a supporter for the German soccer team. No one’s perfect…
Yesterday my website was down again and that forced me to selet another hosting company. I have selected Webreus (tip of the hat to Bart, check out some of his articles here) and they will move this domain a.s.a.p. Sorry for the inconvenience. Besides the downtime the worst thing was: I could not get in touch with the hosting company. No response to my emails (expect for an auto-reply) and the phone was not answered. Well, what other medium do you have left after that? Answer: The fax.
The Belgian VIGC just released an important update of their industry standard InDesign Live Preflight profiles. The VICG has implemented a lot of user feedback and integrated the new features for Adobe’s InDesign CS5. Apart from that there are now (the highly requested) new Live Preflight profiles for the packaging industry. All profiles can be downloaded for free at the VICG website. There is a form but filling out the information is not mandatory, but if you want to help the VIGC create even better profiles please do answer their questions. The VICG will not share the information with third party’s. They just want to have an idea how many people, from which part of the world, have downloaded their profiles.
VIGC: het Vlaams Innovatiecentrum voor Grafische Communicatie, brengt een belangrijke update uit van haar VIGC Live Preflight Profielen voor Adobe InDesign. De update is een antwoord op feedback van gebruikers, integreert nieuwe features van InDesign CS5 en voegt profielen toe voor de verpakkingsindustrie. Het volledige pakket is geheel gratis beschikbaar. Fouten voorkomen in de ontwerpfase is nog nooit zo eenvoudig geweest. Read more
As some of you noticed one of designs featured in this article shows a proper reflection of the bottom om the chair. But this reflection is impossible to create in Photoshop unless you used an actual mirror during the shoot. (And we didn’t). The reflection was created afterwards but we cheated a bit…
We’ve created great new job ads for the Friesland Water Authority, the organisation that ensures that we have clean water and dry feet in our little country behind the dikes and below sea level. More big examples of the newspaper ads (with simulated newspaper colors) after the ‘Read More’….
By VIGC: Het Vlaams Innovatiecentrum voor Grafische Communicatie (VIGC) start binnenkort, samen met enkele andere onderzoekscentra in Europa, een diepgaand onderzoek naar problemen met de bedrukbaarheid van papier. Binnen dit project, PrintIP genaamd, doen een vijftal kenniscentra in Europa onderzoek naar typische fenomenen als ‘mottling’ oftewel een wolkerig effect in een beeld, ‘stricking-in’ (oftewel de droging en absorptie) en ‘picking’ (oftewel het loskomen van de coating). Met een totale inzet van een achttal onderzoekers gedurende twee jaar wordt dit een vrij ambitieus project. Voor het VIGC betekent dit een nieuwe stap in haar groei als kenniscentrum voor de grafische industrie. Read more
Digital-Engineer.net was offline for several hours. CCC Hosting “had problems with the database”. This had happened quite a few times now and if it keeps happening I’ll move the site. The worst is I just told a friend of mine to let CCC host her webshop and her site was down as well… So my question to you guys is: What hosting company do you use and are they doing a good job? (Becasue of taxes and international banking I prefer Dutch company’s by the way).
Het is duidelijk dat je als DTP’er steeds meer werk aan je voorbij ziet gaan. Voor klanten is het veel goedkoper en makkelijker om zelf de relatief simpele updates of aanpassingen van hun drukwerk te verzorgen. Je kunt hierbij denken aan eenvoudig opmaakwerk als visitekaartjes, maar dan denk je eigenlijk veel te beperkt. Met hedendaagse Web 2 Print oplossingen kan je klant bijna alle herhalende klussen zelf uitvoeren. Te denken valt aan advertenties die regelmatig geplaatst worden maar ook folders, flyers en posters behoren tot de mogelijkheden. Het wisselen van foto’s in ‘online’ opmaken is erg gemakkelijk en zelfs complexere zaken als streepjescodes, vrijstaande beelden en steunkleuren zijn voor moderne Web2Print oplossingen geen enkel probleem meer. Daar heb je echt geen dure InDesign Server oplossingen voor nodig. Read more
My friend Bart posted an article regarding European colorsettings for Adobe Creative Suite 3, 4 and 5. We both agree his settings are superior to the standard ‘Europe prepress 3’ settings Adobe delivers. I crosschecked with colorexpert Erik Koldenhof and he states the following: “If you select a full color profile for the grey, Photoshop will only load the information from the black channel of that profile. The main advantage is the Creative Suite will use the exact dot gain behavior as written in the profile to convert colors and CS5 will show you a slightly better simulation on your screen. Barts’ article was written in Dutch, but he did use an English screenshot of the Adobe Photoshop CS5 colorsettings. As always, create and save the settings in Photoshop and load the settings-file (.csf) in the Bridge to synchronize the entire Creative Suite. (These settings were created for standard ‘coated’ artwork. If you need to create artwork for newspaper, magazine or uncoated paper other settings are required).
InDesign CS5 is here and not everybody is a happy camper. So what’s up? Well the same old problem… For some people InDesign is really slow even though their hardware is not that old. There are a few things you can do to get InDesign to feel faster though. First thing you might want to consider is to change ‘Live Screen Drawing’ to ‘Delayed’. Choose Edit > Preferences > Interface (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > Interface (Mac OS). Choose Live Screen Drawing and set to Delayed, and click OK. Now InDesign will work just like the previous versions, so you won’t really notice anything. Next one up is ‘Live spell checking’. Kill it as it will eat up memory as well. Another quick win is to turn off page thumbnail. And —last but not least— don’t use Photoshop .EPS files. Their preview can slow down InDesign CS5 as well. Another thing you’ll notice straight away is exporting PDF files. After you export it looks like InDesign is just sitting there. It’s not. PDF export is now a “background task”. But you’ll never know because it would appear nothing is happening. You can activate a task bar that will show you the status. Window > Utilities > Background Tasks. If you want to stay informed or read up there is a good topic in the Adobe User Forum discussing the slowness.
Gespot: Een gewaagde advertentie van Dizain die toont wat je ook kunt doen met een advertentie voor je eigen Reclame- en Ontwerpbureau, als je een beetje lef hebt. Goed nagedacht over de teksten ook. Heel herkenbaar voor de meesten onder ons. (Al hoop ik wel dat het logo voor de kinderopvang niet echt als SKSG_Def!!!!.jpg opgeslagen is).
De Nederlandse beeldbank ‘Hollandse Hoogte’ organiseert 3 juni een lezing over auteurs- en portretrecht: “Je hebt als grafisch vormgever, art-director of communicatiespecialist te maken met rechten die spelen bij commerciële uitingen, zoals advertenties of brochures. Intellectueel eigendom advocaat Fulco Blokhuis neemt je aan de hand van praktijkvoorbeelden mee naar de grenzen van wat is toegestaan. Aanmelden kan via email.
Het nieuwe InDesign boek van Frans van der Geest ‘InDesign CS5 100% KnowHow’ is vanaf volgende week beschikbaar. De cover is ontworpen door Bastiaan van Zwieten die ook de opmaak voor het InDesign User Magazine verzorgd. Frans weet wederom complexe materie op een duidelijke manier uit de doeken te doen in een goed verzorgd en duidelijk boek. Read more
Je ontwerp werd goedgekeurd en je hebt alle aangeleverde teksten verwerkt in een prachtige lay-out. De klant heeft je fotografie goedgekeurd. Je hebt er verschillende correctie – en aanvulrondes op zitten en je klant heeft eindelijk een definitief ‘okay’ gegeven op je laatste PDF. Het is eindelijk tijd om je artwork aan te gaan leveren bij de drukker. Is het een kwestie van ‘PDF maken en weg ermee’? Nee, na alle energie die je stak in dit ontwerp en de uitwerking ervan moet je nog één keer opletten. En wat is handiger dan een shortlist met veel voorkomende fouten? Read more
I just returned from a very nice trip to Brussels in Belgium. What a great city! I want to share 4 remarkable photo’s with you.
The Atomium, based up on or a molecule of iron about 200 meters tall.
Great ads all over the town.
When in Brussels, drink beer. This is the pub that is home to the famous brand ‘Mort Subite’ or ‘Sudden Death’.
I visited the famous Art Noveau House, Horta. Look what I bumped in to (besides a lot of Art Noveau). I never knew that was where the old English saying came from. (Hint: This logo was stamped in the toilet).
De Amsterdam InDesign User Group bestaat binnenkort twee jaar en de groep heeft een nieuwe bijeenkomst geplanned op 26 mei 2010 met als onderwerp InDesign CS5. Gastsprekers voor deze keer zijn Frans van der Geest, Peter Villevoye, en Maarten van Kleinwee (WoodWing) en ze bespreken de nieuwe opmaakfuncties en interactieve mogelijkheden van InDesign CS5. De toegang is wederom gratis (wel even registreren i.v.m. het maximum van 75 personen). Meer details na de lees verder. Read more
The Adobe Creative Suite 5 became available this weekend. You can download the entire ‘Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection’ from the Adobe website. And again it took less than one day to hack the entire Suite. I’ve already received several (seperate) reports of succesfull installations. Strange thing is: These were no hackers, just designers. All they did was install Adobe’s demo. After you test out some of the apps you’ll get a request to enter your serial-number. All it takes is one internet-serial and a serverblocking Applescript to fully activate the entire Suite. Both are widely availabe on torrent-sites. (Don’t bother asking, I won’t link to them). For Pete’s sake: The Applescript that these guys used even says that blocking the servers is not required if you’ve previously blocked Creative Suite 4! Being a client with a license I can only say: “Hello! Is everybody at Adobe asleep at the wheel? Did somebody forgot hacking CS4 (with all of Adobe’s flagship-software) was as easy as running an Applescript?” Read more
Op donderdag 3 juni 2010 organiseert OpenX guru Eric Geurts een cursus “Werken met OpenX” en een cursus OpenX Master Class in Amsterdam.
Cursus “Werken met OpenX”
Deze cursus is bedoeld voor mensen die de OpenX software willen gaan gebruiken voor het beheer van advertenties op één of meerdere websites. Het niveau is bedoeld voor mensen die geen kennis of ervaring hebben met OpenX, of die hun kennis over OpenX willen opfrissen. Er is geen specifieke technische kennis nodig, ervaring met het gebruik van internet is voldoende. (Meer informatie, downloaden van de brochure en aanmelden kan hier).
OpenX Master Class
Deze master class is bedoeld voor ervaren gebruikers van de OpenX software die hun kennis willen vergroten en extra toepassingsmogelijkheden willen ontdekken. Aan de hand van de vragen en onderwerpen die de deelnemers zelf aandragen wordt het programma voor de master class samengesteld. (Meer informatie, downloaden van de brochure en aanmelden kan hier).
Marco: Zelf heb ik voor verschillende OpenX projecten met Erik samengewerkt en Erik weet precies hoe hij complexe zaken eenvoudig moet uitleggen en kan voor je de meest complexe advertentie-netwerken uitrollen. Als je overweegt ‘iets meer dan alleen GoogleAds’ te gaan doen met je website of blog dan is OpenX iets voor jou. Er is ook een OpenX Hosted waarvoor je zelf niets hoeft te installeren. Gebruik ervan is kosteloos.
VIGC: Voor het aanleveren van ‘drukklare’ PDF’s gelden nieuwe vereisten sinds de GWG (Ghent PDF Workgroup) de specificaties updatete naar versie 4. Om deze overgang te vergemakkelijken en het gebruik van de versie 4 specificaties te versnellen, heeft het VIGC (Vlaams Innovatiecentrum voor Grafische Communicatie) een gratis tutorial file uitgewerkt. Het VIGC start ook met een praktijkgericht seminarie, specifiek gericht naar ontwerpers en designers over hoe een goede PDF moet worden aangemaakt.
“De nieuwe versie 4 specificatie van de GWG is misschien een kleine update , maar wel een belangrijke” , zegt Didier Haazen, senior consultant en PDF expert van het VIGC en actief betrokken bij de GWG. “Zeker de nieuwe controles op een aantal – soms bizarre – fontproblemen zijn echt belangrijk. In het verleden hebben we zelf al te maken gehad met karaktertekens die verdwenen, maar daarvoor zijn er nu extra controles ingebouwd.” Er werden ook nog een aantal controles verfijnd, zoals de overdruk-controles en controles op kleine tekst en fijn lijnwerk, waardoor er minder valse waarschuwingen worden gegenereerd.
Om de voornaamste verschilpunten tussen GWG v3 en v4 te tonen, heeft het VIGC een ‘tutorial file’ gecreëerd, die men kan downloaden via de VIGC website. De voornaamste verschilpunten worden niet alleen besproken, ze worden ook getoond. De file bevat bijvoorbeeld enkele fontproblemen die niet worden gedetecteerd met v3 preflightprofielen, maar wel met v4. Als ultieme controle kan men deze file dan naar een RIP sturen om zo met eigen ogen te zien of versie 4 beter is dan versie 3. Read more
Smashing Magazine is one of those websites I hold very dear. A lot of the articles on the website are so good I sometimes get frustrated because I don’t have enough time to read and really learn about each and every topic. (Thank God there’s Delicious so I can at least bookmark the articles and not forget about them). Having written an article for Smashing Magazine myself (10 Pre-Press Tips For Perfect Print Publishing) I often wonder how the Smashing Team can continue to publish articles with such high quality. Because writing a lengthy and high quality article takes up a lot of time and Smashing Magazine is totally free.
But right now it would seem the Smashing Team is in a bit of trouble. They need your help. They could have just dropped a ‘please donate’ button on every page but instead they decided to do what they do best and offer you an eBook with some of the best articles from Smashing Magazine regarding professional Web design and the business side of web development. The eBook is DRM-free and only $9.90. (PDF sample right here). The eBook contains 10 already published articles and 2 exclusive, newly written pieces. If you’re a (web)designer I know you’ll love the articles and the real-world advice will certainly help you do your job a lot better, faster or both. So please, order the eBook and help out the Smashing Team. I know I will.
Frans van der Geest is (bijna) klaar met zijn nieuwe InDesign CS5 boek. Als je —zoals veel Digital Engineers deden— de complete Creative Suite 4 over hebt geslagen, is het niet onverstandig een goed boek aan te schaffen aangezien er in Creative Suite 5 weer veel nieuwe en nuttige dingen te vinden zijn én aangezien je één versie achterloopt. Veel verbeteringen die al in CS4 zaten ben je immers nog niet machtig. Hou zeker na 12 April de site van Frans in de gaten, want dan is het embargo op het schrijven over de nieuwe CS5 functies opgeheven.
Enfocus and Adobe are hosting a free seminar regarding InDesign Server & Enfocus Switch on the 18th (Ghent, Belgium) and 20th (Brussels, Belgium) of March. By Enfocus: For creative agencies and publishers, the pressure to deliver more content faster never ends. Your life is filled with repetitive tasks that require your undivided attention. You can’t afford to make mistakes, yet you would rather spend time on your customer or on your creativity! We want to give you back that time… Read more
De beide PDF’s van Henk Gianotten’s presentaties ‘Voorspelbare Kleuren’ en ‘Untitled’ staan online. Henk verzorgde in Amsterdam beide presentaties tijdens de InDesign User Group. Het betreft “ISO 12647 druk- en printstandaarden: voorspelbare kleuren” en “Untitled, of waarom ze jouw PDF niet vinden!”. De PDF’s zijn erg informatief en ook nuttig als je de presentaties gemist hebt. Een korte omschrijving: “Het doel van de ISO-organisatie: gelijktrekken en standaardiseren, ongeacht afkomst. Voor drukwerk is de huidige standaard 12647, maar van gelijktrekken is nog absoluut geen sprake. Henk Gianotten zal tijdens deze sessie de samenhang aantonen tussen de kleurruimtedefinities van vector- en pixelafbeeldingen in de werkruimte, op het beeldscherm, en tijdens output naar een proof, drukwerk of print. Ook de verwerking van PMS-, Goe- en HKS-steunkleuren komen aan bod waarbij de optimale werkwijze wordt uiteengezet. Waar moet je als gebruiker op letten om optimale kleurresultaten te bereiken, en op welke manier kun je kleurdefinities bij huisstijlen beter vastleggen? Kortom, genoeg informatie om consistente kwaliteit te kunnen leveren.
In response to the “Color Management in the Command Line” article, a reader tells me ImageMagick is also very fast, highly flexible and scriptable command line software. Apart from that, it’s Open Source (e.g. free download) and can also be implemented in a Switch09 flow. So at first glance both Apps appear do be able to perform the same tasks. But there are few important differences between the two: ImageMagick is free, but it is more limited. It can read, write and convert images as well as perform fairly simple tasks like scaling, flipping or adjusting colors.
SoftColor however, can perform fully automatic color corrections which can be tuned (layer based / correction intensity / non-linear color, exposure, contrast adjustments). It supports color management using ICC profiles, thus allowing the application to convert images from RGB to CMYK for example. It can output to layered PSD files (original image / improved image) and perform more complex tasks like sharpening, changing the contrast or colors.
ImageMagic does have one advantage: It can be implemented using Windows, Unix or Mac OSX. SoftColor is Windows only. That’s not entirely bad, as SoftColor is build around a tiny collection of easy to use static binary configuration files. Imagemagick binary version requires multiple dll files. SoftColor also supports RAW files out of the box, ImageMagick requires a plug-in. You do pay a few extra bucks for SoftColor, but not nearly as much as a Photoshop license and you can reach an actual human if you run into any problems or have specific questions. To sum it up: If you’re thinking about automating repetitive tasks and you’re looking for a lightweight tool be sure to check both tools out.
Over the years I’ve seen quite a lot of tools to perform your color correction. But I’ve never come across a command-line tool for color correction. SoftColor Toolbox from Finland is just that. It can perform your color corrections, image processing and color management chores, either per single image or batch processing via the command line. You can either activate the command line or run SoftColor from a server. These days with Apps increasingly building feature on top of feature (and generally being a big memory-hog) it’s nice to see a super-light command-line tool like SoftColor. If you’re interested in command-line image-processing, be sure to have a look at their blog as well.
After several years of discussing the topic of ‘Certified Color’ (or ISO12647) RIT’s School of Print Media decided to start developing an audit and certify program for printers in North America. “RIT is an autonomous organization with the reputation and the know-how to fill this much-needed demand”. A bit late, but welcome to the party guys! More details in this PDF. (Tip of the hat to mr. Gianotten.)
A great deal of corporate identities can be found at the website of Hans Stol (just click the names on the right). A lot of the identities of the companies, schools —or even entire cities— are Dutch. As such you might not always be able to read the text, but you do get a great inside look of Dutch Design like the city of Amsterdam. Dutch readers might want to download Hans his PDF-presentation at the bottom of this page. It’s a great catalogue and you can learn a lot just browsing through all the different identities or study how to best set up an advanced online corporate identity.
Ever needed to send really big files to a client that can’t use FTP? Then you know it’s not easy. Services like YouSendIt or Send2Deliver are free but usually have a limit of just 100 Mb and they’ll send out advertisement-emails to you and your client. Now there’s a new Dutch Service that’s absolutely free and supports up to 2 Gigabyte. It’s WeTransfer. The service is free, requires no registration, holds up to 2 Gigabyte and keeps the data for two weeks. Perfect! How can they do it? They sell advertising-space for the entire background. And some of those those backgrounds look really nice. (Just a thought but they would make nice wallpapers as well guys!)
Recently the 45th printer company in the Netherlands got ISO 12647 approval. This basically means their entire operation is dedicated to the so-called ‘Certified Color’ process. The ISO qualification guarantees their printing quality, the inks, paper and just about every detail you can think of. As such companies selecting these printers can rest assure they will receive the best possible quality. More and more companies that rely on perfect color (such as the food-business) are starting to find out. The 45th printer to join the ISO qualification is Telenga located in the Frisian town Franeker. Currently only 45 printers carry the complete ISO 12647. Another 135 have stated they can reproduce the exact quality. (One of the important things about the ISO process is the fact that a client is able to measure the quality. The ISO guidelines, rules and datasets are available to anyone. As such complete ISO approval is not absolutely necessary in order to reach the same level of quality). Of course these companies are not able to carry the official ISO approval. Read more
From Frederik Ruys: We’re proud to present the lineup of our third Dutch Infographic Conference IC10, on march 5th 2010 in the design Hotel Theater Figi in Zeist. Among the speakers are: Charles Blow (graphic director New York Times, National Geographic Magazine), Prof. Michael Stoll (professor for Informationdesign and Media Theory), Liesbeth Melkert (head visual department at the daily Het Parool), Lars Scholten (professor at the multimedia college in amsterdam), Mark Bryson (BBC Interactive Designer), CatalogTree (Processing and Datavisualisation) and Chris Campbell (Infographic Designer at the International Crime Court in The Hague). Infographic legend John Grimwade kicks off the award ceremony of the Dutch Infographic Award 2009. The conference is concluded with a drink in Figi’s Atrium, sponsored by the Association of Dutch Designers. Read more
The Amsterdam InDesign User Group has a great gig coming up: Henk Gianotten wil be discussing how to achieve predictable and high quality colors for your printed artwork. He’ll also discuss how to set up the colors of a new corporate identity. If you think you already know how to do this by just selecting a few Pantone colors, well… you obviously haven’t met Henk! His 2nd session discusses the use of PDF and how search-engines like Google index them. Henk will show you what you can do to create better PDF files using meta-data. This InDesign User Group Afternoon is scheduled for the 12th of January at the Adobe HQ in Amsterdam. Read more
Met dank aan BNO, CMBO en het KVGO kan ik met jullie de nieuwste (geheel herziende) Richtlijn Aanleveren delen. In hun eigen woorden: “De nieuwe richtlijn moet de communicatie tussen ontwerpers en drukkers verbeteren. Tegelijk verschijnt er een tweede variant die zich richt op het proces tussen ontwerpers en opdrachtgevers. In de communicatie tussen ontwerpers en drukkers kan veel fout gaan maar ook tussen ontwerpers en hun opdrachtgevers ontstaat vaak ruis op de lijn. Het gevolg is dat vaak het product, het traject, de opbrengst of de prijs bij een van deze partijen niet aan de verwachtingen voldoet. Read more
The First Dutch InDesign User Magazine was released yesterday. It’s a free download but registration at the InDesign User forum is required before you can download it. And because it’s a PDF Magazine you can use the links in each article to discuss or post questions at the InDesign User website. I also had the honor to contribute to the magazine and wrote an article about what to do after you’ve finished your design. I wrote about the checks you can perform to make sure your document will print fine and how to find and eliminate those small errors that always somehow sneek in complex designs. (It’s a rather lengthy article bit perhaps I’ll translate it if I get around to it). I hope the Dutch readers will find it usefull.
You might have noticed the Markzware banner. I use Markzware Flightcheck to preflight and especially to collect my Adobe Illustrator artwork. Markzware now has a Black Friday to Cyber Monday 30% off deal for FlightCheck, Q2ID, ID2Q, PUB2ID and MarkzTools. Make sure you use the Coupon Code: CYBER30 to receive your 30% off deal when ordering.
By Leon: Voorzet – Consultancy & Solutions – introduceert de tweede grote release van zijn bekroonde Web-to-Print oplossing genaamd VoorWeb™. Nieuw in VoorWeb™ versie 2.0 zijn ondermeer een compleet nieuwe en zeer uitgebreide winkelwagen, volledige ondersteuning voor zowel 8 als 16-bit transparante PNG beelden, het on-the-fly produceren van Certified PDF bestanden en meer-talen ondersteuning. Momenteel zijn alleen nog taalmodules beschikbaar in het Engels en Nederlands, vanaf de eerste helft van 2010 zullen er ook diverse andere Europese talen beschikbaar komen, waaronder Frans, Duits en Spaans. Read more
By Gabriel: Het is een ongelofelijk jaar geweest voor ons als InDesign User Group! Sinds onze lanceerdatum op 27 mei 2008 zijn we explosief gegroeid tot ons huidige aantal van bijna 450 leden. Daarnaast zagen dit jaar ook twee belangrijke pijlers voor de toekomst van onze groep het licht: ons forum en het nIDug Magazine. Het forum is bij uitstek geschikt om met elkaar te discussiëren over de onderwerpen die je als InDesign/InCopy dagelijks tegenkomt, maar het is eveneens de plek om te discussiëren over onderwerpen in ons eveneens gloednieuwe nIDug Magazine. Het eerste Nederlandse digitale magazine wat zich exclusief richt op de InDesign/InCopy gebruikers van Nederland. Meer dan genoeg redenen voor een feestje! Read more
Via het CMBO: Donderdag 26 november organiseren CMBO en BNO een bijeenkomst bij BNO te Amsterdam om de geheel herziene Richtlijn Aanleveren te introduceren bij ontwerpers, prepressbedrijven en drukkers. De nieuwe richtlijn moet de communicatie tussen ontwerpers en drukkers verbeteren. Tegelijk verschijnt er een tweede variant die zich richt op het proces tussen ontwerpers en opdrachtgevers. In de communicatie tussen ontwerpers en drukkers kan veel fout gaan maar ook tussen ontwerpers en hun opdrachtgevers ontstaat vaak ruis op de lijn. Het gevolg is dat vaak het product, het traject, de opbrengst of de prijs bij een van deze partijen niet aan de verwachtingen voldoet. Read more
ISO 12647 is a big deal. Why? Well, quality printing is nice, but constant quality is even better! You can be sure about the quality of the printed result if you decide to select printers that are ISO 12647 certified. It’s not just ‘a piece of paper’. I asked mr. Gianotten to write a short summary of what it means to be an ISO 12647 certified printer. Here’s what he told me:
“Printers that work according to the international printing standard (as documented in ISO 12647) can print with predictable results. They can also make sure there are minimal color-shifts between the soft- and hardproof and the final printed result. Certified printers have documented proof they control the entire printing process from start to finish and their company complies with the PSO (Process Standards Offset). Furthermore: all certified company’s are required to send in control-specimens each year. These printed control-specimens are measured and checked by two separate testing-organizations in order to make sure the quality remains constant”.
Here is the updated list of all ISO 127647 Certified printers as of today: Read more
Ever wanted to search for something inside multiple InDesign or QuarkXpress documents? Ever needed just the (styled) content of one of those QuarkXpress or InDesign files, only to find out you didn’t have the right version? MarkzWare just released ‘PageZephyr‘, a tool that will allow you to do just that. Graphicsonline has got a nice review of the beta.
Nice plugin by Rorohiko: “This tool gives you a floating library-palette filled with images that are automatically retrieved from one or more folders. Point the tool to a folder, and in return it will offer you a floating palette containing the images stored in that folder, ready to be drag-dropped into your document. Very nice. Download and more information right here.
Heb je ‘Documents on Track 09’ gemist? Geen nood want de diverse presentaties staan ondertussen online als PDF.
Dit waren de sprekers en hun onderwerpen:
1. Ricoh Production Printing, Peter Williams
2. Trends in de markt, Henk Gianotten
3. Eenduidig kleurresultaat bij huisstijlen in print, Henk Gianotten
4. Management van veranderingen in drukkerijen, Richard van Hoorn
5. Inkopen en zelf doen of uitbesteden, Hans Kaashoek
6. Transactieoverzichten met reclame, Oscar Dubbeldam
Je kunt de presentaties hier downloaden.
Via Enfocus, By Simon Eccles: Enfocus has introduced PitStop Pro 09, an upgrade to its core program for preflighting, verification and editing of PDF documents in a professional production environment. It introduces new features, extended Global Changes and new workspace options, all designed to streamline operations for the users. The new version introduces full compatibility with the latest Macintosh OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems, as well as retaining compatibility with earlier systems. Processing is also faster for all platforms. It runs as a Adobe Acrobat plug-in and is compatible with the older Acrobat 8 as well as the current Acrobat 9. PitStop Pro 09 is priced at €599 for a single user version, or €169 to upgrade from the previous PitStop Pro 08. There are discounts for multi-user licenses. Read more
Looks like Pantone got the color wrong (again). The guys from the Belgium VIGC (or Graphic Brain) tested the Pantone iPhone app and guess what?
• Same App installed on two different devices (iPhone 3GS and iPodTouch) and they display the same PANTONE colors very different.
• The iPhone 3GS’s color is way off compared to an LCD-monitor dat (that was calibrated using the X-Rite Color Munki Design). The iPhone’s color-range is much smaller and the glossy screen doesn’t really help.
• Pantone claims the myPantone App can ‘snap’ to a Pantone color like PANTONE GOE coated (or PANTONE solid coated), but photo’s from Pantone’s own color-swatches are ‘snapped’ way off, even in a controlled enviroment (neutral light, D50 lightbox).
• Even a digital file that was created in Photoshop using sRGB-values from the GOE-book didn’t ‘snap’ to the correct color.
Being the color-lovers they are, Graphic Brain warns iPhone users not to trust the colors from the myPantone App. “And that’s a shame as graphic designers look towards Patone to set the standard regarding color. Just two years ago Pantone forgot to mention the RGB-values in their new Pantone GOE books were set in sRGB and not the industry-standard AdobeRGB. Now we have an App to judge and advice on color and it’s way off. This is not helping Pantone’s reputation as a color-expert”.
Test with picurers right here. For more information, (high res) pictures and testresults you can contact VIGC Edit: Added link to English test.
ScribeDOOR adds the ability to edit and treat text in 21 complex languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi and many Indian scripts. It can be installed, as a plug-in, in all Roman versions of InDesign CS4 (US, International English, French, Italian, Czech, Polish, and more). Menu’s are available in English and French and, best of all, your InDesign documents remain the same. You can exchange them with people not owning ScribeDOOR (although they probably won’t be able to edit the non-latin text). Up until now you had to purchase four different copy’s of InDesign if you wanted to do the same! (check out my Dutch article regarding this problem). At € 69 I feel you get great value for your money.
Via Aad Metz Linkedin Group.
Have you ever needed to hand over a copy of all the text inside your InDesign document? I have and I needed to manually copy all the text. It took forever. Now, there’s a much smarter way to do it: TextExporter: “TextExporter is a free plug-in for InDesign that export all the stories of an InDesign document into a single file (RTF, InDesign Tagged Text or plain text)”. Excellent!
Donderdag 5 november wordt in Amersfoort het ‘Documents on Track’ event gehouden. De organisatie is in handen van VIP, Graficus en Ricoh en het event richt zich op grafische ondernemers. Documents on Track heeft enkele goede sprekers met erg leerzame topics weten te strikken waaronder:
Trends in de markt door Henk Gianotten:
Integrale (multi)mediaproductiesystemen, de toepassing van standaards als PDF/X, PDF/ en ISO 12647 voor printproductie, outsourcemogelijkheden, W2print en het spagaat van “standaards en flexibiliteit”. Read more
By Leon: VoorWeb™ has been awarded the prestigious Web2Award for the “best home-grown Web-to-Print solution” by the Digital Printing Council of the Printing Industries of America (PIA), the world’s largest graphic arts trade association. The award will be presented on November 8th in Orlando Florida, during the anual Converge Conference.
The mission of the web2awards judging body consisting of educators, designers, Web programmers, e-commerce experts, marketers, and industry consultants is to honor excellence in the various categories of print-related websites. Read more
A lot of designers think CMYK is the way to go when you’re designing for print. We will of course always use CYMK-based inks, but this does not mean you have to work with CMYK-files. You can work with RGB-images and reach perfectly optimized printed colors ánd save a great deal of time in the process.
Read the entire article on Smashing Magazine.
Suppose you were checking this site out and wanted to know what the top articles are. Look no further. Here’s a list with Top Ten Articles. (Well, eleven actually. I couldn’t make up my mind).
1. Setting the perfect white text
2. Adobe InDesign’s hidden transparancy-flatteners
3. Better not use the Adobe Creative Suite 3 ICC profiles?
4. VIDEO: The Elusive Pathfinder Panel
5. Adobe’s ‘Distiller – Deathtrap’
6. White? There is no white!
7. Preflighters around the world: This is you
8. RGB workflow in ‘real life’
9. Bringing back to life the Old Dutch Masters
10. Golden Century Style Photographing
11. An interview with London based photographer and artist Sipke Visser Read more
By Jan: DTP Tools announces the immediate availability of a free-to-download public beta of the Blatner Tools suite of InDesign plug-ins. This collection of 12 plug-ins offers over 100 new features for InDesign users, including the ability to assign keyboard shortcuts to many previously unavailable tasks, create color and style reports, create fractions automatically, build character and paragraph styles and apply them acros an entire document quickly, and more. The Blatner Tools suite was designed by longtime industry guru David Blatner, who also co-hosts the InDesignSecrets.com site.
Blatner noted, “I love InDesign, but there’s plenty of room for improvement! Blatner Tools adds many of the features my clients and students have been requesting for years. Tools to create and manage styles better, the ability to find and replace colors, to quickly identify hard-to-locate document errors — this stuff was painful before, but Blatner Tools makes it all easy!”
Bob Levine, a trainer in the New York area and an Adobe Forums Community Expert has used the beta and reported, “Blatner Tools is more than just the sum of its parts — it’s the answer to a multitude of feature requests I’ve been reading over the past five years. If you want InDesign to do more, check it out.”
Here at VosLibert we’re looking for a good graphic designer to help us get all of the jobs done at the end of the day. If you feel you’re the one, let us know. We’ve got a great portfolio of clients like Grolsch, Nestlé, FricoCampina, Gardena, StorkAir, Pepsi, C1000, Celavita, and many, many more. Check out the website and send your application to the Studio Manager. We are looking for someone with at least 3 years of experience. (And you must be able to speak and read Dutch).
Illustrator Frank De Man is the kind of guy that does not mind showing you how he creates his artwork. Frank sent me a selection of short video’s where he demonstrates how to use advanced Adobe Illustrator features. Of course we all know and love Illustrator, but Frank takes it to the next level. Some of you already know Frank, as he is also an author for the Dutch Publish magazine and you might have even seen Frank showing off his skills at the DEA (or Digital Engineer Assembly) last year. A few of these video’s are from Frank’s presentation at the DEA. You can view the collection of all eight video’s, Franks entire articles and Illustrations for Publish Magazine and more of Frank’s Illustrations after the ‘Read More…’
My good friend Bart set up a Conversion Guide for RAL to Pantone Solid Coated and Pantone GOE. Check it out but keep in mind the surface you’re going to apply RAL-paint on to might make the color appear different. Also don’t forget what Bart says:
“Please be aware that 100% accuracy is not possible when it comes to match these two color systems. Both have unique colors, but also a limited amount of colors to match. I’ve used software to compare the colors between the colorsystems and it comes up with an alternative based on the LAB-colorspace and the closest one based on the “feeling of the color”… Use is at your own risk and I can not be held responsible for any costs or problems because of using this chart”. (I updated the link).
MyFonts latest newsletter discusses Dutch Type Designer Jos Buivenga. In case you missed it back then I’ve interviewed Jos some time ago for my Dutch site MacMojo. We discussed how he designed his font ‘Fontin’ and what software he uses to create the final typefaces. Jos was also kind enough to show his early sketches for the ‘Fontin’.
A few years later Jos his creations are even more popular! MyFonts tells us what happened in the two years after the first interview:
The way Dutchman Jos Buivenga rose to prominence on the type scene is quite remarkable. For years, his online friends and fans could follow the development of his typefaces via his website, and download the results at no cost. When his one-man foundry exljbris began selling his first commercial typeface Museo through MyFonts last year, several weights were offered for free. The generosity paid off: Museo became a meteoric bestseller. Eighteen months, five typefaces and one bankrupt employer later, he finds himself a full time type designer — and doing very well, thank you. Meet Jos Buivenga, going with the flow on the river of life.
Read the entire interview on the MyFonts website.
Marco: Grafisch vormgevers en Art Directors besteden enorm veel tijd aan het ‘perfect maken’ van nieuwe logo’s. Typografie, witruimtes, leesbaarheid, originaliteit en ga zo maar door. Sluitpost is helaas vaak de ‘definitie van de kleuren’. Twee (of meer) Pantone Coated kleuren worden gekozen en voor een full color variant zet men de PMS ‘koud’ om naar CMYK.
Probleem is echter dat er meerdere CMYK-kleurenruimtes zijn: Het papier dat gekozen wordt voor het huisstijl-briefpapier en de enveloppen is vaak uncoated. Het logo komt echter ook op glossy full color brochures, maar ditzelfde logo wordt ook gebruikt voor magazine- en krantenadvertenties. Wanneer je slechts één CMYK-waarde definieert zal de kleur van het logo in elke uiting anders overkomen, nietwaar? Krantenpapier werkt mee in de kleur tenslotte. Beste Henk, hoe zou jij dit probleem oppakken? Een logo gebaseerd op Pantone-waardes en misschien een RGB-logo? Read more
I really enjoy reading these comics from ‘Business Guys on Business Trips’ and I think you will as well. (Unless you are a Creative Director).
The Amsterdam Chapter of the InDesign User Group has planned a new meeting for October the 14th at the Adobe HQ. My good friend and Adobe veteran Peter Villevoye will host the event and demonstrate how to save a bundle of time by letting Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign work together. If you’re still using copy/paste to move text from Word to InDesign you should really check out how to let your client do the formatting in Word. The stuff Peter will demonstrate doesn’t even require InDesign CS4. Most time-saving tricks will work using InDesign 1 as well! After Peter’s demo’s you’ll have the change to view the new and improved Adobe Digital Magazine. Bastiaan van Zwieten will show you just how he set up this new format and how you can create your own Digital Magazine with links, audio, video and lot’s more! More details about the meeting (in Dutch) after the ‘Read more’. Read more
Enfocus announces the release of PitStop Pro 09 and PitStop Server 09.The new apps will be available for download en purchase as of the 16th of September 2009. Both tools are the standard for editing, checking and repairing PDF files. PitStop Pro 09 and PitStop Server 09 offer considerable new improvements to streamline desktop- or server-based processing of PDF-files and get them ready for print or pre-press. As always a fully functional (but time-limited) demo can be downloaded from the Enfocus website. Check out the new interface screenshots and movies right here.
This Digital-Engineer website evolved from the Dutch website called MacMojo. That site has been around roughly six years. Within a few weeks this MacMojo domain (containing about 300+ articles, book-reviews and PDF-samples) will be terminated. It would be a shame to just delete this content so it has been moved behind the Digital-Engineer domain in it’s own directory. The links to other articles still work, but all hosted files have been deleted. Check it out right here.
In several of the articles on MacMojo I discussed Aad Metz’s latest InDesign book ‘Leer jezelf profesioneel InDesign’. Because the link to the sample file no longer works Aad has been kind enough to host the PDF-sample file of the book on his own server. Feel free to download this PDF right here.
We’re currently experiencing some troubles after the latest Expression Engine update. Don’t worry we’ll be up and running in no time!
Update: All bugs were fixed!
We all want to do our job faster and more efficient. At the free ‘Automate your Workflow’ seminar Enfocus will demonstrate ways to automate repetitive tasks using Switch. Enfocus will demonstrate hoe to easily set up your own flow and integrate other tools like Elpical Claro for image enhancement. Several interesting real-world cases will be shown and you’ll be able to chat with other print-professionals.
Date: October the 1st
Location: Publiqare in Veenendaal
Registration: Check the link at the bottom of the program.
By WoodWing: WoodWing’s product evangelist Victor Cardoso is about to start his Webinar sessions titled “Enter the Social Media Scene with WoodWing Enterprise”. Kick-off is September 10th. SMS, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter… these are the entities that make up today’s social media scene. Publishing to these services is as easy as pressing a button for customers of WoodWing’s Enterprise content publishing platform. In this webinar, learn how server plug-ins make integrating these services easy in the Enterprise product. See how to preview, publish, and unpublish content using the Content Station editor. Anyone looking for a system that has the power and flexibility to work with these new media entities should register. Read more
This is cool. A community website to classify typefaces:
The site is called “Typedia”. Basically, Typedia will be an always-growing, community-based website for the categorization of typefaces. It will be populated by its community of users (since it’s truly a gigantic task), but will be regulated by its editors, a group of trusted type aficionados and enthusiasts (this will eventually be a large group of people). By categorizing fonts based on a standardized set of criteria (which Mark is formulating), we will allow users to add font listing to the site. […] This is where it becomes powerful: because each font will have this associated criteria attached to it, we can put every font into context with one another by comparing and grouping that information. In short, you would be able to find fonts based on information about them (besides just their name) and also be able to find related fonts based on that same information. Over time, this could become a massive resource for font research, inspiration, and learning. The site will be run like a “Wiki”. […] Hence, the community-based aspect.
(Tip of the hat to Wim P.)
SmartStyles is a ‘Drag and Drop’ way to automate boring, repetitive tasks like formatting objects and text in Adobe Indesign. Smart Styles allow users to create an entire library with complex pre-formatted objects. Apart from that SmartStyles can insert formulas into InDesign tables and sort rows. Check out the 2 min. video. If you like what you see, you might want to check out the new Webinar sessions. They’re starting in just two days from now on August the 27th. Registering is required.
I think the guys and girls that take the time and effort to become an ACE (Adobe Certified Expert) are quite special. Too bad Adobe doesn’t seem the think so. A few weeks ago they decided sending out a printed certificate with the ACE title and your name on it was to much trouble. A PDF will do as well… Better for the planet and all that… I think that is a really
Quark dumb way of treating your most loyal costumers. These ACE-people are your number one clients. They will probably eat, live and breathe Adobe. They help other people with design- or PDF-problems, not to mention they show a lot of other people (your potential new clients, Adobe!) your software. But, in Adobe’s own words:
“We recently changed to PDF certificates for ACIs and ACEs. You can print the attachment/PDF we sent you for [ACE CERTIFICATE NAME] which will serve as a hard copy of your certificate. If you’re having issues with the attachment we sent, we will send a replacement PDF soon.”
My thanks to Thike Soe for making this problem known in Adobe Software Users Linkedin Group. (Direct link, Linkedin login required).
By Alwan: Print houses can now deliver standardized production without investing in new offset presses thanks to Alwan Color Expertise, the graphic industry’s leading color standardization company. Alwan has opened its Print Standardizer to popular automatic scanning technologies including X-Rite IntelliTrax, ATS, Komori DCS II and Heidelberg’s Image Control – ensuring international standards are within reach of all printers. Implementing Alwan Print Standardizer is simple and only takes a few hours, plus standards are guaranteed for every job. Read more
The first European ExpressionEngine & CodeIgniter Conference will be held in Leiden (just a 45 min. drive form Amsterdam). I’ve been a great fan of Expression Engine. At the EECI2009 you can meet the experts, be inspired and break new boundaries! The event brings you twelve presentations and nine workshops from favorite EE & CI speakers (including Lodewijk Schutte, the guy that took care of the Expression Engine part of Digital-Engineers.net). The conference will be held across two days and ticket-prices start at € 175,- (or € 100,- for students). It will also be a great place to do some networking as a lot of design companies will be attending. Check it out!
BNO Amsterdam will host a session regarding Dutch and International Copyright law and Illustrators at their headquarters in Amsterdam the 1st of September. Anouk Siegelaar, lawyer for BNO, will focus on copyright, licensing, collective rights and so on. The seminar will handle questions as: How can you make sure your artwork is legit? What is the difference between using a piece of another illustrator’s work in your artwork and stealing? Who bears the (financial) responsibility? What are your collective rights and what are you entitled to? Vincent van den Eijnden, director of Pictoright, will be addressing the opportunities and threats of Google in the field of children’s books. Will you grant Google access to your children’s books? What is your legal control? And what does the ‘Orphan Works Act” really stand for? How can it make your Illustrating job more difficult? Entrance is free for BNO members and € 5,- for non-members. Location and more details at the BNO website (Dutch).
By Elpical: Today Dutch Company Elpical announced the public beta release of the new Claro Layout, an addition to its product line of automated image enhancement and image management solutions. Claro Layout is an Adobe InDesign plug-in and offers hands-off quality analysis and image enhancement to InDesign users. Read more
After the summer it’s time to get back in shape. And what’s a better way than to let the Pro’s from Adobe (and WoodWing) tell you all about the new productivity Tools? Learn how you can eliminate mind-numbing repetitive layout tasks and save a ton of time with WoodWing’s renowned line of Smart productivity plug-ins for InDesign and InCopy. Maarten van Kleinwee (Senior Technical Writer at WoodWing Software) will start by demonstrating the amazing power and flexibility of Smart Styles and Smart Layout. After the break, Maarten will demonstrate Smart Image and Smart Catalog, followed by a sneak peek into the exciting world of workflow and productivity in larger organizations. If automating your workflow is something you would like to hear about don’t hesitate, because seating is limited to just 75 people. More details at the website.
By Woodwing: Any design team working with columns of text and images, and interested in saving time in their creative workflows based on Adobe InDesign, would benefit greatly by using WoodWing’s Smart Layout CS4. Working on a layout with columns of text and images can be time-consuming, especially when changes have to be made to the layout afterwards. Smart Layout changes all that. When creating text columns with Smart Layout, the columns will automatically flow around other items already on the page. By combining the separate elements of an article like the headline, intro, text and images into one Smart Layout object, the users are able to easily manipulate this object and resize or move it, keeping the relation between the elements intact. All the while, they can still access all individual elements of the Smart Layout object. In addition, Smart Layout offers easy copy-fit options.
Well it’s video time here at Digital-Engineer. Right after Guy’s very good video about Illustrator’s Pathfinder, Adobe releases Peter Villevoyse’ video’s about: 1. Dreamweaver & Smart Photoshop Files, 2. InDesign & Flash integration and 3. Dreamweaver & Spry. I love the way Peter demonstrates. He doesn’t just present the facts, no he tells an actual story. And being Peter that also means you say exactly what’s on your mind. Including starting the video like this: ‘Hi my name is Peter and I’m a Adobe specialist. Well at least that’s what people say. Or: ‘Before Creative Suite 4 Dreamweaver’s Photoshop-import was half-backed’. Like I said: He tells it like it is. (Peter’s video’s are Dutch by the way).
And Peter: Thanks for using Digital-Engineer.net as an example in your new Dreamweaver book!
By Guy: The Pathfinder panel in Illustrator has been a fundamental part of the creative process for as long as I can remember. The ability to make new shapes from the interaction of other shapes has not been altered in years, until the newest sibling came along. Read more
The Adobe Pulse Live event is coming to Amsterdam and Brussels. Graphic Designers can enjoy the ‘Print to Web’ session and learn how to create ‘a rich interactive web document’. Adding animation, video and interaction using Adobe CS4. One of the speakers is my good friend Peter Villevoy. (If you attended my own event last autumn you might remember his presentation about Keynote). Apart from knowing just about everything regarding Web and Print techniques, Peter is also a great entertainer. After the ‘Print to Web’ session you can also attend the ‘Illustrator CS4’ or the ‘Flash Catalyst for designers’ sessions. More information about what, when and where at the Adobe website. Adobe is also hosting several sessions for regarding Flash Catalyst for Designers, Flash Builder for Developers, Adobe RIA and Flex 4 LiveCycle. More details right here.
I’ve written a bit (1, 2, 3) about ISO 12647. In previous years I wrote quite a bit about ISO 12647 as well. So what’s up with all this talk about ISO 12647? Well quality printing is nice, but constant quality is even better! Wouldn’t it be great if I could publish a list of Dutch printing professionals that are ISO 12647 certified? Well, thanks to mr. Gianotten now I can. Here’s the entire list: Read more
By WoodWing: Zaandam – The Netherlands: It’s common knowledge: Publishers, who do not commit to a multi-channel strategy, may disappear. A number of publications worldwide met that fate already. WoodWing, a leading devel-oper of cross-media content publishing solutions for newspapers and magazines, offers innovative solutions helping publishers to manage both their content and their publication brands in a modern multi-channel publishing environment including print, web, mobile and social media. Read more
I just read a very good article by Gary George from Tunnica Pre Media Blog about virtualizing your packaging design. If Boeing can create a virtual prototype down to the very last cable, we graphic designers must certainly be able to create a virtual prototype for our packaging designs. Check out the article and video on his blog.
From ESKO: The graphic industry’s body of international standardization experts, KEE consultants, has convened in Paris to explore ways of encouraging national federations and the graphic industry as a whole to adopt ISO 12647 standards. Members agreed that there is growing awareness concerning the need for standardization in the market, and that’s this belief is shared by OEMs, operators and production companies. Standardization is today considered the best way to optimize production quality and company profitability, particularly since the economic downturn hit the industry. As a result of this awareness, there has been increased demand for standardization and related products and solutions – software, measuring devices, inks, papers, lights and monitors etc – plus standards implementation consultancy. Read more
PrinArena is a Dutch Website combining all the information a Dutch graphic designer might seek if he wishes to supply correct artwork to a Dutch magazine, newspaper, printer, screenprinter or large format printer. It handles everything from ICC-profiles to InDesign settings and offers brief explanations about correct practices. It should definitely receive a place among your bookmarks. (If you can read Dutch, of course!)
The good folks at the ECI (the European Color Initiative) have just released an update for the ISOuncoated.icc profile. This is a major update as the ISOcoated ICC-profile had been replaced well over a year ago and it brought better color-reproduction and more stable colors with it. (And ISOcoated version two finally killed the ‘Blue Haze’ that bothered a lot of printers). So now we have ISOuncoated_V2? Well not exactly. The new international name for ‘ISOuncoated’ is now ‘PSO Uncoated ISO12647_eci.icc’ and it’s based up on the FOGRA47 data-set. If you want to deliver artwork according to the ISO 12647-2 guidelines (and who wouldn’t?) I would highly recommend you use this new profile for all artwork destined for uncoated paper.
As always, the profile can be downloaded for free at the ECI website. More details (in Dutch) at the Digital-Engineer Acrobat.com account.
Tip o’ the hat for mr. Gianotten.
Voorzet – reseach, training, consulting – introduces a brand new and very affordable user-friendly Web-to-Print solution called ‘VoorWeb’ (‘For Web’). Setting up your own Web-To-Print shop is remarkably easy. The entire VoorWeb process is automated and easy to integrate in your own website. The look-and-feel can also be modified to fit your own. Using ‘VoorWeb’ you can automate the entire process from planning to delivery. You can let your graphic designer’s work on the more creative jobs and let your clients handle their own easier jobs like business-cards, flyers, stickers and returning brochures. Your clients can login to your personal VoorWeb webportal and create their own personalized artwork, view the results and send the print-ready PDF file with the order to print.
By Enfocus: Enfocus announces PitStop Pro 09 and PitStop Server 09. These new versions of Enfocus’ tools for editing, checking and fixing PDF files include significant enhancements that streamline desktop and server-based processing of PDF files in fast-paced printing and publishing environments.
“The adoption of PDF as a standard means of transferring files and as the basis for today’s more efficient workflows has many advantages for printing and publishing professionals,” said David van Driessche, Director of Enfocus Marketing. “However, PDF files can be troublesome to work with at times. Sometimes they are not generated properly or do not output as expected, and this often requires more editing than is supported by Adobe Acrobat. In delivering PitStop Pro 09 and PitStop Server 09 we have focused on what functionality was still missing, but just as much on making frequent tasks easier to handle and quicker to perform”. Read more
By Gabriel Powell: In Instant InDesign Episode 7, I introduced you to the amazing capabilities of EasyCatalog. Now I’d like to show you how to create a template that automates the production of a product catalog. Originally, this episode was going to demonstrate the entire process from start to finish, but I quickly discovered that there just wasn’t enough time in one episode to teach you everything. So I’ve created a third part, which will be covered in Instant InDesign: Episode 9. Check out more Instant InDesign in the RSS-feeds.
The company I work for, VosLibert Communicatie, is looking for a good Project Manager to handle jobs for one of their clients. The job consists of communicating between several graphic designers and the client in order to streamline their packaging-design jobs. You need to be able to communicate in Dutch and English if you feel like applying. We’re also looking for two young ‘KickStarters‘. Two guys (or girls) that want to start their career at VosLibert. They get to concentrate on ‘new media’ and we want them to join our creative team and suprise us with their idea’s and concepts. You get to work for big clients like Nestle, Grolsch, TVM, Canei, Univé, sc Heerenveen and many more. No experience required, but a Design or ‘Communication’ education is required. Check the Dutch website for more info. English? Send me an email.
From Woodwing: Our new WoodWing Community site is now online and accepting registrations! This new environment for plugin users and Enterprise customers contains download areas and forums, addressing the needs of the various visitors. And guess what? The whole site is maintained through Content Station and published by our Enterprise platform connected to Drupal. Read more
I interviewed photographer and artist Sipke Visser some time ago. This week (3 July to 19 July) he’ll be hosting an exhibition called ‘Drop-In’ Portraits in London. Every picture was shot using the ads Sipke placed on the GumTree website. (More about that in the interview). Sipke also took care of my own photographs. If you have a change to visit the exhibition just take the DLR departing from Bank Station or a train departing from Charing Cross Station. It’s just a 15 min. ride and a five minute walk to the Viewfinder Gallery.
By Enfocus: Enfocus releases Switch 08 update 7, the latest version of its Switch product line. The Switch family of products (LightSwitch, FullSwitch and PowerSwitch) lets users automate repetitive tasks, helping them standardize their work and reduce errors. This new update also brings new partners to the Crossroads community. Crossroads is a community built around the Enfocus Switch automation solutions. Crossroads enables communication between Enfocus Switch users and vendors. “We aim to let the Crossroads community grow by adding new configurators to Switch and by offering full possibilities and solutions to our customers. Thanks to the success of Switch, more and more companies see the advantages of building a configurator for Enfocus Switch,” comments David van Driessche, Marketing Director of Marketing. Read more
Here are just a few of the topics/discussions inside the new Digital-Engineer LinkedIn Group:
1. Finally! Something for print-designers to hold on to while designing webpages: GRIDS!
2. Do you also find it difficult to create email-newsletters? I do and I found this blog to be very helpful. (Especially now the law regarding email-sending just changed!)
3. What you won’t get when crowdsourcing your logo
4. Reinventing classifieds: MinnPost launches “real-time advertising” Read more
I’ve had some questions about Digital-Engineer.net’s RSS-feeds, Twitter-feeds, Facebook and my Linkedin Profile. I have updated the footer at the bottom of every page to also include my LinkedIn Profile. You can always check all of the links at the bottom of every page. You won’t find the Facebook-link down there though. I do own a profile on FaceBook but it’s just a placeholder really. LinkedIn suits me just fine. I have found it to be a very valuable tool to find old friends. Whenever one of my contacts changes job I use to loose contact. Not anymore with LinkedIn. And Twitter? Well I’m mostly working all the time (or thinking about working) so I use Twitter almost exclusively just to post the titles of new blogposts and supply the url. I don’t chat about the weather or something. It basically functions as a new way to reach you the reader, like the way my emailing-list used to. But perhaps you would rather receive an email on every new blogpost? Let me know in the comments and I’ll set up a email notifying service as well. I have also set up a Digital-Engineer LinkedIn Group. The news part imports the RSS-feed from Digital-Engineer.net. The discussion part will hold short questions or informative links. Just like the website? Well not exactly. They’ll be links to reviews, good articles by related professionals or other small ‘gold nuggets’ I stumbled upon but did not find the time to publish an entire article about. Of course you can always drop your own discussions or links. I invite all of you to join the group.
The strangest thing just happened (twice!) last week and with atwork for a large client. This artwork got send out as Certified PDF. An Art Director set up a quick design and a pre-press guy added the final corrections, made sure everything aligned and he exported a PDF using the presets in InDesign. It got certified using InstantPDF and the App approved the PDF. When we saw the printed Ad several days later it contained an image with a very low resolution. That is NOT suppose to happen! InstantPDF can detect low resolution images and will definitely not approve any Certified PDF containing a low res image. But somehow it had approved this PDF and the other one. What the hell was going on here? Read more
Callas Software just updated pdfToolbox 4.3 today. I was fortunate enough to see the live demo in Brussels last week and I have to say I was impressed. What is pdfToolbox and what can you do with it? pdfToolbox is available as a plugin for Adobe Acrobat or as a standalone version (new) and it let’s you handle, modify, prepare and arrange PDF files. The desktop version was optimized for use as a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat, but now you can also choose to run pdfToolbox 4 as an independent application. Just about everybody sends out PDF-files these days but not everybody knows how to create a good PDF. “So what” you might think? Well… if a job gets printed containing errors, your client is going to look for someone to blame. Using pdfToolbox you can rest assure you’ve filtered out the most common mistakes (using the Pre-flight Tools) and did the best optimizing possible (using all the other Power Tools). Apart from that it’s actually like a great big PDF toolbox containing InPosition tools, PDF/X settings, Ghent work Group presets, ISO color profiles, optimizing for newspaper or magazine, and much, much more. And now they’ve even added a iPhone-like interface called ‘the Switchboard’. The default setting uses iPhone like icons and the interface guides and helps the novice user optimize the PDF or change the characteristics of the PDF. This makes it very easy to get the job done right. Experienced users can select the more complex interface and just go straight for the ‘Power-Tools’. Read more
Most of you know newspapers are experiencing extremely tough times regarding both advertising and readers. A few of you might even work for a newspaper (I have) and almost all of you supply newspapers with ads from your agency. As such we have all witnessed the decline in advertising. We’ve heard just about everybody talk about a ‘dead industry’. Here’s the deal: I think it’s not dead, it’s morphing. We can’t really see what it will become because the newspaper is still in the process of transforming. New ideas are taking shape and it will take some time (and guts) to implement them. I have just read ten excellent ideas a newspaper can implement immediately. Read more
In 2008 Enfocus wanted to find out who exactly their clients were. They held a survey. 4.840 users responded. Now who was using what kind of software and on what platform? Where do they live? What’s their primary business? How frequently do they use PDF-files? Do they even check incoming PDF files? And… what were the errors those files contained? Read more
Suppose you’ve got a client that wants you to turn the clock back to the 17th Centruy. To the ‘Dutch Golden Century’ to be more exact. This client sells dairy products and want you to create a photo to bring back to life that feelling of enthusiasm and momentum Holland’s Golden Century was know for. A key visual is needed to demonstrate a new type of cheese that will be known as ‘Old Dutch Master’. Sound like a though job doesn’t it? Read more
This Tuesday I’ll be visiting Esko Artwork in Gent for a presentation called ‘From Design to Print: Mastering the entire production chain using ISO 12647 out-of-the-box’. Apart from discussing the importance of standardization & ISO compliancy, we’ll be shown workflows revolving around ISO 12647. Yes, only real ‘print-geeks’ will be allowed entrance. And if that wasn’t enough the very next day I’ll travel to Brussels for a two day event regarding the latest & greatest from Axaio, Callas, Enfocus, ProofMaster and DMP. Should you happen to also attend either one of these events, you could always let me know. I always enjoy talking to other Digital Engineers. (I really do hope the farmers are done with all their protesting!)
Printers are hurting all right. It’s a tough market and everyone is cutting costs. This solution called FLOW+ can help you calculate the costs. Imagine being able to calculate exactly what each print-job will cost you. You no longer have to take an ‘educated guess’. Once you set up FLOW+ the costs of every step of the printing process will be completely transparent: From fluctuating paper-prices, the ink-usage at different ICC-profiles, setting up the printing-press, the time it will take to package and even delivering the final job. It’s easy to change a few variables and see how your profit (or loss!) grows. FLOW+ can even take into account the time and paper it takes to get your press set correctly for each job or calculate in advance at what circulation a specific job will become profitable. FLOW+ is browser-based and runs on both Mac and Windows. It’s a product of Caldera and their RIP Software like VisualRIP+ is excellent as well. VisualRIP+ supports HotFolders, Drag ‘n Drop, Nest-O-Matic, Step and Repeat, Spotcolors, ICC and ‘Tiling (automatically cutting up big format jobs) and white ink printers.
The biggest global event regarding Large Format Digital Printing (also known as FESPA) made it’s way to Amsterdam last month. Of course I had to take a look. It didn’t take long for me to see one the biggest trends of today: Cutting. I expected to see inktjet printers and digital presses printing nice and colorfull images all day long. But I did not expect to see this focus regarding cutting. There were lasers, knives and extremely sharp robotic-driven blades cutting out every shape and material one can imagine. I use to think I needed to order a special metal Die Cut shape if I needed my designs cut. Not anymore. Read more
Well I was afraid this might happen… Apple decided not to fix Safari’s bad text-rendering. When the Safari Beta first came out it proved to render light colored text on a dark background just terrible. And that’s just what the design of this site uses for it’s main navigation and it’s footer text. This problem had my full attention because 64% of all visitors use Safari (Firefox usage is 25% and Internet Explorer is stuck at 7%). Of course I talked about this with my number one front-end developer Low. We decided to wait until Apple would reveal Safari 4. It didn’t feel right to start adjusting the CSS of this website for a Beta browser with a bug. (And I couldn’t believe Apple would actually not fix this rendering issue). Well… Safari 4 is here and the rendering of light text on dark background is still terrible. At least we knew how to fix it. The issue had been noticed by other webdevelopers like Komodo and Sam brown. There were a few things with Digital-Engineer.net that made this hack extra important. Little did I know it would also make it’s way to a column in the Dutch D-Zone Magazine. Read more
I’ve been running Digital-Engineers.net for almost 3 months now and I’ve reached a crossroad. I’ve been writing about technical and personal design-issues and have neglected press-statements and commercial information. Sometimes that information was actually quite good and relevant. Now my question to you is: Would you like me to post news and relevant information for products like PDF Standardizer, WoodWing, CMYK Optimizer, FOGRA and many, many others?
The obvious advantage would be a higher frequency of posts on Digital-Engineer and detailed information about solutions and products most of us use everyday. The downside would be some of you might find it ‘to commercial’. I’d love to hear what you think.
By the way, these articles have been read the most:
473: Better not use the Adobe Creative Suite 3 ICC profiles?
386: RGB workflow in ‘real life’
298: Adobe InDesign’s hidden transparancy-flatteners
281: About the author & site
230: White? There is no white!
I love using InDesign and PDF. But ever since I started using real PDF workflows I grew contempt for printers with really old workflows. Especially the ones that will open my Certified PDF file in Adobe Illustrator just to print it. Almost every printer claims they’ve got a true PDF-Workflow and can process certified PDF files… It doesn’t happen often but occaisionally when it’s time to process my files a printer is on the phone asking me to please send an EPS, the InDesign file or ‘what not’ because they haven’t got this-or-that font. That’s all I need to know. They’re opening my PDF files in Illustrator. I can try to confince them Illustrator is not a PDF-editor and if they really want to work like that they could buy Pitstop Extreme. But usually they haven’t got a PDF-workflow because they don’t want to invest in more up-to-date software or an up-to-date RIP, so convincing them to update is not an option. So whats left? Manually select all text in my InDesign file, set everything to outline text-box by text-box and pray to God I don’t press Comamand+S and screw up my original file? Nope. There is a much quicker and easier way to set all text to outline in InDesign but it’s hidden… Read more
Last week one of the Dutch websites I frequently visit to check the Mac and Print news (Mac-Zone.nl) decided to quit and that was too bad. They had lots of visitors but the original crew couldn’t find the time to keep pushing out short stories and news each and every day. I enjoyed reading their articles. But having run a Dutch website focussed on Print and Graphic Design Techniques myself for over six years now, I totally understand how difficult it can be. Writing, interviewing and doing the research for an article takes up huge amounts of my time. If it’s so hard and it takes up so much of my time then why would I even bother? Why don’t I just spend my spare time flippin’ burgers? At least then I’d get paid right? Read more
Dutch people have always had ‘a thing’ with designing money. Before the Euro we used to have our own Guilder with a beautiful symbol: ƒ. Dutch money bills were known around the world for their modern and outstanding design. Now we have Euro bills with fake monuments and the Euro symbol: €. If you’re thinking “that Euro symbol looks like a logo instead of a symbol or letter”, you’d be correct. I suppose that’s what you get when civil servants don’t consult typeface experts. But we can still look back at all the great Dutch designs that were made. A highly detailed interview about Dutch money with great examples inclusing the ‘Light House’, ‘Sunflower’ and ‘Snipe’ bills and hidden ‘Easters Eggs’ the designer added to the final design (including a print of his own middle finger) can be found at Creative Review. (Via I love typography). But there’s more: Even though we can’t create our own money any more we still manage to design some great coins every now and than.
Don’t forget the Amsterdam InDesign User Group is holding a meeting in Amsterdam next week, Wednesday the 27th. Both the Acrobat and InDesign User Group are working together to make sure you’ll have a good and informative day. Topic of the day is how to use both InDesign and Acrobat to create interactive PDF forms. These forms can be filled out on a computer and electronically submitted through email or the internet. Gabriel Powell (check out his RSS-feed called Instant InDesign over at your at right or his free ‘how to video’s) will discuss how to design a PDF form and he’ll explain just how to export it to PDF. Acrobat will be used to automatically convert it into an interactive form. Yuri Doesum (yes the same one that helped me set up the DEA or Digital Engineer Assembly last year) will demonstrate different methods for distributing a form and collecting responses. There are only 75 seats available so if you think your PDF-form designing-skills need some updatin’ I suggest you sign up. And hey, it’s free! (“Free” is a word we Dutch absolutely love).
We know pixel logo’s suck, that’s why real designers use Illustrator to create logo’s. Unfortunately most of their clients haven’t got a clue. They think vector based logo’s suck ‘cause Microsoft Word or PowerPoint can’t import those. That’s why most of us provide clients with high res JPEG’s or PNG’s. And that’s exactly what they send out to other designer’s asking for logo’s. I can’t recall how many times I had to explain the difference in order to get a client to send out a request to receive the real logo and not the JPEG. Now you don’t have to any more. Just send them this link to a short film by the Logo Factory explaining exactly why pixel-based logo’s are inferior to vector-based. It’s the ultimate answer. (Video after the ‘Read More’). Read more
I personally dislike using Live Preflight-profiles but they can come in quite handy especially if you’re new to this whole ‘graphic design’ thing or if you’re a webdesigner needing to do some occasional print work. (What’s a Live Preflight? Check out Lynda.com’s short video and accompanying 600 Mb sample file). Nice, but – as always – the Preflight is only as good as the profile defining the preflight. And this is where those nice people from Belgium come in.
The Ghent Work Group VIGC got together and created 13 Live Preflight Profiles for the creative professional. Why 13?
Putting white text on a colored background? We’ve all done it. Oh, it looks great on your screen. But when you receive the printed artwork it doesn’t look all that good. If you look closely you can see the white type is a bit blurry, almost like something took a lot of little bites out of the type. This not-so-sharp phenomenon is due to the offset printing process and the way color is replicated (using halftone dots). But there is an easy way to reach much higher quality – and better readable – type. It requires almost no effort and all you need is InDesign. Take a look at these screenshots and extreme close-up photo’s. Read more
My colleagues and I always use large black foam-boards to present our designs and idea’s. Most of the time we end up with several of them. But how do you transport a bunch of those things? For years we’ve used standard king-size art-folders, but everybody’s got those… They don’t let us stand out of the crowd and they’re too expensive to just hand over to a client every time we present new designs. It feels rather cheap to return home with an empty art-folder after a presentation and leave the client with a pile of foam-boards on his desk… Apart from that we were also looking for a way to let our company and designs stand out at the very beginning. So we decided to create our own foam-board carrying cases. They were designed to carry foam-boards, impress the client from the get-go and they were to be made out of cardboard so we could hand them over along with the designs. We decided to look at the Old Dutch Masters for inspiration. Read more
Good friend Eric just released his new iPhone/iPod Touch app ‘Infomaps Amsterdam’ (iTunes link). It’s a practical and beautifully designed tourist and public transport guide for Amsterdam with ‘a twist’. I’ll be talking with Eric about the new app, the design process and we’ll be showing some of the early – and final – designs. Read more
Pitstop Professional is one of the apps most pre-press departments use to check incoming PDF’s. Apart from checking you can also use it to correct PDF’s. But because it’s such a flexible tool it can also be kind of scary to use at first. That’s why I’m glad Enfocus decided to release serveral short video’s showing you exactly how to perform some of the most common actions. This episode demonstrates how you can use Pitstop Professional to ‘Detect and fix objects without bleed’. They’ve got some more video’s and they’ll be uploading a new one every week.
Somewhat off-topic but if you listen to the voice-over you’ll know how Dutch –and Belgium– people pronounce English. What do you think? Does we sound like Borat or more like Femke Janssen?
I use to love ‘Distilling’. It was all I ever did for print-ready PDF-files. Oh, I tried exporting to PDF from InDesign. But I didn’t really start exporting everything as PDF until I got my hands on InDesign CS3. And after what I just found out I’m glad I don’t use Distiller’s build-in standard PDF/X1a:2000 any more. Because the standard PDF/X1a can screw up your artwork big time. Read more
Now here’s a free PDF-book written especially for designers who seek to understand the Web as a medium and learn how they can move to a career in web design. It’s also suited to designers who wish to add web design to their repertoire of client services.
Please keep in mind the book was written in 2001. Screenshots are outdated, but the book still contains a lot of great and useful information. If you’re short on time I would suggest reading the part called ‘Riding the Project Life Cycle’. Because if there’s one thing you might get bitten by it’s the fact that a website can always be updated. Make sure you’ve documented all your clients wishes and set out boundaries. If you don’t the website will become a never-ending story. Print designers tend to forget there’s no such thing as a printer delivering a finished product. Some clients just keep piling up requests for their website. (Yes, I learned the hard way).
I just received word from Pantone: They’ve got an exiting new feature on Pantone.com. What could this be? Well, a forum! Ah, very ‘exciting’ indeed… for Pantone that is! In Europe Pantone used to be a company that wasn’t exactly known for it’s openness towards it’s costumers. I suppose this is more of the X-Rite spirit as they bought Pantone almost two years ago. I totally agree with X-Rite new direction as the old Pantone was no friend of the designer. Read more
The photographer Sipke works and lives in London, but thanks to a mutual friend we teamed up in The Netherlands to do a photoshoot in order to let me introduce myself to the readers of this website. We talked a bit and Sipke’s story intrigued me: How does a young guy from the Netherlands end up working in the professional photo-industry in London? It’s not like there aren’t any good photographers over there. What’s it like to leave everything you know (including your language) behind and start from scratch in a very competitive industry in one of the largest city’s of Europe? Read more
The city of Amsterdam just hosted the Cut&Paste Contest; a live Design Battle for sixteen young, Dutch graphic designers. If you think working with a short deadline is though, think again. These guys had to create their design in 15 minutes in front of a screaming audience! Pictures of the Amsterdam Event can be viewed here. The designers (or should I say artists?) are over here. Cut&Paste has set up events all over the world and the big finale where all the winners from the other C&P events will do battle is New York. Great concept! (I do hope none of my clients will attend! They might expect me to do all my work in 15 minutes…)
Enfocus has just announced the Pitstop Extreme Webinar on April 9th from 3-4PM (GMT+1). I’ve had a chance to play with Pitstop Extreme a little bit during last year’s IFRA in Amsterdam and I was impressed. Dimitri from Enfocus was kind enough to let me create a few screenshots of the interface and I’ve uploaded them here. Pitstop Extreme is basically ‘Pitstop’ and ‘Neo’ (a stand-alone PDF editing tool) combined. For those of you not in the know, the ‘Neo-engine’ of Pitstop Extreme is almost like an Illustrator on steroids. Of course you can open a PDF file in Illustrator but you’ll probably get all sorts of errors; mising fonts, mising images, sliced images (because of flattening), wrong color-mode… Pitstop Extreme (and Neo) won’t give you those troubles and let you edit the PDF (even the textflow) and save the PDF without worries. (It works with flattened PDF 1.3 files as well!). Click here to sign up for the Webinar. Read more
I’ve been aware of Enfocus SWITCH for some time but I felt I didn’t need it. It’s basically ‘easy to use and install automation software’. That sound pretty vague, I know. Now I don’t run a pre-press department for a large print-house. I don’t control large workflows with incoming PDF-files. But because everything I produce will eventually get send out as a certified PDF I did find a way for SWITCH to help my clients out and make my work a lot easier. Read more
One of the things you really have to learn ‘as you go’ is designing with folds. There really is only one way of creating a perfect design with folds in it: Designing, printing, getting out the scissors and probably re-designing) . Only with a dummy-shape in your hand can you really see what will happen when you actually fold your design. And if you’re new to this – or just in a hurry – you are likely to make little mistakes. But if you’ve got InDesign there is an automated way to produce folds with little or almost no effort. Read more
Good colleague (Dutch InDesign trainer and speaker at my Digital-Engineer event last year) Frans reports about a bug in Adobe’s Indesign CS4 for OSX. I hadn’t noticed it because all the artwork I create using inDesign gets send out like a certified PDF. But if you send out complete InDesign ‘packages’ you need to be aware InDesign won’t collect all the links when you ‘collect for output’. So what’s up? As always, when you know what to look for the answer is simple. Read more
Low and I did a little tweakin’ on Digital-Engineer.net today. The site’s been running for a little bit over a week now and it seemed ExpressionEngine’s count “did not compute”. Google’s numbers were much higher. Low “changed the caching on a higher level”. I haven’t got a clue what that means but if the Digital-Engineers.net’s article’s hits are closer to Google’s thats fine by me. While he was at it he also added my Twitter RSS-feed to the column to the right. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do for now. Apart form that I got my fist spam this morning, so Low also installed Low NoSpam, witch is a spam-catcher on steroids for your EE blog comments, forum posts or Wiki articles Low made. Thanks, Low!
OpenX is the world’s most popular free open source ad server. (I use to display and track the ads on this site). If you’re interested in displaying ads on your website and want to know a little bit more about OpenX, here’s your change to meet Scott Switzer; OpenX’s founder and Erik Geurts a OpenX consulatant for companies who need help with OpenX. (Eric also set up the OpenX for Digital-Engineer.net). The 26th of March you can meet both these guys in Amsterdam and ask questions, share stories, talk about the OpenX roadmap, give feedback or just meet other OpenX users. The free ‘informal’ will start at 3 PM. More details here. To find out more about OpenX check out this video.
InDesign’s standard transparancy-flattener setings (Low, Medium and High) are nice, but to get your artwork flattened just right the settings really need some tweaking. Just about everything I create is done using InDesign so applying the right transparancy-setting is very important indeed. When I’m talking about ‘the right setting’ I mean ‘right for print and ‘artwork to be delivered as a Certified PDF’, of course. There is no need to go experimenting. A group of companies inclusing Adobe and Enfocus have already done that for your convenience. You just need to click the download button and install the proper settings. Read more
After you install the Creative Suite 3, you can activate the app called ‘Bridge’ and select colorprofiles. Adobe made this quite easy actually. All us Europeans have to do is select ‘Europe prepress 2’ settings. After that all the CS3 apps like Photoshop, InDesign and the others will use ‘Adobe_RGB (1998)” for RGB and ‘Coated FOGRA27 (ISO 12647-2:2004)’ for CMYK. And that’s a bloody shame really… Read more
(This article is a re-post from the Dutch website, MacMojo. We are currently at CS4 but the interview is still relevant as it gives us a bit of a background on Mordy and Mordy solves several common Illustrator problems).
This time around I got to talk to Mr. Mordy Golding. First off, for all you readers that did not read the previous topics on MacMojo about Mr. Golding, Let me introduce to you the man that eats, sleeps, breathes and lives in vector-land: Mordy ‘Bezier’ Golding. Mordy lives and works in New York, USA and is an Adobe Certified Expert and Adobe Certified Print Specialist. Mordy has been working in the print- and design world ever since 1990, is the founder of a company called ‘Design Responsibly’ and he teaches and helps designers and printers. Mordy is also the author of (amongst other things) the ‘Real World Illustrator’ series and writes the Real World Illustrator blog (check the RSS-feed on the right side of this page).
Oh yeah, I almost forgot; Adobe hired him to be the product manager for Adobe Illustrator 10 and Illustrator CS. In this interview we’ll take a look at Adobe illustrator CS (3), Mr. Golding himself and his new book on the subject and we’ll be asking some Illustrator questions the MacMojo readers send me. Read more
So what’s up with these colors? The answer is actually pretty simple. The color to the right and left of the content actually is white. ‘White?!’, I hear you thinking…’ It’s more like a dirty grey-brown! But no, it really is white. You just have to ask yourself … according to what? Because that’s the trick you see! This is white. And the first time I realized this actually was white, I was shocked. Because I had created ads for thousand-euro budgets not realizing this was white… in the world of newspapers. Read more
Well this is really cool. I was visiting my friend Rinus some time ago and were talking about setting up the new Digital Engineer website. Now he’s no graphic designer but he is a creative guy and knows people all over the world. I admired a portrait on his wall. ‘Too bad Sipke, the photographer, lives and works in London’, Rinus said… A shame because I really wanted a good portrait for my new website. But who was I kidding? I had already spend all the money I made selling ad-space for my Dutch website, MacMojo… What to do? It’s not like you can find good photographers on every street corner… Read more
The new project, Digital-Engineer.net, is almost ready for launch. Designs were made, discussed, adjusted and finally created in HTML/CSS. Like I said before, I really want the new design to focus on the content. The site needs to look good of course but the content is king. Everything on the website needs to support the content. That means: no aqua-styled buttons, no fake shadows and as little Photoshop-pixels as possible. Another advantage: No Photoshop-pixels means faster load times. Read more
I’m a graphic designer, not an English teacher so you’ll probably find some ‘Denglish’ or Dutch-English popping up in my articles, but I hope they won’t keep you from reading and commenting. If it gets really bad, just send me an email and I’ll update the English. Please don’t act like a ‘dictionary dictator’ and use the comments to tell me I wrote something wrong. Please use the comments to comment on the subject, not the language and keep in mind I’m Dutch and English is my third language.
You might have heard about the RGB-workflow and InDesign. But what exactly is it? What can you do with it? How do you set it up? What’s the advantage? A lot of good questions and I’ll try to answer them in this article. Just keep in mind: There’s really only one strategy for graphic designers using the RGB-workflow: Retain as much information as possible. Read more
And we’re live! After more than six years of running a specialized Desk Top Publishing website and writing about prepress, graphic design and PDF I’ve decided to start publishing in English. This website originated from the Dutch site called MacMojo. I’ve tried publishing in both languages but that just takes up too much of my time. I’ve got a daytime job as well, you know! So English it will be. I’ve had a absolutely awesome time working at the MacMojo website and getting to know all those skilled people that were kind enough to explain exactly what they did and how they did it. I think working on this international version called Digital-Engineers.net will be even better. But fist, let me tell you what I feel a true Digital Engineer is. Read more