September '21

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 102

G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 S E P T E M B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 1 3 tion shop does, even if they also offer prod- ucts such as awards or signage, is best from an efficiency standpoint, says Jay Malanga of ShopWorks. Additionally, he adds, for those doing large-format jobs, pricing is commonly done by square feet or linear feet rather than or in addition to quantity, so having software that can also work in this way is crucial. In integrated software, look for things such as the ability to preview jobs before printing, to RIP one job while another is printing to reduce wait times between jobs, and finishing tools that allow you to eas- ily add hems or grommets, says Johnson. It should also have the ability to manage orders and sales, and offer shipping and follow-up capabilities once a job is done. If choosing one software that focuses only on the design aspect and another that focus- es on the business management, integration is the key word, emphasizes Carsten. Ensure the programs you are using or considering can speak to each other. Without this capa- bility, it's far easier to lose or confuse details of a job and minimize the efficiency that the programs aim to provide. Beyond finding a software platform that can handle the specific needs of graphics businesses, the reputation of the program should also be considered. "When seeking out software solutions, be exhaustive in the selection process," says JP Hunt, InkSoft. He suggests doing virtual demonstrations of all the options you're considering to get a real look at capabilities, features, and op- eration style. You should also ask how many compa- nies use it, how large are those companies, and what do the majority of those compa- nies offer, explains Malanga. From the get-go, training should be of- fered for free as well. This can be in-per- son, virtual, or through online educational portals that offer step-by-step tutorials, says Falsetto. Everyone learns differently, so having a variety of options is helpful throughout the learning process. Further, when you do hit a wall or en- counter a new challenge, ask yourself what the program's support system looks like. "When you have a problem, you should be able to talk directly with a live person who can answer your questions in a timely manner," stresses Johnson. Whether this is through video, call or virtual chat, not having access to support is a red flag. Opposite: Using artificial intelligence, CorelDRAW's PowerTRACE can process a low-resolution bitmap image and turn it into a vector file, which can then be scaled up to a much larger size without los- ing quality. (Image courtesy CorelDRAW)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of GRAPHICS PRO - September '21