HEARST-Fujingaho is a leading fashion and life-style publisher located in Aoyama, an area in central Tokyo famous for Japanese trendsetting fashions. Its 350 employees publish eleven fashion and life-style magazines, such as “ELLE Japon”, the Japanese edition of the worldfamous style magazine ELLE, “25ans”, “Fujingaho”, “Men’s Club” and seven other magazines. Keeping ahead of online publishing trends, HEARST-Fujingaho created “ELLE ONLINE” in 1996 and is proud to have more than 17 million monthly page views. They are the prominent digital media provider in Japan.
The in-house art department uses InDesign to create layouts and generate PDF files, creating PDF/x-1a files and color proofs in house for their printer. They were also sending native InDesign files and the related images with other linked files to the print house.
“Unfortunately, if the flatplan was changed by the editorial or advertising sales team at the last minute, the production department had to change the file name of each page accordingly,” remembers Mr. Fuyuki Ban, General Manager. “It was extremely cumbersome, difficult and, of course, stressful.”
Fortunately for Mr. Ban, Carol Werlé, CEO of DALIM SOFTWARE, visited their office in 2007, and introduced them to DALIM SOFTWARE’s portfolio of products. “We just wanted to prevent ourselves from making mistakes caused by repetitious operations,” explains Mr. Ban. While they looked at a number of complete workflow systems, Mr. Ban decided to invest in TWIST, PRINTEMPO and DIALOGUE. They purchased the system in 2009 from their reseller, VPJ. That year, they also migrated all their publications from their traditional outsourced production processes and brought them in-house. It encompasses everything from editing and production to image processing and color proofing.
The DALIM SOFTWARE solution covers all facets of the workflow. The operator copies a PDF page — which includes an embedded GMG color profile — to a shared hot folder where it is transferred to TWIST to preflight the file. Final PDF files that pass the preflight check are stored and managed in a designated folder created by TWIST. The editor reviews and approves the PDF files using the flatplan-viewing feature provided by PRINTEMPO. It is possible to visually check everything; the editor can confirm the progress/status of every page while adjusting the flatplan. If a page needs to be reviewed in detail — including color — they can use DIALOGUE soft proofing software. When all required files are completed, they are sent to the printer.
With the DALIM SOFTWARE solution, the file name and page numbers are now automatically changed when the pagination is modified on a flatplan. The easy-to-use flatplan interface greatly improves productivity. “PRINTEMPO is fun to operate, because the visual interface and the dynamic nature of PRINTEMPO is very logical,” remarks Mr. Ban. Everybody can operate it instinctively.”
DALIM SOFTWARE’s solution also supports the company’s cross-media business. HEARST-Fujingaho frequently repurposes magazine content on the Web, sending a PDF proof to the Web group. By using TWIST’s file processing feature, registration marks from those PDF files are automatically removed before they are uploaded to the Web. “We started to produce PDF-based digital magazines this year,” explains Mr. Ban. “We are able to create a PDF-based digital magazine from PRINTEMPO within five minutes. The files are easily produced from the print data, once it has been sent to the printer.”
“We are producing all of our magazine files from PRINTEMPO,” says Mr. Ban. “Now, rather than outsourcing the service, we can produce a PDF-based digital magazine before, or by the time of our printed version’s on-sale date. This is an advantage compared to the capabilities of other publishers.”
While HEARST-Fujingaho is happy with the efficiency of the DALIM SOFTWARE workflow, they feel, however, that they can utilize their workflow even further. One way is to leverage DIALOGUE. While they are currently proofing online using DIALOGUE from the flatplan, in near future, they anticipate shorter production times by getting their editorial staff to use DIALOGUE more extensively. They will also continue to streamline the TWIST workflow through online job entry in PDF format in Ad Client, enabling efficient preflight checking of the files.
“I am always rethinking our workflow,” concludes Mr. Ban. “I can see that I have not yet used the entire capabilities of our current workflow system. There are many more things we can do with it. One thing is certain: Our DALIM SOFTWARE system is very useful in creating our PDF workflow, and I know it can improve anyone’s PDF workflow.”