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FLEXO Magazine : June 2008
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES For those who are truly interested in increasing the benefits of true automation, information can include items such as repetitive package design elements, consistent graphic design brand imag- ing and logos, and production related marks (Le. instructions for gluing and filling machinery). It works for all sorts of packaging, including folding cartons, blisters, and tubes. Different packages are created up front to reflect specific content for different re- gional, size or product extension versions. Dynamic content helps designers to expand their businesses by delivering on the promise of efficient reproduction of their cli- ents' content. By delegating the responsibility of content back to the brand owner, the designer experiences less liability risks. The power of dynamic content lies in the ability to create a text link in an Adobe@ Illustrator@ file directly to an XML file created by the brand owner and accessed from a local or an Internet- based wide-area network. The plug-in automatically connects content to the advertising, design and repro community. As the copy is dynamically linked to the brand owner's XML-based con- tent file, there is a significant cost reduction because the process substantially reduces the amount of touches to a package design document, a reduced number of review cycles and less need for hardcopy proofs. A single, XML-based text source can be shared among a range of designs, or multiple text sources (such as dif- ferent languages) can be linked to a single design. Designers can collect static text from legacy designs and bring them into a dynamically managed content workflow, and can build dynamic templates for products within the same brand umbrella. In doing so, designers are able to: . Easily manage text on a range of designs. . Very quickly and easily generate different text variations of one design, different language versions, for example. . Capture the text of a design and produce an XML file for a variety of purposes: spell checking, translations, feedback to a customer, for example. By staying in close collaboration with Adobe@ and key brand owners, software developers continue to learn how to best serve the production process and develop best practices that benefit the packaging supply chain. Integration between the different supply chain players, error and lead-time reduction, and taking cost out of the entire process are the key focus areas. - RIGHT THE FIRST TIME The workflow advantages are quite evident. Information is en- tered (or edited) only by a qualified individual, and there are nei- ther double entries nor re-keying of data. The persons responsible for the information are the only ones who create the information, with secure access to the databases. Noone spends time searching for files, because the required information is automatically tagged in a database. One computer simply queries another. And, because the design is created (or recreated) when needed, there are no out- of-date instructions, because information is polled in real time, each and every time package design artwork is developed. Linking to a consumer product company's (CPC's) database sig- nificantly reduces product to market costs, and boosts the value and efficiency of content management by: · Reducing possible text errors. · Outsourcing all text used in an Adobe@ Illustrator@ file. · Limiting the number of text documents associated with a product. · Reducing costs in the package update process. · Limiting the number of "touches" to packaging text. · Reducing the proofing costs. Separating the package's textual content from its layout allows text editing and approval to be handled separately with all refer- ences and changes maintained outside of Adobe@ Illustrator@- and the designer's domain. Dynamic content significantly re- duces product-to-market time and costs, and boosts the value and efficiency of content management. It may look impressive to see hundreds of graphics designs being created automatically in batch in just a few seconds, but the best thing about this is not the time gained, but eliminating the prospect of time and cost lost due to error reduction. Faster management of graphic jobs with elimination of errors leads to a 'first time right' effect-certainly a terrific benefit of a hands-off approach. . ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Vanover is vice president, market- ing at EskoArtwork. His marketing career spans more than 25 years with management roles at notable graphic arts companies. Mark is a frequent contributor to industry publications and an accomplished public speaker at numerous packaging and print industry conferences. JUNE 2008 www.f I exog ra p hy.o rg FLEXO