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:

The course [InDesign EPUB Fundamentals by Pariah Burke] is a great asset. Clear, informative and really enjoyable.

— Rian Magee, Twinbrush

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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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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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 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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