25 Jun 2024

ONYX SmartApps Sign&Banner Plug-in tool for Adobe Illustrator available now


ONYX Graphics, Inc. today announced its ONYX SmartApps Sign&Banner Plug-in tool for Adobe Illustrator software that simplifies and accelerates set-up of wide format signs and banners. This plug-in is the first in the new ONYX SmartApps RIP-independent product line that helps print providers and designers quickly and easily prepare files for wide format print production.

“We are excited to launch the wide format market’s first line of plug-ins for Adobe Creative Suite® software that provides specific tools for common wide format print applications,” explains Dean Derhak, Marketing Director at ONYX Graphics. “With this and future plug-ins from ONYX Graphics, designers and prepress operators can more quickly prepare jobs with their existing design applications.”

Key Features

With the Sign&Banner Plug-in tool, anyone designing or producing signs and banners can dramatically reduce their preparation time and reduce mistakes in finishing. With the plug-in, shops can prepare all aspects of a sign or banner – including grommet marks, bleeds and folds – right in Adobe Illustrator software in less than a few minutes.

Grommets:  manually measuring grommets for a banner requires additional time and effort that can lead to higher production cost per banner. Some shops use RIP software to add grommet marks, but involving printer operators in banner setup slows production time. The Sign&Banner Plug-in enables placement of grommet data at the design stage and from within Adobe Illustrator software, saving production time and potentially costly job re-runs.

Print bleeds:  adding print bleed data (overprinting the media area) manually for banners is time-consuming. Complicated bleeds – such as duplicate or mirror bleeds – can take time to add to an image, particularly after the design is finished. With the Sign&Banner Plug-in, designers and print providers can prepare print bleeds automatically and overcome Illustrator’s bleed limitations.

This plug-in also offers the ability to “design-to-scale” so jobs are print-ready at the correct size.

About ONYX SmartApps

The Sign&Banner Plug-In is the first in the new ONYX SmartApps toolset for creative applications. Designed to help those who prepare files for wide format printing, ONYX SmartApps Plug-Ins are application specific, operating system independent (can be used on Macintosh® or Windows® platforms), easy to use and affordably priced. They are complementary to the ONYX RIP software line, but completely independent – ONYX RIP software is not required to use the Plug-Ins.

System requirements

The Sign&Banner Plug-in is compatible with Adobe Illustrator software versions CS3, CS4 or CS5 on Macintosh or Windows platforms. Available languages include English, Dutch, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

Availability and pricing

The Sign&Banner Plug-In is available as a 15-day, full-version trial and for purchase now. For more information, visit www.smartappsplugins.com/banner


Enfocus' PitStop Connect 10 now commercially available

Enfocus has now announced the commercial release of PitStop Connect 10.  With immediate effect, the fully functional version is available for users, directly from the Enfocus website www.enfocus.com. In addition, a fully functional (time-limited) trial version can now be downloaded from the Enfocus website.

PitStop Connect 10 connects printers and publishers with their customers, ensuring hassle-free file delivery and PDF quality control.  New to PitStop Connect 10 is automatic updating of Connectors, secure file transfer and personalised service by using intelligent metadata through enhanced Switch 10 support.

Further information about the product can be found in the original news story published on Large Format Review in April 2011: http://www.largeformatreview.com/workflow/1925-enfocus-announces-pitstop-connect-10

Enfocus announces updates to PitStop Pro 10 and PitStop Server 10 software tools

Enfocus announces update 2 of its PitStop Pro 10 and PitStop Server 10 software tools. This update answers the needs of customers who require the ability to quickly and easily look at, and interact with, complex PDF files on e-reader devices such as the Apple iPad.

"Viewing PDF files on tablet devices has not always proved to be a straightforward task. While they have become increasingly important within printing and publishing workflows, these devices might have limitations which cause lengthy delays waiting for a PDF to open. This can even crash the PDF reader application completely," explains Elli Cloots, Director of Product Management at Enfocus."With update 2 of PitStop Pro 10 and PitStop Server 10, we address the increasing market need for matching PDF files with these successful e-reader applications."

Quality PDF files for e-readers

Update 2 of PitStop Pro 10 and PitStop Server 10 offer printers and publishers extended processing capabilities through the standard Enfocus Preflight Profiles and Action Lists. This allows them to choose parameters such as the file resolution, and to optimise the PDF accordingly for faster and better e-reader viewing. When zooming into a PDF, both images and text will retain the necessary image quality and level of interactivity. PitStop can also check live URLs in the PDF to ensure that they are linked to a website.

With this latest version of PitStop Pro 10 and PitStop Server 10, Enfocus brings the PDF user experience to a higher level, while maintaining the same quality. Enfocus worked alongside several pilot customers to solve their most common problems, with particular focus on the extremely popular iPad device. Instead of a time-consuming process of manual inspection at the production side, quality PDF files can now be made suitable for viewing on any e-reader, giving the user a more enjoyable experience.

“This is an important step in a new direction for Enfocus,” says Cloots. “This feature has been developed upon the request of several major publishing houses. As their needs change, we also further develop our solutions to ensure those needs are met. We expect these kinds of applications to become increasingly important, and we’ll be continually developing our software to keep pace.”

PitStop Pro 10 and PitStop Server 10 became commercially available in October 2010, and include powerful PDF editing and preflighting, color management and collaborative working tools. Update 1, announced in February 2011, added support for Adobe® Acrobat® X Standard and Pro, and compatibility with the latest PDF/X-4:2010 and PDF/A ISO standards.


PitStop Pro update 2 and PitStop Server 10 update 2 are free updates for all existing PitStop 10 users, available from June 16, 2011 from www.enfocus.com.

Triakon enjoys benefits of EskoArtwork i-cut Suite in sign and display production

Triakon, one of the most advanced sign and display production companies in Belgium, is enjoying the tangible benefits of the EskoArtwork solutions. Triakon has an extensive client base including design agencies, retail chains and a number of other companies that require digital printing and sign and display work. While these requirements are met using a range of large format and digital printing systems, it's the EskoArtwork Kongsberg i-XL24 cutting table and i-cut Suite software that turn the many semi-finished products generated by these printers into end products.

Check and check again

While the Kongsberg i-XL24 has proven to be an essential addition finishing signs, labels, posters, invitations, wobblers, labels as well as greetings and business cards, the i-cut Suite installed last year made an impact on the company's prepress workflow.

The first step in the production process is the arrival of client supplied PDF or open files in Triakon’s prepress department. Technical aspects are checked using i-cut Preflight and where necessary text changes are implemented and spot colours prepared. Prepress manager Jef Maerevoet explains: "Editing boxes is easy with the i-cut Preflight. We also use several action lists, for instance to automate the conversion from RGB to CMYK. The use of action lists enables us to abbreviate repeated actions as we don’t need to enter the same settings time and again."

Triakon is a pioneer when it comes to the acquisition of new technologies. "We are a new, hi-tech enterprise and we are passionate about technology as we feel we owe it to our clients", explains Managing Director Lieven de Schamphelaere, who has been running the company together with his brother since 2011. "The most significant aspect of our approach is the interaction with our clientele. We ‘check and check again’ when we receive material, as a result of which our clients know they can rely on us. Service requires an in-depth knowledge of the technology in question and the ability to solve problems."

"Using i-cut Preflight we can optimise the technical aspects of the file for the digital press or printer on which it will be processed. Of course pre-flighting is part of our service to our customers. They are only too happy that we can prevent those small errors that sometimes still occur during preparation, " continues Lieven de Schamphelaere.

The second part of the i-cut Suite – i-cut Layout – also plays a vital role during preparation states Dirk Poels, who is in charge of the print fleet. "This program enables us to create the most appropriate imposition for files on a specific printing machine. The necessary coordinates for the cutting paths for finishing are inserted. The files are positioned on the material to ensure that we can maximise its use on the print system on which it will be processed. We also enter additional positioning markings for finishing on the Kongsberg."

[photo shows Triakon's Managing Director - Lieven de Schamphelaere]

Four Pees launches PrintFactory Go at Fespa: stand-alone correction and production preparation for large format printing

Four Pees, exclusive worldwide distributor of the PrintFactory software suite will offer PrintFactory Go as a stand-alone preproduction and job preparation application. Usable with any RIP technology, PrintFactory Go brings immediate benefits in efficiency for the creation of complex or repetitive large format production workflows.

PrintFactory Go offers the same job preparation and last minute correction tools the PrintFactory suite has to offer, in an easy-to-use stand-alone application. Whether you need to combine and correct multiple jobs, make edits on colour, masks, shapes, scaling, rotation, mirroring, create tiles or place grommets… PrintFactory Go puts all of the tools at your fingertips. Targeted specifically at digital large format print users, it offers a comprehensive collection of pre-production tools saving time and reducing error and waste.

Streamline job creation and preparation time

PrintFactory Go streamlines every step in the workflow. Customised output folders help creating the perfect print-to-cut production workflow. One interface drives all printing and cutting devices and all information – no matter how complex – is stored in one single job.

Check and Correct

PrintFactory Go’s unique preflight engine checks every opened file against a set of job specific parameters such as colour spaces, font embedding or overprint settings. Image or font size checks have been specifically adapted to the needs of an LFP environment; checking happens on viewing distances rather than on resolution of point sizes. PrintFactory Go’s soft proofing capabilities and preflight features allow previewing colour and content correctly, catching errors and problems as early as possible.

PrintFactory Go enables editing or correcting virtually any object in the job, whether it is a colour correction on an image or an illustration, a last minute text edit or even adding a completely new content.

Prepare and Print

The native PDF engine built into PrintFactory Go correctly handles any PDF file, regardless of where it was created. It is no longer needed to open different applications for different files.

PrintFactory Go offers a dedicated LFP job preparation environment. You can easily add folds, seams and tunnels, define white ink or varnish, define die cut lines, create tiles and place grommets. The powerful templates functionality makes preparation of recurring jobs a breeze.

PrintFactory Go offers normalised, colour-managed, predictable output according to industry standards and with the same colour result over different devices; its output works with all RIP solutions.

The features and benefits of this new release can be experienced live at the PrintFactory booth in hall A4, stand C66 from 24 to 27 May at Fespa Digital in Hamburg, Germany.

EskoArtwork partners with VTales Graphics to create new software application

Thanks to the joint effort of EskoArtwork (www.esko.com) and VTales Graphics (www.vtales.com), a new software application has been created that allows brand owners and retailers to assess the on-the-shelf and point-of-sale impact of their packaging and displays. The partnership draws on EskoArtwork’s expertise in creating hyper realistic 3D packaging models and VTales’ state-of-the art visualisation technology. The result is called “Esko Store Visualizer”. It is a new solution that lets users place virtual objects in photographed scenes, enabling them to see their designs in an in-store setting and determine how they compare with rival products.

“Most buying decisions are made in the store,” explains Kris Van Bael, EskoArtwork 3D and Visualization Product Manager. “This is why it’s so important for brand owners and retailers to evaluate packaging designs, displays and shelve layouts as early as possible in this realistic store context. Store Visualizer gives them this insight. It allows them to assess their designs in a retail environment before the packaging and displays are actually produced. No need to say this saves them significant time and money.”

Alexander Heiner, Managing Director at VTales Graphics, adds: “By working together with EskoArtwork, we reduce the need for costly and time-consuming packaging redesigns. Store Visualizer lets users create virtual mock-ups and place them in a real store, on real shelves next to rival products. Showing how designs perform in a store context, enables fast decisions and adjustments."

Assess the in-store impact of designs’ from your desk

The virtual packaging mock-ups are created with EskoArtwork packaging design software (ArtiosCAD or Studio). Using Store Visualizer, the mock-ups are easily placed on shelves or displays in realistic store environments. This way, brand managers can assess on screen the appeal of their designs early in the design cycle. The visuals can also be used by market research companies to measure the performance of different designs or shelf layouts. Heiner adds: “The end result is a design that performs better in the store, which will help spur sales and increase market share.”

Traditionally, these in-store assessments are made with physical mock-ups in imitation stores or with time consuming image retouching. Users of the technology benefit from shortened lead times during the market research and development stage, and can eliminate or reduce the need for expensive mock-ups and photo shoots.

The software is ideal for packaging design agencies, converters and pre-media companies, allowing them to offer a new service to Brand Owners, Retailers or market researchers.  Van Bael concludes: “By adding Store Visualizer developed by VTales to our portfolio, we can offer our clients the most comprehensive suite of 3D packaging design software, enabling them to quickly and cost effectively take an idea from concept to shelf-ready.”

Store Visualizer is compatible with all Esko Suite 10 tools and is available immediately. To find out more about Esko Store Visualizer, visit the EskoArtwork website: www.esko.com.