Printers will probably have to provide customers with both a QR code and an MS Tag. Industry insiders believe Microsoft has introduced the proprietary Tag as a revenue source for additional measurement services for marketing firms. The QR code is open source and is not easily tracked. The MS Tag is reported to have free, built-in metrics that enable you to measure the effectiveness of your offline materials so you can view where and when your Tags are being scanned.
The printing generated by most Web initiatives will replace the customers’ current materials with pieces that supply the correct Internet information. Print salespeople should be in talking to customers to find out if their existing printed materials are up to date. The second wave of opportunity will be printed material to support the new Web resources. Are customers driving eyes to their YouTube sites with QR codes and Tags? Is collateral in place to support the Internet sales efforts?
Some printers have complained that the Internet has eliminated print opportunities. In reality, the Internet has generated more print opportunities. Just like the myth of the paperless office, the death of print caused by the Internet has been greatly exaggerated.
Another Revenue Source
Books and publications may be moving to electronic form, but someone still needs to create and design them. Now that there are more communication channels than print, a printer will want to be able to reformat and repurpose printed material for other uses.
If you use InDesign 4 or higher, you can save files so they can be read by ebook readers. Adobe offers step-by-step instructions for setting up ebook documents and exporting the file into the open EPUB ebook format. This format can be read on desktop reading applications, smartphones, and dedicated reading devices. You can learn how to do the formatting by visiting www.adobe.com/products/indesign/epub/howto/.
Even the big printers know they have to deal with other communication channels by reformatting their work. Quad/Graphics announced it is getting into the Apple software business. With the Quad/Graphics Digital Edition platform magazines, catalogs and retail advertising can now be published for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. According to the company, the solution gives its clients the ability to distribute content by print and mail, digital edition, and branded Apple apps.
As the popularity of the Apple iPad and other tablet technology grows, customers need publications transferred to the new devices. Adobe and Quark aim to help printers make the transfer.
Quark has announced an iPad publishing service that enables QuarkXPress 8.5 and 9 users to publish QuarkXPress content to the iPad. Creating a Starter iPad App will require a one-time $495 charge per app. The conversion of the QuarkXPress layouts to iPad issue files costs $495 per issue. The customer will also pay a license fee that is charged for each issue published. The cost of the license fee starts at $349 for publishing a single issue, and decreases based on the number of issues purchased. Information is available at www.quark.com.
Adobe also has an iPad publishing service. Users can upload content to the online service and convert InDesign files into digital publications. Fees start at $699 a month. Information and additional pricing is available at www.adobe.com/products/digitalpublishingsuite/.
A less expensive solution and more practical information for quick printers using InDesign to create tablet publications is available at www.indesignsecrets.com. IT has a multi-part tutorial with step-by-step instructions for how to use InDesign to create iPad publications.
Quark has just released QuarkXpress 9 to give users the ability to publish directly to digital devices. The new version also adds new features for design automation. Users will be able to create content for ereaders, smartphones, and tablets without programming code. Visit www.quark.com for more information.
John Giles is the author of “12 Secrets for Digital Success” and “The DTP PriceList.” He is technology director and a consultant for CPrint International. He can be reached at 954-224-1942 or email@example.com. You can also find John at www.twitter.com/JohnG247 and on Linkedin. His blogs can be found at http://johngilesiii.blogspot.com/ and at www.myprintresource.com. To order John’s books, visit www.cprint.org.