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7. Workflow Procedures
Short run manufacturing offers a significant benefit to niche, catalogue and promotional products. It is an ideal solution if you know you only want a small quantity of CD, DVD or print or if you are unsure of the sales potential. To assist customers we have created three production streams to clarify the options for customers:
1. New Productions
2. Partial Production
3. Total Recreation
7 a. New Productions - All new Nimbus titles since May 2002 have been created using short run manufacturing. During that period some have sold many thousand copies and some only a few hundred. Short run production has ensured that the product is available at all times and in the quantity you actually need to fulfil orders on hand.
Printed parts – Booklets and inlays are designed using any desk top publishing package on either a PC or Mac. Finished designs are then set to our supplied template and a locked PDF is created, flowing the information as printer’s pairs. When we receive the files either on disc, by email or sent to our FTP site we check to ensure that they are correctly paginated and then send them to the print server. At the time of production they are automatically imposed (laid out) onto an A3 sheet and the exact production quantity is ordered.
Onbody Artwork – Colour or Black only artwork can be created using any desk top publishing package on either a PC or Mac. Finished designs are then set to our supplied template and a locked PDF is created. When we receive the files either on disc, by email or sent to our FTP site we check to ensure that they are correctly sized and send them to the replication server. At the time of production they are automatically merged with the disc data file and the exact production quantity is ordered.
Disc Data – Music, software, or video is normally sent on a master CD, CD-R, DVD-R, Exabyte or DLT tape. Once all other components are available this is then loaded to the production server using the Eclipse Image Verify. At the time of production they are automatically merged with the disc data file and the exact production quantity is ordered.
7 b. Partial Production – Many labels have odd stocks of booklets, inlays or discs but no complete sets. With the short run production we can use up any existing material and just produce the required elements to complete the orders. One box (275 pieces) of existing print can be stored at no charge for a rapid repress service.
7.c. Total Recreation – In very many cases we find that only a single archive copy remains of a deleted title so in these instances we perform a total recreation which prepares the title for short run production. This process also’ future proofs’ the title by creating a complete set of digital files. All assets recreated for the customer are the property of the customer. They are stored digitally on our servers for a rapid repress service.
Master Disc – Using the archive copy we load the image onto our production server and verify that it still meets the optical disc industry standard Red, Yellow and Orange Book specifications. Minor studio corrections can be made at this time including reordering of tracks, adding ISRC codes and adding any extra files such as web pages or libretto PDF’s. If the master is changed in any way then a copy is sent to the content holder for verification prior to production.
Onbody Label – We recreate the onbody either as a colour or black only. A PDF is sent to the customer for proofing and sign off. The image is then held on our server for production and rapid repress.
Booklet and Inlay – Printed parts are recreated in four stages using a combination of design technologies.
- Internal pages / note. Internal text is grabbed using an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) programme. The text is checked and exported to a word file. This file is then sent to the customer for checking and updating. OCR software is 98% reliable but it may struggle with artist names, ornate typefaces or foreign spelling. At this stage customers can easily update biographies, add new web sites or reduce the number of words. The approved and updated word document is then returned to Nimbus for flowing into the booklet pages.
- Front Cover. The cover image is scanned at maximum resolution using a powerful flat bed scanner. All text and logos are removed, the back ground image is built back and text is then reset over the image. We generally request a high quality logo be sent from the customer. This process ensures that the text is sharp and has not lost definition during the scanning and reprinting.
- Booklet Assembly. The front cover and the booklet note are flowed into a template and a locked PDF is created. This is sent to the customer for final sign off. The approved PDF is loaded onto the print server.
- Inlay. Due to the very fine tolerances for the spines and perforations the inlay is recreated completely and set to a new template. Once completed a locked PDF is created which is sent to the customer for final sign off. The approved PDF is loaded onto the print server.
Nimbus will take on all of this work for a customer for a set fee based on the number of pages in a booklet. Alternatively notes and templates can be sent to customers or their designers enabling them to perform the total recreation.