There are more than a few FTA member companies that specialize in premedia, and the July issue of FLEXO Magazine is traditionally focused solely on the world of prepress. So when putting together the July 2017 edition, we thought, why not marry the two—and give our designer the month off—and enlist the expert assistance of one such FTA member, Trisoft Graphics, in the creation of the cover?
That was the thought process that led to page one of the July 2017 issue of FLEXO Magazine. Trisoft handled the project, holding several consultations with magazine staff and getting feedback and direction, before putting together a dozen potential covers, from which one was chosen.
“We wanted to create a kind of timeline, showing the history and growth of prepress, and that really wasn’t an easy thing to put together,” Trisoft explained. “The up-front process took days.”
Here, the company goes into detail about the creative process, evolutions and advancements in the premedia universe, and how, over its history, it has kept up with the times.
FLEXO Magazine: When FLEXO asked you to design its July 2017 cover, what was your first reaction?
Trisoft Graphics, Inc.: We were honored and excited! In July, we celebrate the birth of our nation, and it’s fitting that we were given the opportunity to design a cover showing the birth of prepress and how it has grown into what it is today—how much has been achieved and how much is still to come.
FLEXO: Talk about the various elements you chose for the cover. What does each one mean or signify in the premedia realm?
Trisoft: We wanted to create a kind of timeline, showing the history and growth of prepress, and that really wasn’t an easy thing to put together. We started with elements and tools used in the early days of prepress—the hands-on techniques that were necessary to make sure letters were aligned, fonts were the same, and plates were created and made consistently.
Then, we brought in examples of the new technology that has revolutionized prepress. Not only is the field easier and much more streamlined, but recent breakthroughs have taken it to a whole new dimension of both prepress and printing capabilities.
In our cover design, we used classic patterns mixed with bright and striking visuals that “flow,” representing movement and endless possibilities with no real conformity to early prepress and design.
FLEXO: What hardware and software did you use to put the cover design together?
Trisoft: Trisoft Graphics, Inc. has always worked hard to stay in the technology forefront. We upgrade to the latest and greatest products whenever we can. We understand the need to keep up with the times, and know that faster equipment helps artists work more efficiently and focus on the job at hand, instead of having to wait for today’s huge files to process, or troubleshoot outdated machines and software.
Our current hardware and software of choice? The latest Mac Pros and the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, respectively. In particular, the Creative Cloud Suite has all the necessary resources to relay what an artist builds on screen into print: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Stock, endless font possibilities, etc.
But the most important component is the “firmware”—the skill and imagination of our staff. As James Whistler said, “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.”
FLEXO: How much time went into designing the first draft of the magazine cover, as well as the various other mockups you created for the pitch?
Trisoft: We spent hours as a staff brainstorming, coming up with potential concepts and ideas. Then, more time roughly figuring out if an idea could become a good one, or if a good idea could become a great one. Each artist sketched—first on paper, then on screen. Many different mockups and thumbnails were created; then, collectively, we discussed and reviewed. The up-front process took days.
FLEXO: The magazine is printed offset, but if it were printed flexo, what are some considerations you would have made in your cover design?
Trisoft: To showcase the ability to make it print beautifully on plastic or foil, using inks that are solid and colors having the kind of gamut one would expect to see only on an expensive monitor, is something we would have done if the cover would have been printed flexo, using our FleXtreme process.
FLEXO: Did the magazine’s size affect your decisions at all? If it were a smaller size, would you have opted for a different font in the word “PREPRESS” for example?
Trisoft: Real estate is important on many different levels, so knowing we had to conform to FLEXO Magazine’s trim size certainly played a part. With that said, we seize every opportunity to make any project we work on as pleasing and acceptable as is possible, mapping out a project plan that looks right, all the way down to how a dot is angled and formed.
FLEXO: Trisoft is approaching its 25th anniversary. How has the premedia landscape changed since the company opened its doors? What have been the biggest shifts you have had to make to keep up?
Trisoft: Probably the most significant change has been in the size and number of complexities to overcome. As graphic programs have evolved and allowed for designers to become more and more creative, the prepress artist has had to get more and more creative, looking for new ways to turn radical ideas into print reality.
Hardware has had to evolve with all the software, and as FLEXO’s readers know, the hunger for more resources (space, memory, speed) is unrelenting. “Simple art” is no more.