Consulting & Services

We provide a number of special services offered in addition to—and often augmenting and in conjunction with—our custom tailored creative software and workflow training courses.

From a Satisfied Client:

I found Pariah’s work (both writing and design) to be most creative and his explanations about how to work effectively with [creative software] extraordinarily clear and useful for the reader.

— Karen L. Lew, Book Editor

Inter-Office Workflow Calibration

Teams work­ing in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions un­der lo­cal and dis­parate work­flows can detri­men­tal­ly im­pact com­mu­ni­ca­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and the glob­al work­flow. Offices and work­groups must be ful­ly com­pat­i­ble with each oth­er, and ready to move projects smooth­ly from one step in the chain to the next.

A work­flow cal­i­bra­tion in­volves on-site ob­ser­va­tion and analy­sis of all of­fices’ work­flows. The en­vi­ron­ment, pro­ce­dures, and per­son­nel are ob­served and an­a­lyzed, and then cal­i­brat­ed in­to a co­he­sive, uni­fied work­flow free of lo­cal­ized pe­cu­liar­i­ties and inter-office col­lab­o­ra­tion stum­bling blocks. By the con­clu­sion of the cal­i­bra­tion, all work­groups will be us­ing iden­ti­cal soft­ware ver­sions, flow process­es, and pro­ce­dures, en­abling not on­ly free com­mu­ni­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween of­fices, but al­so eas­ier and more pre­dictable com­par­a­tive per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion.

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Workflow Migration

Moving from QuarkXPress to InDesign, Microsoft Word to InCopy, Fireworks to Illustrator and Photoshop, or Mac to Windows? Changing the key tools in any work­flow is more than a mat­ter of in­stalling new soft­ware. When there’s work to be done, it’s crit­i­cal that a mi­gra­tion hap­pen smooth­ly with min­i­mal im­pact on pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and dead­li­nes.

Every de­part­ment will have con­cerns that must be ad­dressed. IT may have to ad­just sys­tem or server per­mis­sions, in­stall ad­di­tion­al tools, and will def­i­nite­ly need to learn how to spot and an­swer the most com­mon tech­ni­cal is­sues new soft­ware in­tro­duces. Creative per­son­nel must be trained to trans­late their pro­fi­cien­cies with out-going tools in­to equal pro­fi­cien­cy with new tools. Management must be taught to pass along the knowl­edge to new hires and to ap­pre­ci­ate the im­pact of new tools on the work they over­see.

We can help with all of this the­se steps and more.

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Workflow Optimization

Is your work­flow run­ning as ef­fi­cient­ly and smooth­ly as it could? Our ex­pe­ri­enced con­sul­tants can eval­u­ate your cur­rent work­flow, in­clud­ing sys­tems, pro­ce­dures, and per­son­nel, and rec­om­mend changes to help every step and every de­part­ment run at peak pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

By ob­serv­ing and eval­u­at­ing your per­son­nel as they work through projects and dai­ly tasks, our con­sul­tants’ ex­pe­ri­enced and ob­jec­tive eyes can of­ten spot pot­holes on the road to suc­cess and help to fill them.

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Adobe Certified Associate Exam Preparation

The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion al­lows you to demon­strate pro­fi­cien­cy in Adobe dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions tools. Become a Certified Associate and stand apart from your peers, boost your con­fi­dence, and ex­pand your ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

We can pre­pare you to take all the Adobe Certified Associate ex­ams. See here for the in­di­vid­u­al ASA ex­am prepa­ra­tion cours­es.

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Curriculum Development

Building sup­port doc­u­ments for train­ing can be a chal­lenge. Sometimes you needs a work­book, some­times you need a ref­er­ence book, Sometimes you need some­thing that is a lit­tle of both.

Streamline your train­ing pro­gram with cus­tom cur­ricu­lum made to your spec­i­fi­ca­tions. You can do this for a speci­fic pro­duct, like Photoshop train­ing, or we can learn your work­flow and make the ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion for your pro­pri­etary process­es. If need­ed, we can map con­tent to goals and ed­u­ca­tion­al re­quire­ments, like ADDIE, Bloom’s Taxonomy, or speci­fic job train­ing goals.

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Train the Trainer / Teach the Teacher

Are you an ed­u­ca­tor? Have a large de­part­ment you need to train and keep in­formed through turnovers? We can help. We can train you in a pro­duct or tech­nol­o­gy, help you an­tic­i­pate the ques­tions and is­sues your stu­dents may raise, and even help you de­vel­op de­ploy­ment plans and cur­ricu­lums.

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Migration Evaluation

With cre­ative and pub­lish­ing tool mak­ers pro­mot­ing their prod­ucts, hyp­ing them more than ever, and some­times tak­ing pot­shots at the com­pe­ti­tion, it can be dif­fi­cult to see the forest through the reams. Is InDesign or QuarkXPress bet­ter suit­ed to your needs? Are you do­ing too much in Photoshop when us­ing Illustrator could in­crease pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and cre­ativ­i­ty? Is your organization–and PDF–truly ready to go pa­per­less? Can your pub­li­ca­tion use InCopy out of its box, or must you look in­to a broad­er so­lu­tion like WoodWing?

These are just a few ques­tions fac­ing cre­ative, ad­ver­tis­ing, and pub­lish­ing work­flows, both in agen­cies and in cor­po­rate pro­duc­tion de­part­ments to­day. They aren’t eas­i­ly an­swered.

Once a font of use­ful in­for­ma­tion, search en­gine queries on cre­ative prod­ucts and process­es de­liv­er at least as much mis­in­for­ma­tion and con­fu­sion as re­li­able data and clar­i­ty. Websites like Quark VS InDesign​.com help fil­ter some of the mud from the wa­ter, but even that in­de­pen­dent re­source can­not an­swer the ques­tion of which tool is bet­ter for your speci­fic needs. Downloading eval­u­a­tion soft­ware is a good first step, but how ef­fec­tive­ly can one tru­ly test out brand new soft­ware in 14-30 days? First one must learn to use the soft­ware, of­ten from gen­er­al in­ter­est books that on­ly touch on the ba­sics, and then try to use it in sim­u­lat­ed work sce­nar­ios. What oth­er changes will need to be made to ac­com­mo­date the new tool? How well does it work with oth­er mission-critical tools? Will it work with your cur­rent as­sets like fonts, im­agery, and oth­er me­dia, or will you need to up­grade or con­vert them, too? If me­dia must be con­vert­ed, what tools are need­ed to ef­fect the con­ver­sion and how much clean-up work will be re­quired? Can the new tool work with lega­cy doc­u­ments, or must they be recre­at­ed by hand?

Our ob­jec­tive work­flow con­sul­tants can help you cut through the hy­pe and clut­ter to present a clear view of the true im­pact of a mi­gra­tion on your work­flow.

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Font Licensing Compliance

A $2 mil­lion dol­lar law­suit was filed when pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Rick Santorum’s web­site was found to be us­ing just one un­li­censed font.[1] London’s Campden Publishing was found to be us­ing $156,000 in un­li­censed fonts in its books.[2] The fine could well have been in the mil­lions. NBC Television was sued for $2 mil­lion be­cause it had li­censed a font for use on 3 sys­tems but al­lowed it to be in­stalled on many more sys­tems.[3]

Is your or­ga­ni­za­tion ful­ly com­pli­ant? Are you sure? None of your em­ploy­ees have snuck a “free­ware” or un­li­censed com­mer­cial font on­to any of your sys­tems? Are fonts on­ly in­stalled on the al­lot­ted num­ber of com­put­ers and no more? Are you will­ing to bet $2 mil­lion on that be­lief?

Fonts are com­mer­cial soft­ware li­censed for speci­fic us­es, dis­al­lowed from oth­er us­es, and lim­it­ed to ac­ti­va­tion on a cer­tain num­ber of com­put­ers.

What can you and can’t you do with your fonts? How are your fonts be­ing used? How many seats (li­cens­es) did you pur­chase for a given font? On how many com­put­ers is that font re­al­ly in­stalled? These are cru­cial, po­ten­tial­ly cost­ly ques­tions. Do you know their an­swers for every font used by your or­ga­ni­za­tion?

Let our font li­cens­ing ex­perts re­move all the mys­tery for you. We’ll iden­ti­fy where and how your or­ga­ni­za­tion is us­ing fonts, their li­cens­ing, and whether any are be­ing used out of com­pli­ance. Then we’ll work with you to bring your or­ga­ni­za­tion in­to full com­pli­ance and es­tab­lish poli­cies and sys­tems to stay that way.

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