The pressure is on for the designers: not only do they need to be evermore creative, they also have to deliver flawless press-ready material. Certainly the latter can prove challenging when essential functions are often hidden in the usually extensive menus of contemporary layout programs. VIGC therefore decided to develop the VIGC Output Essentials panel for Adobe InDesign, a free tool simplifying the design process and consequently preventing errors.
"The life of a designer is not easy: delivering perfect press-ready material can be complex.", explains Eddy Hagen, general manager VIGC. "Especially when some key functions are hidden deeply in the menus. Additional functions can also look too complex for a designer to change the default value. A perfect example to illustrate this is the Transparency Blend Space in Adobe InDesign, which defines how colors of transparent objects are 'mixed'. You can set this to RGB or to CMYK, but choosing the one or the other can alter the colors of transparent objects. The VIGC wants to help designers to make the right choices, by preventing them from forgetting vital steps such as adding a 'bleed' to a print document. That's why we collected all the essential elements in the VIGC Output Essentials panel for Adobe InDesign."
Simple setup: 2 workflows, 5 steps
The VIGC Output Essentials panel is defined by two different workflows: one for EPUBs, web and tablet publishing and one for print and 'hybrid' documents. It is divided into 5 steps:
1. loading preflight profiles and export presets
2. basic settings for documents, e.g. color settings, overprint preview, bleed
3. document preview
4. document checking, e.g. the preflight function in Adobe InDesign, but also a check on local formatting (which is essential for EPUB) and finding images with too high an ink coverage
5. export/package, with e.g. export to EPUB, to print ready PDF or creating a 'package' with the package function.
A number of functions are specific for one of either workflows, others are identical for both.
A tutorial file comes with the panel, containing more information on installation of the panel and the importance of certain essential functions, like the Transparency Blend Space.
Recommended by Medibel+
Medibel+, the Belgian organisation for advertisers, agencies and publishers and a strong supporter of standardisation of e.g. PDF, will also distribute the VIGC Output Essentials via its own channels. Erwin Danis, premedia director at Roularta Media Group and board member of Medibel+, explains: "We've been strongly promoting the standardisation of PDF creation for many years now, both from Roularta Media Group and from Medibel+ and the GWG. It is essential to preventing issues with the handling of the files in the prepress department. The VIGC Output Essentials panel is a practical answer to a specific problem: it structures and simplifies the work of the designer and by doing just that, it guarantees the quality of 'press ready' files. With this one panel, the designer has access to all essential functions. Very practical indeed and highly recommended."
Small extra: panel for Adobe Photoshop
Along with the panel for Adobe InDesign, the VIGC has also designed a smaller panel for Adobe Photoshop, providing direct access to several functions related to color and color management.
Both panels, suited for Adobe Creative Suite 5 and 6, can be downloaded from the VIGC website. They will also become available via Adobe Exchange later this year.
"Designers who tested the VIGC Output Essentials panels were highly positive about them and described them as a must-have for people who work with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop on a daily basis. They structure the workflow, ensure immediate access to important functions and save the designer a whole lot of mouse clicks... In short, they are an indispensable and clever tool for every InDesign and Photoshop user.", Hagen concludes.