Just how important is TWIST to the Bonnier Corporation’s workflow?
“Simply put”, says Shawn Macey, Digital Media Services Director for Bonnier, “If TWIST goes down, everyone would go home for the day.”
Headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, just outside Orlando, Bonnier Corporation is one of the largest consumer publishing groups within the U.S., owning 40-plus brands, including such highly touted titles as Popular Science, Parenting, Saveur, and Field & Stream. Its multi-platform media program, which includes magazines, events and digital media, connects people to their passions, notes Macey.
“We process approximately 45,000 pages through our TWIST system annually,” says Macey. “This is just the editorial magazine pages; there are many other processes going through the system for the ad portal and digital workflows.”
Tools now in end user’s hands
TWIST puts the tools of production into the end user’s hands—whether or not that end user is a production manger handling advertising or a designer processing editorial art and layout.
By automating such repetitive tasks as preflighting, file optimization and conversion, color management, and trapping, TWIST allows editorial designers to slash production time and view finished pages instantaneously. “They see immediately if something isn’t right,” acknowledges Macey. “TWIST has helped them become more efficient and better designers.”
Similarly, using a TWIST workflow for advertising allows production managers to get the ads to client faster for approvals. “Advertisers can upload their ads through a portal on our website; the ad portal feeds directly into the TWIST workflow, which automatically preflights the ad and handles all the production tasks, including alerting the production manager for that title that ads have arrived,” explains Macey. “Because of TWIST, It’s totally automated on the back end.”
Adds Macey, “Time as much as anything is the big thing; we are all doing multiple things, multiple jobs. The time savings are essential.”
Making the complex ordinary
In the digital arena, TWIST is able to push out a bunch of files for Bonnier’s digital platforms, taking complex workflows and making them an ordinary part of the process.
“We’ve had an iPad app for about two years,” explains Macey. “After we process all our final print PDFs, TWIST will optimize the files for the iPad, taking each title, its specific trim size and process, and output JPEGS for IPad pages. Because all the trim sizes of the magazines are different, we have to be able to look at the trim size and calculate what the reduction needs to be calculated for the iPad. Using TWIST, it only has to be done once, during initial setup; from that point on TWIST takes over,” explains Macey.
TWIST’s inherent flexibility is of critical importance to Bonnier’s workflow. “That it lets you build custom workflows is a great asset,” says Macey. A good example is the digital workflow now in use. When it came time to implement the workflow for iPads, for example, TWIST was able to take the PDFs, adjust the trim sizes, and export files—all automatically.
“It would take an incredible amount of time to do it manually,” says Macey. “We are able to build these complex workflows, and for the end user it is a simple interface.”
The span of what TWIST can handle is also key. “Not only can it process multiple file formats, but it also takes on database integration for us,” says Macey. “It writes the data back into the database that we report on—edit pages, ads, and how many proofs, for example.”
Blanchard Systems, Bonnier’s systems integrator partner, was instrumental in the initial workflow setup, and is still significant to the operation. “They are fantastic,” says Macey. “I work with them quite a bit.”
Adds Macey, “One of the most beautiful things about TWIST is that it is never down. It is one of our most reliable systems. I watch all the ads and editorial pages being processed—we process thousands of files a day. We’ve had very few problems, but whenever we do, we get in touch with Blanchard. They are able to remotely log in, fix it, and we are on our way.
“Which is the way it has to be; TWIST drives all our production — it needs to be running.”