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Category Archives: DTP

Workflow for 100 badges

Today I’ve got a quick task – to prepare 100 personalized badges for people attending to an event.
I’ve got a file in Illustrator and a file in Excel.

How can we do that quickly?

My way: I did a Master page in Indesign then I added 100 “Master A” to the document.
As you can see, the boxes are small enough just to be filled by one name.
I copy/paste the entire column of names (column A) in the first line; the column B+C both copied in the second line (after a quick TextEdit stop to find/replace the tab with a comma – as the client asked).

Now, all I have to do is to link the boxes from page to page and the names will flow one by one to page by page.

The same thing to the bottom line…

Quick enough? 🙂


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Posted by on 18/10/2012 in DTP

 

Pictures of wine bottles…

If you have to take pictures of some bottles of wine, will you accept the label not to be read perfectly?
Well, it seems that LIDL Romania did it.

When I see this kind of work (and the only explanation is “they chose a cheap photographer because it’s crisis”) I start to get angry.

The mediocrity… not accepted.
Even ff it’s crisis you will not cut your skills.
Yes, maybe you have to cut the price a little but never accept bad work. Why? Because in couple of years this bad work will be something very ordinary, it will be “you”, you will start to work on this standards and you’ll be a mediocre guy, something that you wasn’t before.

If I wasn’t ok with the money I quit but I never let my work to become mediocre.
I ALWAYS DO MY BEST! And thinking in that way made me the guy I am now = a good professional. I believe that about myself. Yes, there is always a room for improvement but my way is always up regarding my profession.

 
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Posted by on 04/10/2012 in DTP

 

Three busy days

I’ve planned to write some articles but the last three days was very busy here. I think the crisis is not quite what all the media says… 🙂
Two major events will start in the next days and the agency I’m working for is covering both.
Besides work, my driving instructor scheduled some lessons in all these days. 😦

The list below is about the ready-for-print files I’v prepared in this time.
I feel great when I see in the city stuff I’ve worked for! 🙂

 
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Posted by on 21/09/2012 in DTP

 

“Add-on page” on my CV

I just made my “add-on page” for the CV.
As I said before, I am not a narcissistic SOB but I have to maximize my chances over an interview. Especially in this time of crisis.
This will be a second page of my CV, the first page will be a classic one.
This second page may be even a true sample of my work.

I think it’s a good way to advertise myself. 🙂

The idea is inspired from readymech.com

 
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Posted by on 17/09/2012 in DTP

 

9/11 in the office

Because today is some kind of anniversary, I will write about this day – but regarding my life: DTP life.
As I said, this website is about me. Not because I am a narcissistic SOB but because I (will) use this site in the future, when I will look for a job (I’m planning a big change of environment 🙂 )

I remember my day on “the big 9/11” so today I will write about the 9/11 2001 and today, 9/11 2012.

9/11 2001: my second true job (besides summer jobs), I was working in a local newspaper in the editorial office. All my life I had this opportunity to work in open spaces. This is good for me, I learn from other colleagues (about their job not mine 🙂 ).
In 2001 my job was splitted in two parts: 8 AM to 12 PM I was acting as Art Director, my job was to create/modify the small advertising for local clients. We called it “colored squares” and I had to do couple of them a day. We had only the idea of what client wanted and I had to do everything: from headline to final product.
On 12PM I had a 6 hours break (I accepted that because I lived 5 minutes distance) and my second part of the job usually started around 6 PM and went to 10PM — do the newspaper pages.
We were two DTP guys on duty and the job was very “smooth” as we acted as a team.
My friend Radu is working now on IBM office in Bucharest (as “Base OS Image Developer for SmartCloud Enterprise”), I kept my job because I like it. 😉

9/11 2001: I was returning at 6PM to work and all the guys were not in office but crowded in the local television studio (across the hall).
Everybody was amazed, not scared but truly amazed… WTF!? Nobody understood what exactly happen, on all the screens in the TV station was images with the smoke, nobody knew how to continue the work that day.
9/11 2011 was the longest working day until then.

Of course all the people started to do stuff for the next edition: I had to change the page 1, the writers started to write about the news, the correctors had to stay late, the guy charged with the photography started to look over the web for photos…

——————–
9/11 2012: the day started “easy” in this agency, the client service personnel arrived around 10:30 AM.
I am included in the Creative Department (I am the only DTP here and they didn’t founded an office just for me – so I work in some kind of open space with all Creative Department). Today I was the second at work, after the Creative Director. 🙂
Usually, until the Client Service arrive we have some jobs to do from the day before but I often don’t let stuff to be worked on the second day – for me is simple, as I do the technical stuff.
Today the jobs started to come around 10:30 and was quite a busy day.
A milk producer wanted to re-re-re-modify the layout for the milk package and because the job was passed to me few days ago I had to do the modifications; CEZ wants to print new materials and I had to do brochures based on a page designed by one of the Art Directors (the deal is: they design one page and I continue the work to the final product), some colleague want me to scan some pages, Academica wanted another modifications on their layout, Volvo wanted another press format ad for their new campaign, some logo came in CDR format and I had to convert it to AI and EPS; Parentime (another client) wanted me to look in the archive to find some old material to be reprinted… and now I found some time to write this article. 🙂

If you ask me now, after more than 11 years on the job, what kind of work I like – advertising agencies or newspaper offices, I say that a short deadline (for the newspaper is less than 24 hours, isn’t it?) give people some kind of “order” for the job to be done quickly – and I feel better.

9/11… I miss old America, America BEFORE 9/11, an America I wanted to live in.
Now, I don’t like it as before… (even since then I have many friends moved and working there).

P.S.: Because I have my own system to name a file, finding that Parentime material was les than 1 minute job. The name of the file is: PARENTIME-caiet-ianuarie-2012-150dpi.pdf, very easy to find in ANY server, any computer, any system of folders. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 11/09/2012 in DTP

 

My (new) business card

Changing is all around us. The world is changing even we want it or not.
I said that I like the past (in the terms of time traveling) but to continue my life as it is I need to adapt. 🙂

My business card is one of the things I needed to change.

What is on the old model?
A simple design, with very clear informations: name, profession, the softwares I know, my contact details, even a small drawing of myself…

Today I feel something is not quite ok on the old model, something must be changed.

First of all, on my 2006-2007 model, the name is stated very clear.
But you don’t know me, “Cristian Ciureanu” will not ring any bell. 🙂
So, in the first line I preferred to use a clear statement of what I’m doing:

This model is in Italian (I will write in future posts why).
I used my title very clear, on black font, some color play with Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key – as this is some kind of trademark of what we’re doing.
The main software expertise is still quoted there, using the new way of naming them (some inspiration from Adobe, how they made the new icons for their softwares)
Name is not so important, quoted in small font, along with the other contact details.
If somebody will need a “GRAFICO”, my business card show it very clear that I am the one, and I think will “rise” through other business cards.

After 5 minutes the second new model come:

I cut the lines – I felt something was wrong there – too many professionals of my kind use the CMYK motive.
As a plus, my experience is quoted (10+ years) so you’ll clearly know who am I if you decide to call.

Another 5-10 minutes and my mind was set:

Minimal colors (no more fooling around) with CMYK, simple big letters with my title and my experience, the other informations are quoted in black text, regular font.
Not much for a design but I feel it ok.

As a plus (and a contact with the latest gadgets on the web), the back of it have a QR code (pointing to this website). 😉

Now, on a 9x5cm you have almost all information you need if you’re looking to hire a DTP: you cannot miss this card from your Rolodex, you have my software expertise there, my experience (10 years+), contact informations, if you scan the QR code you can read my CV (written in three languages), and if you want to see what are my hobbies and what I’m thinking about the World, you can select LIFE section on this website.

Well, this is 2012 model of my business card.

Though I’m still not decided what model should I print…. the DTP one or the black GRAFICO one. 🙂

 
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Posted by on 10/09/2012 in DTP

 

What is an artworker?

When I was applying to jobs in London (I lived one year there) and Rome (this is recently) I was many times in the position to explain what exactly I do. Many people asked me for portfolio but I couldn’t find the right words to explain that my portfolio not looks like a Creative professional one, is not like an Art Director one: I am a professional in other kind of things.
I do this job for at least 10 years so it must be a real job not something “intermediate” to other “job with portfolios”.

Rob Cubbon is a professional who explained quite well what we do and what an Artworker/DTP exactly means:

I will copy the entirely article but you may click and go to his website – where you’ll find a lot of more interesting stuff that I will not write about it – because he already said best. 🙂

What is an artworker?

Many people have asked me this question and, in the absence of a Wikipedia entry, here’s my definition.

The term pre-dates desktop publishing when “artwork” or “mechanical art” meant the material (photography, bromide, film, tranparency) or completed, camera-ready pages that could be photographed with a stat camera to make a same-size film that would be used to create a printed product.
Now, an artworker is someone who produces a print-ready product.
Artworkers get a concept from a designer (either in drawing or digital form) and use the appropriate software to create it.
An artworker would understand the basics of printing (cmyk, line screens, spot colours, etc.) as well as design, typesetting, formatting and colour correction. It would be rare to find an artworker with no eye for design.
They should be highly proficient in a number of basic graphics applications, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, QuarkXpress and InDesign as well as having a basic grasp of how to sort large amounts of information in Excel and Word. Knowledge of JavaScript and XML is also handy in creating automated work flows and negating the need for repetitive tasks.
A “traditional artworker” means someone who – maybe a compositor in the past – has the necessary craft skills to cut, fold and glue paper in order to mock up packaging or other design visuals.
A “creative artworker” is someone who is perhaps half way between a designer and an artworker. They would be required to design print-ready artwork on the fly or be called upon to apply a certain design style across a range of printed material.

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I left the following comment on his blog, I guess I completed his description (and you may go there and see how other people describe this job):

“My main task here is to assure that the files are sent perfectly to the printing houses. Artists have more freedom to create – thinking that I am behind them to assure their jobs to be delivered technical correctly.
I also continue projects who have “the approved stamp” from Creative Directors.
For example, now I’m working on some leaflets – one Art Director made one sample and I have to adapt this sample to five of the products the client have.
Last week, as we were a creative team in an election campaign, I made newspapers ads (40+) based on three designs came from an Art Director – adaptations with the newspapers guidelines.
A month ago a client wanted to create a 2012 catalog based on their 2011 model. This job was given directly to me as the primary design was done already.
The same with other catalog for other client; the same with some simple invitations…

This is my job in this agency. Even some stuff are passed directly to me, I cannot call myself “creative” – at least not 100%. I cannot say “I did that design”, I cannot put it in some “sample portfolio”.

Pure design were when I acted as a freelancer…

 
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Posted by on 06/09/2012 in DTP