In 2012 we were approached by a member of our sales team to produce a 16pp guide promoting the US Open’s daily schedule of matches. The Open would be running for two weeks at Flushing’s Tennis Stadium and the 12,000 attendees were to receive a daily guide updating them on the previous day’s event. Loose files, not in mechanical form, would arrive at the end of each day and a four color, 16 page saddle-stitched brochure had to be printed and delivered back to the event by 8:00 AM the following morning.
With 24 hour production, prepress, and binding services as well as (3) 40 inch printing presses, we were confident we could handle the task, no matter how challenging. The USTA was looking for an organization they could count on to meet the tight schedule with a level of quality that matched their own stature. We had the experience, capability, and willingness to make sure we would not let them down!
When the Open began, the actual process unfolded: files with the daily results could not be ready until a few hours after the last match was finished. This meant that on days following rain delays and extended matches, files were received as late as 3am. On those days the process was reduced to five hours with no margin for error. Schedules such as this were met every day for 15 days running…over weekends as well.
To expedite the prepress process, we used Kodak Insite software to set-up a mechanical template. The daily copy was uploaded to the template and preflight and proofing were automatically launched, sending PDF proofs via e-mail to our Quality Control department and the customer within a few minutes. Various aspects of the production process were videoed and emailed to the client allowing them to view all as it was happening… This made them feel like they were in the plant and part of the entire process!
The time saved by this automation allowed for a virtuous cycle of quality control down the whole production line from platemaking to printing to folding and stitching. Murphy was not allowed to rear his ugly head as there was no time for revisions or reprinting. Through careful attention, streamlined communication and a team of ‘whatever-it-takes’ professionals standing by, we made the deadline each morning.
We are hoping to handle the job again this year and are honored to work with clients such as the US Open who ask us to push the limits of what’s possible setting ever more rigorous standards for our team to meet and exceed.