Ghent Workgroup publishes cross media survey results

By Hannah Jordan, Thursday 06 December 2012

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The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) cross media survey shows 75% of print jobs are now destined for electronic publication as well.

Launched by GWG in 2011, the survey aims to identify the cross media needs of the worldwide professional publishing, production and creative  community.

The survey results will be used to develop standards and best practices for publishing, creation, workflow, exchange and output in cross media environments.

Respondents answered general questions regarding their involvement with cross media processes as well as specific questions in sections including: sending, receiving, creating and interoperability of mixed media jobs; flow; file formats: XML, ePub and PDF file formats; and metadata and validation.

The results showed that 45% of respondents had been involved in cross media publishing processes for a period of more than three years, while a significant 75% of all print jobs are also destined to be published on at least one electronic device such as smart phones, tablets, electronic kiosks and online.

PDF was the most popular file format used for print among respondents, while 45% said that they used semi-automated internal workflows, rather than database driven, automatic workflows to generate content for cross media use.

An analysis of the survey responses carried out by the GWG cross media sub-committee revealed "a strong reliance" on workflows established in traditional print and a tendency for operators to use CMYK rather than RGB for both print and electronic output.

Companies taking part in the survey each had their own processes and content formats and showed a lack of consistent standards and best practice, which according to survey author and co chairman of the GWG cross media sub committee Bart Van Looy, made it difficult to streamline processes and exchange interactive content between workflows.

Van Looy said that the industry was clearly seeking alignment, best practices, and standards to enable exchange between systems. He added: "Respondents know that PDF is not the best format to use in the long run, even though it is frequently used as an intermediary solution."

"New emerging technologies such as HTML5 and ePub are being looked at to better serve their needs but there too exists a need for standards and best practices regarding advertisements, colour conversion and quality control to exchange content for cross media output between systems."

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