DesignMerge Now Available for Creative Cloud 2015

August 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Meadows Publishing Solutions is pleased to announce the release of DesignMerge  for Adobe® Creative Cloud 2015, supporting both Macintosh and Windows-based platforms.

DesignMerge® Pro provides users with sophisticated variable data publishing, personalized printing, and document automation features. The module works within the InDesign® application, enabling professional mail-merge, variable data printing, and document automation features. The entire process is database-driven, completely flexible, and very easy to use.

DesignMerge can easily support variable text, picture, article, and even complete InDesign layouts and master pages. All of the features of Adobe InDesign are available when using DesignMerge software, so advanced features such as variable type-on-a-curve are easily supported. DesignMerge also outputs the most popular variable data printing formats including PostScript, PPML, Creo VPS and PDF/VT. The product is fully compatible with systems offered by Konica Minolta, Canon, Creo, EFI, Fujifilm, HP and Ricoh, among others. For more information about DesignMerge technology, please visit www.designmerge.com.

DesignMerge and AutoPrice for Creative Cloud 2014

September 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

Meadows Publishing Solutions today announced the release of DesignMerge Pro and AutoPrice for Adobe® Creative Cloud 2014, supporting both Macintosh and Windows-based platforms.

DesignMerge® Pro provides users with sophisticated variable data publishing, personalized printing, and document automation features. The module works within the InDesign® application, enabling professional mail-merge, variable data printing, and document automation features. The entire process is database-driven, completely flexible, and very easy to use.

DesignMerge can easily support variable text, picture, article, and even complete InDesign layouts and master pages. All of the features of Adobe InDesign are available when using DesignMerge software, so advanced features such as variable type-on-a-curve are easily supported. DesignMerge also outputs the most popular variable data printing formats including PostScript, PPML, Creo VPS and PDF/VT. The product is fully compatible with systems offered by Konica Minolta, Canon, Creo, EFI, Fujifilm, HP and Ricoh, among others. For more information about DesignMerge technology, please visit www.designmerge.com.

AutoPrice is a powerful, yet easy to use, tool for linking text and graphics in any type of database to Adobe InDesign documents, vastly streamlining production. Proven over 20 years by many of the largest catalog and financial publishers throughout the world, AutoPrice has set the standard for plug-in based data connectivity software.

As the name implies, AutoPrice is engineered to automate the process of inserting, updating and versioning prices for catalogs, retail flyers and similar publications. It is also ideal for updating timetables, phone lists or any other type of information that can be referenced from a database or spreadsheet file. For more information about MPS software, please visit http://www.meadowsps.com.

WAM Print|Mail|Fulfillment Uses DesignMerge Software to Build on Their Reputation For the Finest in Print and Mail Services

May 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

For more than 50 years, the professionals at WAM Print|Mail|Fulfillment have provided their customers with design, printing and mailing services with a focus on superior service and quality. Their goal is to combine current technology, talented employees and team effort to provide efficient, on-target mailing, printing and data services. WAM offers a wide array of services, including everything from mail piece design and digital printing, all the way to pickup and delivery to the post office. A large part of their business also includes variable data printing services with output on a variety of digital color presses, including the Konica Minolta C8000. WAM’s commitment to customer service and quality ensures that they will continue to be a leader in the industry for many years to come.

Following is a brief interview with Graphic Designer and IT Specialist, Janessa Stam, of WAM. Janessa shares a few details about WAM’s implementation of DesignMerge software in conjunction with the Konica Minolta C8000 and other digital color presses.

arrowbulletWhat type of work do you do with DesignMerge?

We do quite a bit of Variable Data Print, primarily for producing direct mail pieces, personalized postcards, and the like. Many of our designs require real-time data and layout processing features, which allow us to craft our direct mail pieces for a particular client or audience. The Rules engine that DesignMerge offers has been instrumental in the success of our targeted mailings.

arrowbulletWhat kind of challenges have you faced in the Variable Data Printing (VDP) market?

Our primary challenge was to find a software program that was both well supported, and also able to handle highly variable pieces. In addition to variable text and images, we wanted to be able to vary document layouts and other styling features to potentially achieve a different look and feel for each piece. We also have a number of specialty data situations such as complicated Title Case and data manipulation requirements that we needed to address.

arrowbulletWhy did you choose DesignMerge?

DesignMerge offered the capabilities we required to meet our customers needs at an affordable price while giving us options to expand our variable data capabilities. Additionally, DesignMerge offered quick and thorough responses to our questions, and assistance with any problems we had. Beyond that we have been able to use the DesignMerge scripting capability to address a number of sophisticated data processing challenges.

arrowbulletWhat have been the results of implementing DesignMerge in your workflow?

We love the ability to merge to a variety of output types, and our customers have been very happy with the new capabilities that DesignMerge offers. Because DesignMerge is based on Adobe InDesign, we have complete freedom over our designs, and this has really helped us to think outside the box when it comes to VDP applications. We have used DesignMerge software on jobs as large as 800,000+ records, and the “job chunking” feature of DesignMerge means that we can just set it up and let it run with no need for any manual intervention.

arrowbulletYou mentioned using the DesignMerge Scripting features for a couple of projects. How did that work out?

For one mailer, we were in need of a solution to handle title case switching of first and last names. The data provided by the client contained all caps, and we needed to convert those into proper case without having to edit the database information. In addition, we needed a solution to handle more complicated title case conversions, for names like MACDONALD or ONEILL, where there is more to it than just capitalizing the first letter. The DesignMerge team provided us with their MPS Title Case script that handled all of our requirements, and it was incredibly easy to implement. Here are a few examples of the title case conversions the script can handle:

Table

On another job, we needed to be able to strip out partial pricing information from full price values that were being imported from the database. For example, we needed to import only the dollar portion of a price, so if the data contained “10.00″, we only wanted to merge the “10″ portion of the price. Meadows provided us with another script called the MPS Price Parser which easily handled this condition. The script also provided other features for stripping cents and percentage values from pricing data, which we may use on future projects. Implementation of the script for this project was fast and very easy to do.

WAM-logo

Scripting & Print Automation Modules

February 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

For the ultimate in workflow automation, Meadows offers a Scripting Module that provides access to a very robust scripting library. This module allows several of the Meadows software modules (including DesignMerge, AutoPrice, and CopyFit) to be controlled and directed from within the AppleScript, JavaScript or VBScript environments. In addition, DesignMerge customers can create custom “actions” that can be attached to any DesignMerge rule.

For print-based workflows, the MPS Print Automation Module extends the Scripting Module capabilities by providing access to a set of scripting commands used to control full PPML output. This module is a must-have for any DesignMerge or AutoPrice power-user.

DesignMerge PPML Output, Looking For A Preview Tool?

March 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

For those searching for a PPML production preflight or preview tool, you may wish to consider PODi’s CheckPPML software.

CheckPPML converts PPML output to a PDF file that contains the same output pages as those that would be produced by a PPML certified printing device. This allows you to preview and validate PPML output before printing.

CheckPPML is an excellent choice to preview DesignMerge PPML output since both CheckPPML and DesignMerge variable data printing software support the GA (Graphic Arts) subset of PPML (Personalized Print Markup Language), an XML-based industry standard printer language for variable data printing, defined by PODi.

CheckPPML can be installed on a Macintosh as well as on a Windows system, and is available in two versions, a free standard version and a professional version.

- CheckPPML (standard) is free but limited to 100 pages.
- CheckPPML Pro is not free but runs faster and does not have a page number limit.

If you are interested in learning more about CheckPPML, here is a link to the CheckPPML page on the PODi web site where you will find additional details and links to download/purchase this PODi software.
http://ppml.podi.org/miscellaneous/check-tools-pro-detail–ppml.php

Bulldog Marketing Technologies is Bullish on DesignMerge!

January 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Bulldog Marketing Technologies (BMT) is a data-driven marketing firm based in the Midwest. BMT’s broad client base includes some of the largest automotive dealer groups in the country, as well as over seventy-five car dealerships, and a national restaurant chain with over 150 franchises. Following is a short interview with Mike Staebell, Creative Director for Bulldog Marketing Technologies, discussing how DesignMerge has helped meet their unique challenges with a solution that has resulted in increased profits and expanding business opportunities.

Providing highly personalized communications is BMT’s top priority. Our automotive product line features a wide range of variable print formats including brochures, postcards, self-mailers, and letters. DesignMerge makes it easy to tailor these formats for the intended recipient, resulting in customized vehicle proposals and trade information, personalized quotes, and even service reminders. These highly personalized communications help to familiarize the customer with automotive options before they even visit the dealership; and result in higher retention rates and a faster, more efficient sales process for the dealer.

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

One of the biggest challenges we have faced is maintaining each client’s brand identity in a single print run. Many dealers and auto manufacturers require custom imagery and specific color usage in their marketing materials. DesignMerge allows us to create swatches, logos, and other imagery specific to a given client, and apply them using the DesignMerge rules palette. By avoiding “hard-coded” images and colors in our InDesign templates, we’re able to run a large number of records in a single print run, producing pieces for numerous manufacturers and dealerships while maintaining brand standards for each.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

Bulldog Marketing Technologies chose DesignMerge because it gives our creative department the ability to design attractive and effective print pieces that are personalized to each of our clients’ customers. It also allows us to generate print-ready PPML files that can be sent to many different printers nationwide. This saves us turn-around time, postage, and production costs, and gives us an opportunity to shop around for the best pricing in a given region. For in-house print jobs, we’ve found that DesignMerge cut/stack mode allows us to print address panels directly onto the postcards that we produce, saving us time, money and hassle.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

Since we began implementing DesignMerge, we’ve thrown out our postage ink jetter and have enjoyed faster production, lower costs, and most importantly, more effective marketing materials for our clients. We are very pleased with our decision to choose DesignMerge for our variable data printing needs!

Who’s Your VDP Daddy?

December 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

DesignMerge is the only plug-in based product on the market today that directly supports both Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress, the most powerful and popular page layout programs on the planet!

And it’s so easy to use – just open an existing QuarkXPress or InDesign document and use the DesignMerge menu-driven interface to quickly define variable elements anywhere on the page. Variables can include Text, Picture, Multi-line Article, or even Full Page information, and all styling is fully supported.

All that is left is to feed DesignMerge a data file. The data is merged directly into QuarkXPress or InDesign layouts to produce unique, personalized output in a variety of file and VDP formats, including PostScript, PDF, and PPML. DesignMerge output is fast, reliable, and most importantly, predictable!

Now, how’s that for a Daddy!

DesignMerge VDP Training Tip: “Mark Items as Variable”

November 30, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: FAQ's 

Use the “Mark As Variable” DesignMerge feature if your Adobe InDesign document contains any fixed (static or non-variable) content that is interacting in a text wrap with variable data content AND you would also like to take advantage of the exclusive DesignMerge variable data printing capabilities that optimize the performance of the DesignMerge variable data print drivers.

When a fixed page item is ‘marked as variable’, the VDP Optimization feature of the DesignMerge print drivers (for example: PPML or Creo VPS) will optimize that fixed object in a specialized manner to allow it to continue interacting with variable content in the optimized variable data print output. Examples include:

* Fixed content that wraps around variable content
* Fixed content that has variable content wrapping around it

To use this feature, simply select the frame of the fixed content that you wish to mark as variable, and then select “Mark Item as Variable” from the “DesignMerge> Utilities> Print Driver” menu. The frame edge will then display a visual indicator.

For an example, please see DesignMerge Tutorial #2 (the Postcard tutorial) where a fixed image has been marked as variable.

Best Variable Data Solution for the Offset Printer

November 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, General 

One of my favorite conversations I had at this year’s Graph Expo Show was speaking with traditional offset printers looking to tap into the hot variable data market. Most of these printers have clients who are looking for preferred vendors to produce personalized postcards, form letters, and other direct mail marketing projects. As we were talking, I could sense their frustration as they shared what they imagined to be additional time, resources, and costs associated with variable data. I enjoyed explaining to these companies just how easy and economical it is to produce efficient and effective projects using the DesignMerge Pro solution.

DesignMerge Pro is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign and QuarkXpress, two applications that graphic artists and desktop operators have been using their entire working career. Getting started with DesignMerge Pro is very easy and our solutions support all the style guides and design effects, so you don’t have to worry about jeopardizing your client’s design integrity.

Other robust capabilities, like Conditional Rules Logic (menu driven, you can skip night school for programming) and CopyFit (multiple options, giving you eye pleasing capabilities to fix overset conditions), come standard in DesignMerge Pro. In addition, we support the most popular VDP outputs, including PPML and VPS, and can output to practically every RIP and digital printer…you know, that machine in the back that produces the office football pool sheets! Depending on your needs, investment in our solution can be made for under a thousand dollars, and can be scaled to meet your needs as your VDP business grows.

It was great seeing many faces turn from frustration to excitement knowing they can count on DesignMerge now and in the future.