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 safe-deposit box. 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 AdobeĀ® ReaderĀ® 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 software. Nitro PDF ( 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 V 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 typography: 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 text elements. 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
St Update
Technology Update
Typography Foe Wide-Format Design
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review: The Mutoh ValueJet 1617H printer
Technology Review: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7
Design Matters
New Products
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - May 2014