Signs of the Times - May 2014 - (Page 16)
T e c h nology Upd at e
standards-based metadata. Adobe
says this feature ensures documents
will faithfully reproduce in future
years, with total fidelity to the
original. Further, it says a PDF/A
document cannot access externalsource information, but it is coded
to include external-document links.
The "cannot access externalsource information" is key, because
it locks out any external influences,
now or in the future. See it like a
Because of such features, a PDF/A
formatted file is acceptable as an
unaltered record in most courts.
PDF/A series file descriptions
(there are at least six: /A to /A-3c)
make broad use of the word "constrained" and, because different
versions have different features,
you should research such constraints
and features prior to committing
to any one version. In addition, if
you're presently involved in legal
or government issues, and plan to
use and transfer saved PDF/A files
for official matters, talk to the
receiving authority first, to determine what version they want, and
how your electronic files should be
formatted and submitted.
How to make a PDF/A
You can view PDF/A documents
on any multi-platform (PDF)
application, e.g., Adobe Reader, but
you need a newer copy of Acrobat
to save your file in a PDF/A format.
Acrobat and Reader
Adobe® Reader® software is a "free"
global standard for viewing, printing
and commenting on PDF documents;
found in most computer packages,
it will open and interact with all
types of PDF content, including
forms and multimedia files.
Adobe Acrobat XI, the newest
version, comes in two packages,
Acrobat XI Pro and Acrobat XI
Standard. Both have PDF document
features and are available via Adobe's
software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription service.
See Adobe's free Reader like
complimentary ice cream, with the
cone, Acrobat, selling for the price
of a cow.
However, with Acrobat XI, you
can create, edit and protect PDF
files; or, merge or combine files
and, if needed, convert them to
such other formats as PDF/A.
Adobe says Acrobat will also
ease review and approval processes,
and create and analyze forms. The
Pro version, made primarily for
designers, features preflight processes for both print and web output.
It will also create PDFs from CAD
Nitro PDF (nitropdf.com) is an
Acrobat competitor that some
reviewers recommend for saving
and exporting MS Office documents, because it automatically
generates PDF bookmarks.
Finally, know that Adobe's
PDF standards don't define archiving methods, so research precise,
but straightforward, archiving
methods, with at least one offsite reserve. n
Typography for Wide-Format Design
By Dan Wilson
Dan Wilson, Roland DGA's creative
director, is responsible for overseeing
the design and communications of
Roland's product marketing, advertising,
literature, web, public relations, video and tradeshow
efforts. Contact Dan at email@example.com.
isual design, integrated into the forms and shapes
of written words, is a highly useful method for communicating a message quickly and clearly. Given
that wide-format graphics must do exactly that, wellplanned typography is crucial to effective, wideformat design. Let's examine a few principles of good
It supports the main message - Make your type
choices with the graphic purpose in mind, and never
conflict with the main message. For example, is the
communication modern? Is it fast and bold? Is it classic
- or relaxed and informal? The font choices, sizes,
contrasts and spatial relationships to images are
different in each design.
It acknowledges the history of typefaces - Fonts
convey a style or meaning, and while much of that is
inherent in the shapes themselves, realize that a font's
16 SIGNS OF THE TIMES May 2014
general acceptance - i.e., its visual interpretation -
comes from its history of prior use. A font often implies
meaning because of the familiar era or context it
previously occupied. Pay attention to the history of a
font - and consider the fonts you use together.
Readability - In most cases, text is to be read, so
make it readable. However, part of wide-format type's
purpose is to be noticed, so don't hesitate to replace a
readable and boring font with one that's readable, but
more interesting and consistent with the message.
Consider the reader - What is your readers' typical
viewing distance? Does the distance affect your type
choice, size and contrast? What are the viewers' demographics ,and how does this affect their expectations?
How much time do they have to read the text? These
and similar considerations dictate the design of your
Consider the type-design nuances - There are too
many to go into detail here, but learn the best practices
in text alignment, leading, tracking/kerning, letterforms,
weights, heights, capitalizations and more. There are
many references in books and online - or email me if
you'd like some ideas.
As you integrate these and other best practices,
remember, although typography has been around for
thousands of years, it constantly evolves. So, keep
learning and trying new ideas.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - May 2014
Signs of the Times - May 2014
Columns & Departments
Typography Foe Wide-Format Design
The Moving Message
Technology Review: The Mutoh ValueJet 1617H printer
Technology Review: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7
Signs of the Times - May 2014