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:

This workshop presented a comprehensive view of the capabilities, technologies and marketing of epublications. Having that end-to-end understanding opened ideas I did not have before the class.

— Karen B.

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top

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.

Back to the Top