New in DesignMerge for Adobe InDesign: “MPS GroupPicture” Module & the DesignMerge “GroupPicture” Link Type!

June 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Use these two new features to save InDesign groups of content for quick re-use and also to import these groups as variables in your VDP jobs.

The “MPS GroupPicture” module lets you save (page items that have been grouped together) as “GroupPictures”, which you can then easily import into documents to quickly set up new jobs based on content that you already laid out.  These groups can contain any type of content, including content tagged by DesignMerge, the DesignMerge Rules Module, or Meadows CopyFit.

Also, the new “GroupPicture” Link Type allows DesignMerge to merge any of these GroupPictures into a variable document.  Simply assign this new “GroupPicture” Link Type to the Variable Link that will be used to import the GroupPictures.  Next, assign that Variable Link to a picture box in the document where you would like the GroupPicture to appear.  Then, merge.  It’s that easy! While merging, DesignMerge will import the GroupPictures and will also process the variable content that is inside the imported GroupPictures.

For more details and an example of a DesignMerge VDP job that uses variable GroupPictures, please see Tutorial #4, the “Business Cards” tutorial, which is available in PDF format in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual in your DesignMerge product folder.  For more information please visit our website …

OPMA Improves Efficiency And Increases Profits With AutoPrice

June 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AutoPrice, General, Testimonial 

OPMA is a full-service marketing and advertising agency based in Comstock Park, MI providing creative and production services to national and international clients for over 20 years. Their specialties include custom solutions for catalog companies, including sales flyers, web design, e-commerce, HTML e-mail, multimedia, product photography, image editing, photo-illustration, and B2B/B2C advertising.

Following is a short interview with Kurt Kemperman, Vice President of Design and Production, discussing how AutoPrice publishing software has helped meet the unique challenges of OPMA, resulting in increased profits and expanded business opportunities. Kurt says that, “When it comes to catalog production workflow, the speed and accuracy of AutoPrice is amazing!”

What business challenges have you faced in the catalog production market?

The catalog and flyer production services market has become more complex and sophisticated over the years.  Many campaigns require dealer customization, from unique imprints and custom covers to dealer-specific pricing.  An important service we provide our customers is multiple price-version catalogs that target specific sales territories, countries, and many other variables. Our challenge was to find a software solution that would help us automate the process of creating these unique versions, so we could focus on our core business, which is content design and creation.  We continue to look for ways to use technology to increase our efficiency without compromising the design, quality, or attention to detail that our clients have come to expect from OPMA.

Why did you choose AutoPrice to be a part of your catalog service offering?

We evaluate our production process every year in order to stay abreast of new technologies that could offer us a competitive advantage. We compared AutoPrice  to other competing products and have yet to find anything that comes close to its ease of use, flexibility, and value. AutoPrice adapts to our changing needs easily and the Meadows Support Team always delivers if we need assistance.  AutoPrice has been a part of our production process since 1994, and we can’t say that about any other software solution.

What were the results of your AutoPrice integration?

Implementing AutoPrice catalog publishing software has increased our pricing accuracy while reducing the amount of time needed to create multiple price-version catalogs.  This efficiency has enabled us to grow our business and become more profitable. As a result, OPMA can produce a priced product faster and more accurately than our competition.

New in DesignMerge for Adobe InDesign: “Consecutive Numbering” Utility & the “Conservative Number” Keyword Variable Link!

June 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

These two new features make it easy to include a consecutive number in your printing jobs.

If you would like to produce a job that includes a consecutive number and no other variable content, use the new “Consecutive Numbering” Utility to generate a database that consists of a single field containing the consecutive numbers that you need for the job.  Then, use Quick Setup to set up a new DDF (Database Definition) for the consecutive number database, place the DDF’s consecutive number variable link in the document, and merge. It’s that simple!

DesignMerge Pro also makes it very easy to produce a VDP job that includes a consecutive number along with other variable content even though the consecutive numbers are not in the job’s database.  To do this, add the “Consecutive Number” Keyword Link to your document’s DDF.  Next, place the Consecutive Number Keyword Link in the document along with your other Variable Links.  That’s it! You’re ready to merge the document.

While merging, this special Consecutive Number Keyword Link will generate consecutive numbers for the job on-the-fly!

For more details about these two Consecutive Numbering features, please see tutorial #5, the “Tips & Tricks” tutorial, which is available in PDF format in the DesignMerge Tutorial manual in  your DesignMerge product folder. For more product information click here.

Jupiter Minuteman Press and DesignMerge Party Like Rock Stars!

June 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

Jupiter Minuteman Press is “the little print shop that could!” They are a small quick-print shop in southeast Florida, and have a wide spectrum of clients.  Their specialty is customer service.  By understanding their client’s job from start to finish, they help prevent their clients from having to do a job twice! Their motto is “Powerfully Positive Efficient Production”.  Following is a short interview with Barb Watson, owner of Jupiter Minuteman Press, discussing how DesignMerge has helped meet their unique challenges with a solution that has resulted in increased profits and an expanded customer base.

“We started using DesignMerge about three years ago for a specific job with a national financial institution.  The project was a double-sided, 8.5 x 11 letter with 26 fields of variable data for 300,000 of their clients.  We worked with a local mail house using text fields, bar codes, and numeric fields. This project came to us at a time when we were searching for a variable data printing solution and talking with several VDP companies about their products and services. Needless to say, we were very surprised with what we learned! One company allowed us to use their software for a three week trial, but refused technical support because we had not made a purchase yet. Guess why we chose not to purchase? Two other VDP companies never returned phone calls or email! So imagine how delighted we were with DesignMerge, a superior product and company that provided us with a Web Ex demo, free trial software and excellent technical guidance.  The choice was clear: DesignMerge was the perfect product, with outstanding technical support, to enable this “little print shop” to stay ahead of the big dog printers all around us!”

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

Our biggest challenge is pricing out our jobs.  Most of our clients are still trying to understand the value of variable data printing as it relates to their ROI.  This concept is a lot more sophisticated than just applying labels to a direct mail piece.  Much of our job is educating customers, showing them that their profit will increase with one-to-one personalized campaigns.  Additionally, DesignMerge enables us to seamlessly create superior design work that just a few years ago was unimaginable.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

We chose DesignMerge for two reasons.  First and foremost is their outstanding technical support and customer service.  DesignMerge technical support has returned my calls after hours simply because they knew we were working overtime to get jobs finished. If the solution isn’t readily available, their support team always gets back to us within 24 hours. The second reason is that DesignMerge is completely American-made and supported software product.  Every line of code was written in the USA. We know that when we have questions they’ll be answered, and we won’t be routed to another country or logged into a queue for a call back … maybe, whenever! We’re also confident in our investment with DesignMerge, that as our variable data business grows, DesignMerge will continue to meet our needs.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

Results with DesignMerge have been fantastic! We are now able to offer and do more for our clients with personalized design and marketing.  Recently, we printed name badges for a major baseball tournament for all players, their respective teams, their stats and coaches — adding a level of accountability and security to the event. This wasn’t even something we thought of during our variable data printing research!

Additionally, we’ve personalized many events by adding the year to the sequential numbering on raffle tickets. i.e. 2010-0001 through 2010-6000. We’ve personalized school events with name tags that include department and grade levels. Stadiums have contracted with us to create parking passes for press agents, sports players, managers and team executives. We even had the occasion to create press badges for a well known rock band this summer. With DesignMerge, we are all partying like rock stars!