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5 reasons why you need digital asset management in prepress

5 reasons why you need digital asset management in prepress

On behalf of advertising companies, media agencies usually produce large quantities of high-quality images, layouts, advertisements, and other advertising materials within a tight timeframe. Especially in prepress, a digital asset management system can simplify and automate the processes. We show which 5 advantages a DAM system offers you in the prepress stage.

What does prepress mean and what does it involve?

Prepress is a sub-process in the industrial printing process. All the preparatory work required for actual printing takes place at this stage:

  • Data preparation
  • Image processing
  • layout creation
  • Placement on the print sheet
  • Production of the printing form

If errors occur in these prepress steps, the result is usually a disappointing print product. It is therefore important to ensure a smooth workflow here.

A digital asset management system can enable an error-free workflow. All the files needed for media production are stored securely in the DAM system and can be easily retrieved. In addition, there are other functions that simplify prepress processes:

1. Work easily with InDesign

Various editing files (such as Word, Office, or Adobe files) can be accessed directly from the DAM system. Images, layouts, and movies can be checked out by the user for editing, and the finished files can be checked back in as new version. This avoids duplicates of a file and prevents version chaos, since all contributors always work with one master file.

Working with the standard layout program InDesign is particularly easy if the DAM system comes with a suitable plug-in, such as our Cavok DAM system. Images and graphics can simply be dragged and dropped directly from the browser into an InDesign page. The system can also be set to pass a lower-resolution version of the image to InDesign. Only when the final edited InDesign document is uploaded, all low-resolution images are replaced by the high-resolution ones. This makes working with InDesign significantly faster.

2. Color space conversion with ICC profile

Depending on whether images are needed for web or print, the color profile must be adjusted accordingly. For web use, the RGB color profile is recommended. For print, CMYK is used by default. CMYK forms the technical basis for four-color printing and stands for the three color components cyan, magenta, yellow and the black component (key).

An ICC profile contains all the information required for correct color reproduction on different devices (monitor, printer). In addition to the color space, this also includes, for example, the maximum ink coverage in printing and more. A digital asset management system can automatically handle the conversion to the appropriate color formatting for printing.

3. Automated workflows

Such automated workflows, like conversion to the appropriate format and correct color profile of the processed images, are the biggest advantage of a DAM system in prepress. The media designed in the prepress stages can thus be easily used in the sense of multi-channel marketing for publication on other parallel channels. Above all, recurring processes can be automated precisely to customer requirements. This avoids errors and saves time.

Grube KG, for example, uses automatic workflows in our Cavok DAM system to convert images and files as needed into the appropriate size, color space, or source format according to predefined criteria. These are then transmitted to the Content Delivery Network and from here the web store is supplied with up-to-date images. Read the case study to find out which other workflows facilitate the work of the employees at Grube KG.

4. Easy collaboration

When creating a print product, several contributors are usually involved at all stages of the process, especially when it comes to coordinating and approving the layout. Coordination and collaboration can be made easier with various DAM features.

For example, some DAM systems allow editing files to be previewed via the web browser. This is particularly practical if not everyone involved has the appropriate program license. Our Cavok DAM system, for example, offers previews down to individual Photoshop layers. Because all users have access to the files regardless of where they work (even from the home office) and can coordinate the next task steps using, for example, task and note functions, fewer files need to be sent. This reduces the potential for data chaos to arise.

5. Performance advantages through central image database

Media service providers can take over the hosting of all multimedia files for their customers in their own digital asset management system to gain performance advantages and strengthen customer loyalty.

The DAM system handles the administration of all files. Using naming conventions, for example, the system automatically assigns certain properties (metadata) to the images. With the help of filtering options, the images can then be found much more quickly.

This is beneficial for media service providers, who work with the images on a daily basis and can thus provide brochures and other advertising materials with the right images more quickly. The advantage for the clients: they do not have to take care of a secure storage of the data themselves and still have access to all relevant files and can also find them faster with the filter options. Via the web browser, each user can directly access the files released for him or her and, depending on the role defined, view, edit and release them.

Would you also like to take your prepress to a new level? We will show you what is possible with our Cavok DAM system in a short web presentation.

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