One of the longest-established agencies in Danish advertising, and ranked in the top five in the 2014 Agencies Image Survey, Envision offers production services that range from TV advertisements to a variety of printed products that includes brochures, posters and catalogues for food industry and retail clients.
“We are producing up to 20,000 pages a year for our clients,” says Chris Mikkelsen, head of production at Envision’s headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark.
“We’re not printers,” comments Mikkelsen and indeed, the printing of the catalogues is not even done in Denmark – they are printed by gravure or heat-set offset printers in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Finland and Italy, so the ability to communicate soft-proofs to printers as well as to clients would make the large distances irrelevant.
“We needed a better way to handle corrections with our clients, as there are usually two to four rounds of correction on each page, and we were using two correction systems but wanted to have only one,” explains Mikkelsen. “We talked to our network to see what was possible, and found that there were many correction tools but few that could also produce soft-proofs.”
“There were some problems at the start, but that’s history now. It’s a fast way to work,” says Mikkelsen. “It’s easy for our clients, who find it simple to use, while ES allows us control over exactly what they see.”
Colour and content
The soft-proofing capabilities of ES extend beyond content and layout, allowing colour to be proofed onscreen as well:
“Some of our clients are using calibrated screens, so we can soft-proof colour with them,” explains Mikkelsen. “ES allows us to control whether or not colour can be approved by a client, depending on the viewing device – a laptop is not accurate enough, for example.”
Colour management for print is handled between the various printers and Envision’s prepress department, but the printers also benefit from the soft-proofing facility. “They don’t have to wait for hard proofs to arrive, they can see the approved pages right away,” reports Mikkelsen.
The ES-supported workflow doesn’t just go between Envision and its European clients and printers, however; the company jointly owns graphics agency Minh Graphics, located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. With Internet-based correction and soft-proofing tools, Envision is able to route part of its workload there to take advantage of competitive skilled labour rates.
ES also has tools to compare pages to check that corrections have been made, either by overlaying them or by highlighting differences. “More than saving hardcopy production and preparation time and shipping costs, the biggest benefit is being sure it’s right,” comments Mikkelsen.
Mikkelsen is planning to upgrade to ES 4 in order to benefit from its HTML 5 support. “We’d like to get away from Java scripting,” he explains, “because the Java updates can cause problems for our clients. ES 4 also does faster soft-proofing online which should help with sending work to Minh Graphics, so we’re looking forward to that.”