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 like the open conversation with other attendees. I liked that a wide breadth of content was covered...I gained a better understanding and more ammunition on how to explain that creating ePublications, both interactive and for eReaders, isn't just a magic click of a button like management seems to think.

— Paul, St. Mary's Press

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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