Starting with IPEX 2002, this blog covers events relevant for UK print, including Seybold and DRUPA. See also website at

Friday, November 28, 2003

London College of Printing is now the London College of Communication.

This seems a key event for the week of the Digital Print World. Other digital issues creep in, like film studies and web design. There is another show called Digital Solutions where the word print is not featured. Both shows could develop towards 'communication' as something wider than print. The gossip in the Guardian has been that the London Institute will have the word Arts in the new university title.


Some links for the ready4print service. It is a joint venture between a graphics firm Q|Solutions, and a software firm - Class Act

The Amsterdam Exchange has an impressive set of photos. This seem to be the spot where the service is hosted.


There was no new information from Adobe about Transit. Possibly one reason is that the forms server software is still fairly expensive. It is sold with other systems through companies such as IBM Global Services. Maybe the price levels that would make sense for printers are not appropriate at this time. The Courier approach includes Jaws software to create the PDF. The licence allows a charge per job sent rather that an upfront cost for each site. A PDF form might be better in many ways, but it is expensive at the moment. Similarly the collaboration tools in Acrobat are still very useful for discussing changes to artwork but the costs are limiting the extent to which this is used. Pelagon seem to have stopped promoting the support of WebDAV for collaboration. They are working with Heidelberg though on another application based on Jaws Courier.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Smartech website

They are supporting the "office" including this web access...
Just discovered 'The Office' with web access. one terminal only but not many people are using it. PrintMe is part of this but there are few actual places in the UK where PrintMe is available. Maybe five Hiltons. So not much has moved on since IPEX. There could be a wider launch early next year.

Ready 4 Print have a nice Flash website now in English to explain how their web services take on Courier works. It should be on their website sometime next week. Currently only on their stand as part of Positive Focus. It is now unlikley there will be a UK server as the Amsterdam one is connected very close to the Amsterdam internet hub and is quite quick throughout Europe.
Jaws PDF Courier seems to be getting further. Pelagon are using it as a basis for Web 2 Print, presented here as part of the Heidelberg approach. Positive Focus continue to offer ready4print. Apparently Global Graphics offer Courier as a software development kit so there are various ways that the job ticket information could be sent that relates to each PDF for copy. Some form of XML could be used so it should be possible to relate this to JDF. Maybe some requests from printers would encourage this.


Sometime soon there could be a new name for the London College of Printing, or the London Institute could have a new name and LCP be the same as part of it.

"Communication" is one word used to show the wider scope of what was just print. It seems appropriate as this Digital Print World show is clearly covering more than just digital print. For one thing the workflow presentatations all relate to litho.

Also the Adobe Creative Suite includes GoLive. Design of content for print relates to design for the web.


Not sure about the stand number for Microsoft. I will check the map later. The people on the stand are usually in Seattle. They really do know the product and after 13 years they think the 2003 version is working. There are many samples of print that cover most jobbing types. Composite CMYK is not in the XP version but the file format is the same as 2003 so a file created by a customer in XP could be output by a print service provider with 2003.


Morgana Systems have the binding issues covered. Short run documents are now fairly easy to print but the binding could be a problem. They work with a cover designed for various standards of thickness. There are two kinds of machine for glueing, one for lower volumes.


Sansui Software offer Xpublisha as a way to offer online access to standard formats. Through a browser, templates in InDesign can be edited. The results are previewed in Acrobat Reader.

There will be a Quark version later. This relies on some server software and may be more expensive.


This blog seems ok as still being about IPEX 2002. Sansui seem to be still on the same direction as they were then, except that more of it is clearly working.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Microsoft have now booked a stand (64) at Digital Print World. This is a new stage in the integration of print and corporate IT.

So far not booked are IBM and Macromedia.

IBM have announced a new range of Infoprint kit aimed at a 'data centre' but with speeds that could compare with some instant print sites.

Freehand was mentioned in the Pintweek review of Adobe's Creative Suite by Simon Eccles. It remains a good option for page layout but somehow Macromedia never gets round to turning up at a hard copy event.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Actually the topic on a PDF version of the Guardian had not got lost. It was moved from 'BBC' to 'Press and Publishing'.

Very sensible too. I started it in BBC not realising how many sections there are. I thought it was all media. So some comment will be there not in this blog.

Other contributions have started to look at the Times as well as the Telegraph. There will be a log of reader experience. I still think the Guardian should say something about what they intend. July is a while ago now. And surely other media could report on this? The Telegraph is not promoting the Active Paper option all that widely as far as I know.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

It is being suggested that Jakob Nielsen might be influenced by work with Macromedia in his views on PDF.

I don't think this is in any way true. Jakob Nielsen is just wrong, that's all. His views on PDF are longstanding and consistent with his other views, in general that it is better tyo use the oldest technology available and to assume the users know nothing and and are not prepared to learn. Also text in itself is probably all that is really needed so graphics could be avaoided as they may cause problems.

Jakob Nielsen has stated that PDF is ok, for content to be printed out.

Meanwhile if Macromedia will support PDF that is to be encouraged. They may get a PDF 'ankle biter' by mistake with eHelp but let's hope they continue it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Digital Print World indicates a new stage of acceptance for PDF in the UK. The scope seems to be limited to digital print but actually the discussion around this will include workflows for litho and also the web.

I need to rearrange the content of websites for Acrobat Services UK and WWW.atford. So far the UK site has assumed low bandwidth and concentrated on hard copy. the dotcom site assumes broadband. The print opinion parts of Acrobat Services UK can move to WWW.atford as archive. The UK site will still assume low bandwidth, but cover topics that need broadband. The UK now has better potential so the requirement is for some content or use.

I have done two small PDFs. One links a Print opinion stream to an IOP event in December. One promotes the aspects of the Workflow Cinema at Digital Print World that I think are most interesting.
There is an Education Guardian article today about pocket computers as could be "harnessed for learning". Very sensibly the research starts with how they are already used for games, music and text messages.

Strangely Professor Mike Sharples makes the following statement. "We're not in the business of replacing books." Well, why not? Sorry, since the topic about a PDF Guardian disappeared and I have moved on to be more of a blogger, the temptation is there to go into rave mode anyway.

Elsewhere in Education Guardian it is reported that funding will be adjusted so that subjects like computer software and media studies get less. Costs are assumed to be lower so there can't be many new G5s being bought. Is there an incentive for universities to invest in e-learning? Will funding be adjusted later to compensate those that are still using an older approach?

'Blended learning' will include some books but they don't have some special position that cannot be questioned. Just as, the Guardian can exist both online and as print. It is worth talking about.
Copied from

Iraq Today's Web site was down all this week. But I spoke with Mina Corp.'s advertising liason in the U.K., Caroline Binns, who told me the newspaper was very much still in business, but that Web access is switching to subscription-only and will be up again next week. Binns called it a "small technical problem" and said that anyone interested in getting a PDF version of the paper, can e-mail her at for two free trial issues. After that, the price is $200 per year.

Binns told me they've sold "hundreds" of subscriptions, and said the newspaper had a print run of 15,000 copies. "The motto of the paper is the 'Independent Voice of Iraq,' and we have angered some people in the military and the CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority]," she said. "The reason we publish in English is so that Iraqis can have their voice heard by the CPA."


Monday, November 10, 2003

sorry this was just a repeat. Still learning about 'post' and 'publish'......
Somehow the topic about a PDF version of the Guardian seems to have disappeared from the Talk section of the Guardian website. It was in media under BBC. I started it in BBC by mistake but it seems relevant. A BBC archive of programs should have back issues of The Listener in PDF.

Back in July, Emily Bell was online for a chat about the paid for future of Guardian content. Mention was made of a 'digital edition' though there was little detail other than a price of about £98 per year. This is a reduction on the print version but still a number that implies some value.

I have added some messages since and also changes to a news story on the Acrobat Services website. Recently I have tried to provoke some contibutions from Guardian staff. Partly I am puzzled by what is going on. Partly it seems the coverage in media and online rarely considers how digital technology has an impact on newspapers.

My most recent message was about an article by Roy Greenslade on declines in newspaper circulation. What is striking is the lack of any web context. There was one article a while ago when he visited Brighton and found that a fire led to interest in a local news website. But Roy Greenslade rarely mentions the effect of increased time spent browsing the web.

IanD on the Talk messages told us about a Telegraph offer that turms out to be based on ActivePaper from Olive Software. I have tried this for the best part of a week and it seems to work ok. The content is based on PDF or Postscript as from the print version. There is no direct PDF on offer but you can print to it including photography and illustration.Unfortunately the Sunday version does not include the colour magazine.

Maybe it is just my closed world as a Guardian reader, but I don't think this Telegraph offer is well known. The Guardian has not featured it at all, so far as I know. Apparently the Telegraph lost about 20,000 buyers in October. At 2% of 890,000 this could just be the small number of people who have managed to find out about the online offer.

This situation seems to me to well worth reporting although print media seem to stick to print all too often. There is a conference coming up linked to Digital Print World. Subjects include how The Guardian can use digital technology in support of distributed hard copy. surely the discussion has moved on a bit. The web is an option as well as competition.

The circulation figures may not be the sign of an 'ice age' to threaten 'dinosaurs'. But there are some issues that should be discussed.

This blog started as IPEX 2002. It will continue loosely connected with how PDF and JDF have an effect. Recently Adobe have announced even more XML support than was evident at IPEX. 'Network Publishing' is a context in which print reconfigures as part of something else.

Friday, October 31, 2003

The slides are now available in PDF format from the Acrobat User Forum presentations at the Workflow Theatre during Digital Solutions

I was invlolved in these meetings so may not have a sound perspective. My take though is that they coincide with a new stage in the UK when there are examples of aspects of PDF previously reported on the web as existing elsewhere. Actually the Defra forms will not be online till next spring.

The site at has been updated with some information on Digital Print World. This event looks more interesting as new stands are booked. Adobe will be part of a Workflow Cinema. Presumably this will be different to a Workflow Theatre with frequent requests to 'show the video please'.

It will be interesting to see if Adobe offer new information on Transit. Jaws Courier is available through a web service but Adobe seem not to say much about job ticket information. It used to be part of the PDF. There is much talk of 'document solutions' but these are intended for enterprise in general. Many print service providers are too small or medium to get much attention.

I am thinking about a longer opinion style piece on the Institute of Printing annual debate in December. They are disputing whether the print industry still needs skills. Often this reflects a view that skills are not what they used to be. If the people who create PDF are to get the same consistency of results from litho that they achieve with an email attachment there will be a need for some new skills. The print industry needs to understand support for distance learning. Also how to organise preflight and inspection while remaining polite.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Digital Solutions has been over for a couple of days and I am beginning to get an overall take on it. There could have been more people there and this may be because the expectations and promotion mismatched on what was there. The Digital Camera Show was not promoted as such. Maybe more management types attend a workflow show if they think there won't be too many anoraks looking for cheap cameras. I'm not too sure about this as actually quite a range of people look at what is on offer. So the camera stands were still there and getting interest. Fuji was the main brand represented with their own stand.

However the conventional litho mainstream was probably not there in large numbers. The workflow presentations from Agfa and Creo should have had massive audiences based on the content. Networked Graphic Production (NGP) is a concept that is under development. The Apogee X as described will probably not change much before Print City at drupa. So the workflow theatre was a chance to look at how JDF can work. Reports of rivalry between an NGP camp and Print City seem to be exaggerated. Actually most JDF systems can work with each other as well as any XML standard works with Microsoft.

The scope of Digital Print World is limited to digital print but issues may come up such as workflow for litho and moving content to the web.

Maybe there is a question for all print exhibiitons, though this is hard to assess. drupa is fully booked. Even if IIR develop an annual digital show over the next three years there could still be many people in the British printing industry who will concentrate on the mechanical engineering available at IPEX.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Brief news from Digital Solutions

Jaws PDF Courier can create and deliver reliable PDF with job ticketing. Positive Focus are distributing this and offering a web serice - ready4print. There is currently a server based in the Netherlandsand one expected soon in the UK.

There will be a presentation about this on the 22nd in the Workflow Theatre at 3.40


Although there is not officially a Digital Camerta Show this year, there are several stands with digital cameras. For example A.J. Purdie have stocks of Nikon, Canon and Sony.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Another test, seems to be working ok.

Long gaps in this blog are because I update the sites for www.atford and the Acrobat User Forum. I do get confused as to which opinions to put in which spot but this seems to be ok so far.

I am going to project a year forward on the Acrobat User Forum site so the content for this year's Digital Solutions meetings makes more sense. So far the emphasis on structure and server software has not really got much attention from the graphics professionals or at least the media who think they understand this audience. The response of the people at the workflow theatre will be interesting. By next October the JDF aspects of workflow should be better understood. PDF forms online will be used more widely so some priont companies will be included. Graphic designers will need to understand how to use material both for print and online.

The www.atford site is to imagine this sort of future. I have started to include news stories such as one on Global Graphics and JDF. My impression is that Adobe have lost some focus on hard copy. There is not much detail in the UK on how they relate to JDF. Transit seems to have disappeared without any explanation. In time there will be something coming through Digital Print World so this can be updated later.

I have started a discussion topic at Planet PDF

Please add in any comments there

More follows during next week

Monday, September 22, 2003

Digital Solutions Exhibition: 21-23 October 2003 - London ExCeL

This is a test of the direct blogging feature on my new Google toolbar

Links to event coming up soon. More later.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Seybold event is settling into some sort of perspective now that I am finding other sources of information through the web and magazines. It seems that Adobe are being quite selective in where they promote the new server software. an article on PDFzone comments on their lack of presence at eGOV in Washington. Meanwhile they have attended a SAP conference so presumably this is the sort of environment where the pricing makes sense. The US Army have made extensive use of PDF for forms.

Maybe there will be more to say by the time of Seybold San Francisco. For example, is Transit to be updated or publicised? I would suggest the order of events happens in reverse to the sequence in Amsterdam. Start with a panel discussion on whehter the server software is on a pricing level that any normal person could consider. Allow time to study the Adobe website if there is no other source of product detail. Then discuss with CIP4 members if the XML job ticket information could be part of the PDF or somewhere else. Then ask the Gilbane content management discussion to cover this as another example of what they are looking at. If this order can't fit with the schedule, maybe something can develop online meanwhile.

Printweek reported the Amsterdam JDF discussion at great length (June 19th) and supported the idea in an editorial. It has become clear that the Seybold move to Europe has connected with European interest in hard copy. The next Seybold Amsterdam in April 2004 will be just ahead of DRUPA so more will be known on how JDF is likely to be implemented. this blog will resume around the time of events but the issues will also be reflected in websites that are updated more slowly.

websites (imagined destination for UK print) (print emphasis) (assumes bandwidth)


Digital Solutions Digital Print World

If you're not convinced about JDF / PDF by now, you have at least two more chances before 2004.

Friday, June 13, 2003

The good news is that the dates for Seybold Amsterdam 2004 are confirmed as April 19-22. Actually the exact days may change so check

I think the bad news is turning out to be the wasted opportunity caused by limited input from Adobe. The opening keynote from James King was universally appreciated and covered the history of establishing Acrobat as is already well known. Information on new server software came up by accident or not at all. The Gilbane Content Management day had no Adobe speakers. The track on 'PDF in the Data-Connected Organization' did include a demonstration of Readerr Extensions from Frank Delanghe for D Soft. However this was almost at the end of the conference so no links back to the content management discussion were possible.

In the closing 'interactive expert panel', Stephen Jaeggi added his own wish for a better PDF future. The charging model for Reader extensions is prohibitive for any situation other than really large rich organisations such as government. He would like to see some way of charging per view that made wider use possible. The impression that came over is that Reader extensions software is not really intended to be used at this time.

Maybe it is hard to co-ordinate the Adobe budgets for a European event so it is good that Seybold have given lots of notice for the next event.

More came out about the discussion on whether JDF informatioin should be embedded in PDF or sent in another file. Margaret Motamed , who presented the CIP4 day, put the question back to the expert panel, suggesting that either approach could be used. Menno Mooij suggested that actually people should do both. Then the people closer to the RIP could do a comparison. Either way, a PDF/JDF workflow will be clarified by the next Seybold Amsterdam.

More follows, sometime next week

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Almost forgot to mention the alternative session yesterday on CIP4. I didn't attend this, but Peter Dyson mentioned discussion on whether JDF information should be part of a PDF or in a related file. He suggested 'One of the files will get lost. You'll give them different names.' I think he was just trying to get a response from the panel, who came up with several ways round this sort of problem.

CIP4 Heidelberg Presentation
The really good news is that there will probably be another Seybold event in Amsterdam. Hans Hartman said that the expectation for a first event was between 200 and 300, so they are pleased with the actual attendance of 450. There is space for maybe four times as many though in the main forum so potential for more people in Europe to hear about this.

James King keynote covered ten years of Acrobat and PDF. The original design aims included fitting Acrobat onto one floppy and running on 640k DOS. Now it becomes clear that Amber (version 3) was the first one that did 'the publishing things'. 'Before that, we targeted the office.'

There may be more versions of Acrobat tools, such as the Professional and Standard with Acrobat 6. Apparently the thinking is that "more people could use standard if it wasn't priced so high". Strangely, 6 Standard seems to be more expensive than Acrobat 5 and to not include the forms creation features. Maybe other options will follow later.

The discussion on PDF seems to work well with a basis in European print. The proofing discussion was fairly technical, based around activities of the European Color Initiative.

A rare reference to the internet came through a presentation on WebProof, using Acrobat6 and WebDAV for proofing. Comments can be added outside of Acrobat for those who don't have it.

The first day included coverage of Enterprise Content Management, something that usually takes several days. It was comprehensive within the time but my surprise was at how little mention there was of the Adobe server software and how PDF could fit with other systems. This did come up, but there was no Adobe presence on this occasion.

Tomorrow David Brailsford will be talking about PDF and XML within a stream on the 'data-connected enterprise' . Maybe some of the links to content management will come up there.

There will also be the release of a Seybold survey on PDF usage in Europe. It will be interesting to compare this with the first one based mostly on responses from the USA.

No mention of 'Network Publishing'. Creo spoke about 'Networked Graphic Production' within their seven minutes. So the scope is a bit limited in concentrating on print workflow. Still, this is a solid basis. Maybe web design will creep in as a topic next time.

More follows, maybe Saturday.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Still working ok

Forgot the actual link

Seybold PDF Summit Amsterdam
This is a test to check if this blog resource is still working.

Next week I am lucky enough to be going to a Seybold Seminar in Amsterdam. This seems to me to be a major event. The Seybold content is concentrating on some hard copy issues that make sense in Europe. There will still be some internet coverage and presumably a wider scope in San Francisco later.

My own opinion is that PDF should have a basis in hard copy and that it is worth spending time on this. There seems a good chance that Seybold will repeat this event in future years. More UK attention would be useful. The print media have not given much of a buildup. Maybe there will be enough reporting to build a bigger audience for next time.

This blog will stay as IPEX 2002, though covering Seybold and DRUPA. The idea of 'Watford' as a destination for UK print will only come about as part of a European discussion. Quite what IPEX 2006 will be like remains to be seen. The organisers are now also working on a London digital show for November. This will be very official with content from PIRA. It will be interesting to see how it compares with Digital Solutions in October. I have an interest through the meetings at Digital Solutions organised by the Acrobat User Forum. Acrobat 6 is looking good so by the end of the year there could be a UK print industry view on whether it is mainstream.

Meanwhile Jim King from Adobe is looking back on ten years next week. The issues have not all been imagined by people in pre-press. On first look Acrobat 6 seems to be the product there should have been in the first place.

The title stays as IPEX 2002 but could mean any plausible UK event.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

This site will change to cover DRUPA in early 2004. Some claims on JDF implementation will be clear in time for Digital Solutions in October.

The best news is that there will be a Seybold PDF summit in Amsterdam in June. Time travel could go two ways. Try to hold back the Seybold futurists so they deal with hard copy. Imagine what print can offer sometime later as if DRUPA was already happening. Acrobat 6 could be out by then so the web will be relevant also.