Posts tagged ‘indesign’

The Basics of InDesign’s Control Palette for Commercial Printing

Commercial printing publishers, graphic designers and casual users alike have reason to celebrate Adobe’s InDesign software for its customizability and robustness of functionality. Knowing how it differs from other commonly used web to print publishing software is essential to getting the full use out of this software. Because the basic features of this software are easy to overlook but always applicable throughout the course of a design project, a quick refresher is in order for anyone hoping to get the most out of their InDesign experience.

The customizable menu bar, which defaults to being docked at the top of your workspace in InDesign, features a special palette known as the control palette. This is the palette which changes in appearance and functionality to reflect any new tool selection made by the user. This control palette also contains the item measurements of any object you create or select within the workspace. For example, if you were to create a rectangular shape in the center of the workspace and then select it, you would notice the X and Y coordinates of this new object being displayed in the control palette.

These coordinates are very helpful when it comes to properly aligning various elements within your project or positioning single elements precisely. Because web to print and commercial printing applications, for example, demand a high level of precision in order to guarantee proper image displays on hard copies, it’s important to make note of these coordinates.

When you select your rectangle, you will notice a display of various little black boxes. When the center box is selected, you are telling InDesign to use the corresponding center of the rectangle as the reference point. Based off this reference point, the software will display the applicable coordinates. If you were to click a different reference point box, such as one in a corner, InDesign will likewise show you the applicable coordinates based off your new selection.

Other key elements of the control palette include the H and W values. These offer the user at-a-glance measurements of the height and width of their selected object. Another handy tool provided for managing the size and shape of your object is represented in the small chain icon nearby. Clicking this chain icon tells the program to constrain the selected object’s height and width in order to preserve a constant scale.

Basically, if you increase the height of a constrained object, its width will increase proportionally, and vice versa. This is a great time saving tool whenever you’re trying to create a banner or graphic for, say, a print on demand product that requires a totally filled space. In the same vein, should you find yourself having trouble manually expanding an object or image to take up the exact amount of space required, you can directly type over the displayed H and W values in order to tailor your object to your exact specifications. In this case, the chain feature serves the same purpose and will behave just as it would in a manual expansion.

April 16, 2010 at 8:42 am Leave a comment

The Basics of Adobe’s InDesign Tool Palette for Web to Print Products

As any long term user of Adobe’s InDesign will tell you, the tool palette gets a lot of use. It’s important to understand its basic functions in order to get the most out of your design project. If you’re just beginning to learn your way around this design software, it can be helpful to know that hovering your mouse over each tool for a moment will produce a pop-up with the name of the tool. A good portion of becoming comfortable with this software and using it to successfully design print on demand or web to print products is simply learning the full language of the functions, so hovering over any icon you aren’t yet familiar with will soon have you up to speed.

The tool palette in Adobe’s InDesign has a feature common to many other palettes across various other platforms and software suites. Known as the flyout, this little arrow at the bottom corner of many of the icons in the tools palette will display hidden or additional specialized options for each function when clicked.

The next major feature of the tools palette, known as swatches, is located a bit further down. These swatches allow for the assignment of color throughout your project. The swatches section of the tool palette displays both the fill color, the color taking up the body of an object or space, as well as the stroke color, which is the color of any outlines. You will also notice an arrow that allows you to swap which of these colors two you’re focusing on with a single click.

If you’ve been tinkering with slightly different shades and hues only to feel ultimately unsatisfied with your color choices, you can revert an area or object back to default coloration by pressing the small default color button on the swatch section of the tool palette. If you haven’t selected any text, you can also press “D” in order to do the same.

The next functions are essential to print on demand and web to print applications. Beneath the swatches section of the tool palette you will notice two icons, one of which is a box. This box icon tells the InDesign software to apply the currently selected colors to boxes or objects. The other icon, the capital letter T, conversely tells the software to apply selected colors to text only. This is a useful tool whenever you have occasion to create boxes or objects with text inside them, as you can quickly choose whether a certain color will be applied to the box, the text, or both simultaneously.

Beneath these color applicator icons are three more icons which respectively apply single colors, gradients of color, or no color whatsoever to a selected object. For example, selecting a box you have already colored green, and then clicking the no-color icon, will remove the green color from the selected box. Becoming proficient with these quick shortcuts to handling color will drastically increase your overall design speed.

April 14, 2010 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

Adobe’s InDesign Basics for Commercial Printing

If you’re interested in learning Adobe’s InDesign publishing software for web to print, print on demand or other commercial printing applications, setting a foundation in the basics of the software will pay off down the road. Knowing where the proper tools and functions for the job are located will ultimately save you time and energy over the course of a long design project.

First and foremost, the InDesign menu bar is located at the top of the screen. Also notice the palettes section, which will show up as little windows each with their own special area of control. One handles paragraphs, for instance, while another is in charge of colors. Another essential element of this menu bar region is the control bar. The control bar will change its layout and functionality based on whichever tool you are currently using. Note that this control bar, along with many of the basic elements of InDesign, is programmed according to default settings, which you can change at any time to better suit your working style and your typical usage. The layout you choose for print on demand projects will likely differ from the layout chosen by someone working in commercial printing.

One of the nice features of InDesign is that the menu bar will provide you with access to all of the software’s functions. This way of organizing abilities, modes and functions is helpful in the beginning, especially when you’re still learning your way around the software and trying to get a feel for where various options are located. However, note that power users eventually come to learn the various shortcuts for their desired and most used functions, in order to save themselves even more time and streamline their design process. To this end, you should take note of the shortcuts for various functions as you find functions for the first time. Before you know it, you’ll be zipping along in your design space using keyboard hotkeys without having to pause to find functions from the drop down menu bars.

In fact, if you happen to be a QuarkXPress user and find yourself trying to relearn a new set of hotkeys, you are in luck. InDesign has functionality built in with just this problem in mind. In order to revert InDesign’s hotkeys, simply go up to the edit menu, choose “Keyboard shortcuts”, and underneath “Set” choose “Shortcuts for QuarkXPress.”

Remember that the menu bar itself is docked at the top of the screen only by default. This means you can easily drag it to a preferred position, or even dock it at the bottom of the screen instead. Depending on the web to print or picture images you are using, you might find it more convenient to have the bar close at hand to the workspace itself, or far out of your way so as to better be able to see your entire image. Spending some time customizing your workspace before you start designing full time will go a long way in improving your overall experience.

April 12, 2010 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Getting Cooler Color with InDesign CS4’s Kuler Panel

Learn how to use InDesign CS4’s new Kuler panel to create perfect colors for any project.

Use InDesign and Kuler for perfect color combination’s

February 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

A commerical printer, much more than ink on paper.

Prisma Graphic:   Paving the Way to a marketing solutions provider.

Prisma Graphic more than ink on paper 

To compete as a traditional commercial printer in today’s economic climate and evolving market takes vision. For Prisma Graphic, that vision has been to provide unmatched customer service, consider every client a partner and offer economical marketing solutions beyond ink on paper.

 Prisma started as a boutique print shop over 29 years ago, and in 2000 the privately-held company transferred ownership to Bob Anderson. Rather than remaining a great traditional printer, Bob has worked to transform Prisma into an all-inclusive print and marketing solutions provider to help clients improve, implement and execute their marketing efforts. Ever since the transition, the company has experienced 15-20% annual growth each year.

 Our staff views every project as an opportunity to further the success of our clients’ image, initiatives and marketing  goals. From our 82,000 square foot facility in Phoenix, we provide design support, heat-set web, sheetfed, variable data printing, full bindery, fulfillment services and complete direct mailing. Additionally, Prisma has a proprietary online product called dokshop – a dynamic online solution enabling our clients to brand manage, distribute products worldwide and print on demand at their convenience. We are also very proud of our green initiatives, which include recycling paper, cardboard, ink cans and drums and printing with vegetable and soy-based inks.

 We know you have many choices when it comes to printing. Give Prisma a call today at 800 379-5777 to discuss your next print marketing solution – See firsthand what it really means to Print Smart.

November 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Why printing? The ways Prisma Graphic can help your company prosper.

Why printing?  The ways printing helps your company prosper.

 Prisma Graphic  At one time or another we all have taken printing for granted. Perhaps because print has been the world’s number one communication medium for so long, we tend to overlook its impact and power. That oversight could be detrimental to the success of a marketing campaign, a product launch or a branding initiative trying to make connections. Consumers trust print, feel comfortable using it and are unable to fast forward past it. Electronic content comes and goes and when it’s gone, your message disappears with it. Print, on the other hand, is there for the long run.

 According to a recent survey by the Magazine Publishers of America 24% of readers will pass along an interesting article to someone else, 23% will save it for future reference and 13% will visit a relevant website; giving advertisers double and triple bonuses on their marketing investments.

This magazine is dedicated to the persuasive power of print and how it continues to evolve and play an important role in the marketing mix. Along with several informative articles throughout, we have included the advantages of using print. We hope you find this blog informative, inspiring and ultimately beneficial to your marketing efforts.

 Sincerely,

The Prisma Graphic Team

November 11, 2009 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

The evolution of targeted marketing are you ready for the fourth wave?

The Evolution of Targeted Marketing   Will you be ready for the fourth wave?

by Mike Schmitt

 While it goes without saying that these are trying times for organizations across the board, there has never been a more important time to market your company. Times like these prove that effective marketing can guarantee your survival during a down economy. Because there are fewer consumers willing to spend on your products, target marketing will help you deliver on the promise of spending less for a higher return.

 During a time of economic distress the CFO rules. This spells trouble for mass media investments as the hard dollar ROI is often difficult to measure, let alone prove. Targeted marketing to the rescue. The CFO will appreciate the fact that you are sending offers exclusively to people who are determined to be good candidates for your products and overjoyed to learn that you will be able to directly attribute marketing dollars spent to revenue generated.

 Brief History of Targeted Marketing

 We can look at targeted marketing in waves. The first wave of basic segmentation finally moved (most of) us away from “junk mail” or unsolicited promotions. Offers became relevant based on demographics such as gender, household income and lifestyle traits.

 The second wave was defined by “actionable” consumer data and personalization solutions for both traditional and emerging media. Intuitive companies realized that their very own customer data, including their transaction history, allowed for a new class of both segmented and highly personalized targeted marketing. The really smart marketers enhanced their customer data with geographic, demographic and lifestyle information. So, the right offer got to the right person and with a relevant message to the recipient. Now a company could actually spend less on marketing campaigns and expect a higher return.

 Second wave marketers, however, were lacking a true connection with the consumer. Direct mail continues to be the medium of choice for prospecting, and variable data print has given new life to this proven method of product and brand promotion through the ability to cost-effectively personalize each printed document. The proof to me that the cost of personalization had become reasonable, to even the smallest business, was when our dog Max received a personalized postcard from our veterinarian!

 Importance of the Consumer Database

 We know that most companies have some form of customer database, as well as a transaction master. We also know that a significant number of companies have very poor and scattered data. Customer data is duplicated in several departments, mailing addresses are fairly outdated, little or no data verification (mailing, email, telephone) systems are in place and the list goes on-and-on. Bad data basically means that any attempt at targeted marketing will result in a poor response to the campaign. More importantly, the potential actually exists to lower lifetime value as you may send a very negative message to your customer.

An extreme case involves a hospital that sent out a promotion for a cancer screening, which targeted elderly people within a certain radius of the hospital. The hospital received a call from an upset woman who thought it was in poor taste to be included in the promotion, when her husband had recently passed away and at the very same hospital. Another person received multiple, redundant offers and wondered about the quality of the care if they were unable to even get a mailing correct. The message here is to spend the time and effort on the database, before any form of targeted marketing is considered. Everything is better with a good database. Your analytics and reporting will tell the true story, and you will have the confidence to launch highly personalized marketing promotions knowing your data is accurate.

 Integrated Cross-Media Marketing

We are now just entering into the third wave. Savvy marketers are branding their products and images in a consistent way and across all traditional and emerging media. While newspapers are getting roughed up by the Internet and network TV is competing with cable, all media remains important. Marketers are working to have consistent messaging on the web, traditional media, mobile phones (which greatly outnumber personal computers) and on email. Many marketers are also trying to figure out how to exploit social media (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), but that is a topic unto itself. Thankfully, there are variable data composition engines that will produce output for emerging presentation spaces (e.g. mobile screens) and the ubiquitous 8.5″ x 11″. The new breed of composition engines help marketers format any given promotion to all sizes and resolutions required for cross-media marketing. Mobile, web, email and direct mail are all supported so the designer can concentrate more on the messaging and less on the presentation space. This is not to say that we can ignore the fact that a mobile webpage must be radically different than a typical PC web browser page, but the designer can prototype the various formats to ensure consistency across different media. This is far superior to using different design tools for different media.

 Marketers have also learned that some marketing messages are better sent as printed documents, while others are more suitable for electronic communications. Email, thanks to the spammers, continues to be a tough way to prospect as it is very hard to get through the clutter. Many marketers realize that direct mail can be used to drive online communications. Companies should determine the individual preferences of their customers and this means supporting traditional and emerging media; many direct marketers are predicting an explosion in mobile marketing. Americans love the concept of instant gratification, and the mobile phone gives the consumer an opportunity to respond to a promotion anytime, anywhere. As a marketer you get the chance to respond while the consumer’s interest is at its peak. Send a mobile coupon while asking for their email address – fully integrated and automated cross-media marketing.

 Marketing Nirvana – The Fourth Wave

 The fourth wave of targeted marketing can be characterized by the consumer managing their marketing communications from both a timing perspective and the channel of delivery. Imagine a consumer registering in a global marketing database their desire to purchase a diamond tennis bracelet within the next 60 days. Now also imagine that they prefer to receive mobile offers while commuting to-and-from work, email during the work days and direct mail at home on the weekends. Fourth wave marketers will have the ability to promote to people who are looking at the products they sell, during the time frame that they are interested, and through the channel the consumer has selected. Respecting the wishes of the consumer will reward the marketer with highly qualified prospects and nothing else.

 Marketers that have developed the infrastructure and processes necessary, to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the fourth wave, will obviously have a significant competitive edge over their rivals. I believe that consumers will respond positively to advertisers who spend the time and effort to fully understand their preferences for marketing communications.

So, get your consumer database ready — the fourth wave is a marketing tsunami that will wipe out those who ignore the signs.

Prisma Graphic works closely with Mike Schmitt, CEO of Clairvoyix, to provide our clients options that meet their targeted marketing goals. To discuss how we can help your company stay in front of direct marketing trends, please contact your current Prisma Sales Representative, or Rob Steele at 800 379-5777 or
 robs@prismagraphic.com.

 Clairvoyix is a full-service direct marketing company with a core-competence in database marketing and marketing automation solutions. Delivered as a “Software as a Service”, its branded database (Clairvoyix Knowledge Factory), is the foundation for fully-integrated, cross-media targeted marketing. Clairvoyix directly supports personalized communications utilizing any media type including direct mail, email, web, PURL and mobile campaigns. From customer data hygiene and consumer data enhancement to analytics and campaign execution, their company offers a complete targeted marketing solution for clients of all sizes. Call 877 866-8693 x709 or e-mail mike.schmitt@clairvoyix.com  for more information.

November 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

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