Kevin Duggan July 29,2006
Bringing Your Print Shop Into The Information Age
Small Print Shops are usually staffed by three to fifteen employees.
The equipment found in this type shop are a few
computers/copy machines and printing press or two. This business,
is often a franchise, sustained for the most part by a local
client base. Minuteman Press and Sir Speedy
printing are franchises that fit this description of small
neighborhood businesses. My program will address four technological issues
currently not addressed by these businesses,
would improve workflow and customer base.
I gathered information from five local MinuteMan
Press companies in Massachusetts and Southern New
Hampshire. All five of these shops have computers
and access to the Internet and they utilize the
computer to press/copier technology. This technology allows the
document to be transferred electronically from the typesetter/graphic
designer (computer) to the digital press (copier ) or platemaker were
it is outputted for reproduction using the printing press.
Traditional or analog modes of document preparation for reproduction
used photographic techniques to create plates for the printing press.
As mentioned earlier the customer base for these shops have is mainly local.
My proposal is to enhance business prospects is four areas of
technology available today which would improve workflow and increase
the customer base. Presently, this technology is not in use by these
franchises/small shops but its use would improve business both
internally and externally.
The four technological issues are as follows:
1. Solving problems using the internet.
This which would enable font identification, and help resolve software problems and hardware problems.
This problem solving is done through the use of search engines, directories, metasearch, news groups and
2. The use of PreFlight software.
PreFlight software analyzes native digital files before inserting them into
A prepress workflow. Peter Muir a professor at Rochestor Institute of Technology and author of the book
“PreFlight” says “Preflight software is not a luxury but a necessity.” The term PreFlight comes from the
aircraft instrument check before flight. The pilots would not want to be at cruising altitude wondering
if fuel supply was sufficient. When at the base of the evolution of a print job, Preflight software diagnoses
customer files finding mistakes: Missing fonts, color modes, missing pictures a host of possible problems.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The use of a SEO increases the rankings of a web site when a query is made using a search engine. The top ten
results of a search query get the majority of visibility on the web so the goal is to have your site show up in the
4. Web Site Optimization (WSO) involves optimizing the web site for traffic flow. The difference between WSO
and SEO could be illustrated using a supermarket. First the WSO: the WSO optimizes the content on the web
site much like the supermarket manager optimizes items in the store. The strategy of putting milk in the rear of
the store hinges on the fact that milk is purchased in small intervals. The consumer has to navigate though the
store spending as much time as possible inside hopefully making additional purchases. The SEO would be the
person responsible for advertising bringing customers to the supermarkets door.
Web Site Optimization software analyzes server log files. Information like
Demographics, errors, downloads, browsers, operating systems and traffic flow are found using WSO software.
FTP software is used to connect to the server and either upload or download files. FTP software
allows access to the server log files this is were the web sites traffic
information is stored.
ASSESSMENT AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The major goals of “Bringing your Print Shop into the Information Age “ are to:
• Make owners and managers aware of current technology and its
advantages to a business.
• Train owners and managers of small print shops in the use of current technologies.
Following instruction participants will be able to:
• Use the web to solve problems
using Search Engines, Directories, Metasearch,
Example: Given a web browser the student will access
a Search Engine, Directory or Newsgroup to locate
answers to his or her questions regarding
• Utilize Preflight/Prepress software
to diagnose customer files. This improves the
workflow by eliminating problems
before they happen.
Example: Given Preflight/PrePress software,
a student will input client files, run a report,
and analyze results to understand where problems occur..
• Employ Search Engine Optimization.
Creating or modifying the company web page
with the results being that ranks higher in the
Example: Given the source HTML of the web page
the student can diagnose and modify keywords,
content, and links improving the sites rankings using
Macromedia Dreamweaver and FTP software.
• Analyze and optimize web sites through
the use of software for analyzing web logs and
Example: Given the web logs of the web site
student can analyze traffic flow within the
web site, errors, and demographics.
The course “Bringing your Print Shop into the Information Age” consists of six three-hour modules
Module A: Problem solving using the web (see detailed instructional plan below)
Module B: Improved workflow through PreFlight software
Module C: Search Engine Optimization introduction to FTP software.
Module D: Search Engine Optimization, beginning Macromedia
Dreamweaver software techniques for building and modifying
Module E: Web Site Optimization, Macromedia Dreamweaver, FTP
Module F: Putting it all together and review
THE INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNIQUES WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
My modules will consist of mpeg movies, documents (PDF's) all downloadable
and a collection of URL's. A discussion page will follow which will be related
to the material.
Online movies explaining software Techniques
• LEARNER TO LEARNER:
Collaboration on projects like Search Engine Optimization and
Web Analysis. Small groups will be formed were data and techniques
• LEARNER TO COMMUNITY:
This type of interaction will be fostered using Newsgroups, Bulletin Boards,
List Serves are places in the web were people congregate to discuss topics. This type of a
community is were mentors can be found and online relationships established.
• ONLINE FACILITATION OF
Communicating in a proactive manner, prompt feedback on the part of the instructor. Alternative
methods of communication in the event of a technological problem.
Inclusion: respect and connectedness:
The respect is mutual and the connectedness is helped by the fact that all are in the same
Industry at the same capacity
Meaning: engagement and challenge:
Present engaging material which is challenging like finding inventive ways to
learn and use software.
having groups work together on deciphering web logs downloaded from a website.
Demographic information, traffic and errors are found in web logs
downloaded from a website server. The learner would be exposed to
more facets in the problem solving through the use of groups.
Also prompt and consistent feedback is very important
keeping morale high.
Authentic performance tasks for assessment so students can hit the ground running.
• Computer with access to the internet
• PreFlight software
• Dreamweaver Software
• FTP software
• Notebook and writing implement
Title: __Problem solving using the web______ Date: _7/9/06___ Time: ____3 hours_______
Overview (context) Audience (description of learners):
This module be the first of four sections of a course Small print shop owners like Sir Speedy and Minuteman
Called “Taking your Print Shop into the Information Age”. Press which are both franchises. Most participants of this
course would be male aged from 30 to mid fifties.
• Problem solving using the web. Computer competency here would be across the spectrum
• Using Preflight Software with the majority of learners being not too computer literate.
• Search Engine Optimization to increase web visibility The motivation for taking this course would be to increase
• Analyzing and Optimizing your Web site business by improved workflow and expanding the
Learning Objectives Content Heading Key Points Instructional Evaluation Estimated Time
(The participants will be Techniques/Methods/
able to…) media
Search Search Lecture, Short quiz 40 minutes
Find resources using Engines/Directories: Engine/Directory Demo,
Search Engines, Interfaces, Q&A
Directories Google and Yahoo
The two main Hands on practice
Metasearch Engines Locating information Performing basic Lecture Search test: 30 minutes
and other search tools on the World Wide searches using Demo Show annotated list
Web The correct tool Q&A of search results
Locate relevant World Wide Web News Groups, Lecture Successfully 40 minutes
information via Communities, News Group Demo Installing News
communities on the Google groups Software, Q&A Software
web. Terminology Hands on practice and configuring.
Subscribe to List serves, Solving everyday Lecture Teacher 20 minutes
e-mail communities Yahoo Groups business problems Discussion Evaluation
Using the internet, Hands on practice Subscribing and
e-relationships Posting to
Demonstrate advanced Advanced web Narrowing in Demo Locating 50 minutes
search techniques searching Using Googles Q&A Information
using Google advanced tools Lab test
Materials/Media: Pens, notebooks
Facilities/room arrangement: A classroom with a overhead to project the instructors computer, a computer for every
learner with a internet connection.
Supplies (handouts or other): Handouts for all 5 sections
Prep for teachers: review material, prepare tests
PROGRAM DEVELOPERS QUALIFICATIONS
I have worked in the printing industry for 25 years and am well acquainted with the Industry. I have a BS in
Information Systems and a Masters Degree of Professional Studies in Digital Media.
Since the introduction of the first Macintosh computer the printing industry has changed more than the
previous fifty years. Today networks transmit electronic media whose problems are not as evident as earlier
modes of printing. PreFlight software is essential in creating a smooth error free workflow in today’s print
shops. The internet has transformed business allowing for opportunities not possible in the past. Where small
shops are concerned harnessing these technologies does not provide a competitive advantage they are
essential in order to compete.
Muir, Peter (2000). Preflight. San Diego, CA: Windsor Professional Information, LLC
This handy, up-to-the-minute, desk reference is a must have book for designers, pre-press operators, printers, desktop publishers,
and all others who work with print communication.
Calishan, Tara and Dorfest, Paul (2005) Google Hacks, second edition. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Google Hacks contains 100 tips, tricks and scripts that you can use to become instantly more effective in your research
Grappone, Jennifer and Couzin, Gradiva (2006) Search Engine Optimization, An hour a day. Indianapolis,
Indiana: Wiley Publishing Inc.
A new book offers a systematic, common-sense approach to the art and science of SEO.
Pallof, Rena and Pratt, Keith (2001) Lessons From The Cyberspace Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Very practical and applicable . . .an invaluable tool for any faculty preparing to teach in the virtual world.