From intelligent graphics software and monitors with automatic color adjustments to printers with higher print speeds, these new tools can help you evoke intended emotions and prompt desired outcomes through colorful business communication.
To communicate effectively with color you often need to capture an image that illustrates your point. This can involve taking a digital photo of your product or personalizing your communication with photos of your team members.
A high-resolution digital SLR-type camera, such as the new 8.0-megapixel DiMAGE A200 from Konica-Minolta, includes many features that make it easy to take pro-level pictures. These include an optically image stabilized 7X zoom lens, that captures sharp images even in low lighting or telephoto mode. A rotating high-resolution LCD viewfinder and pop-up flash add versatility to the camera's basic pro-level features. Pricing was not available at press time. Digital cameras with similar specifications, including Canon's PowerShot Pro1 and Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-F828, are available for less than $1,000. Although all these cameras lack the lens interchangeability and reflex-optical viewfinders of true DSLRs, they offer excellent performance and convenience in cost-effective configurations.
Whether you start with a picture or just an idea, the effective use of graphics and photo editing software is critical to the success of any effort to communicate with color. Several new software suites from respected names in visual software make it much easier to produce high impact documents and websites.
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 combines several powerful applications in one easy-to-learn solution. In addition to photo editing capabilities comparable to those found in Adobe PhotoShop, CorelDraw Graphics Suite 12 includes powerful drawing and layout tools. These tools assist in the creation of graphic designs for print, Web, and presentations. Typical of the sub-$400 suite's many user-friendly features are its Smart Drawing tools that recognize the shapes you are trying to draw, and lend a helping hand. The suite also includes RAVE 3, a program that makes it easy to create dynamic animations for use on websites and in presentations.
If you want to create a powerful online presence for your company, check out the Macromedia Web Publishing System. It combines the compelling website creation and animation capabilities of Studio MX (Dreamweaver, Flash, etc.), with the collaborative content management capabilities of Contribute3 and Contribute Publishing Services. With Contribute3, authorized members of your organization can easily collaborate on and edit specific Web content that relates to their areas of responsibility. Pricing varies by number of users (e.g., $299 for a single user or $2,499 for a 10 user-pack).
Increasingly, software vendors are offering powerful, affordable communication and collaboration solutions geared to the unique needs of specific industries. Sales and marketing, financial services and healthcare organizations, for example, might want to consider an application such as the Web-based Heartbeat Presenter. The latest release (version 4.3) offers enhanced workflow, approval and archiving functions, and the ability to update and compile data from market data feeds, Excel spreadsheets, PDF documents, and other sources. Pricing varies by configuration.
To accurately realize your message in color, it is important to use a monitor that matches what you see on the screen to what you're going to see on the printed page. Many of the latest LCD monitors include sophisticated circuitry and software that automate this previously difficult process. This saves time and paper, and can even reduce the eyestrain associated with burning the midnight oil.
Samsung's remarkable SyncMaster 193P 19-inch LCD monitor ($799) utilizes the company's Magic Tune software to quickly create customized display settings for each user and application. This helps to ensure accurate, comfortable reproduction whether the monitor is used for creating page layouts in the morning light, or playing games late at night.
NEC-Mitsubishi recently announced the new MultiSync LCD 70 Series of flat panel monitors, including the impressive LCD1770NXM. This versatile sub-$500 unit is a 17-inch multimedia display with a sleek and stylish form factor, analog and digital inputs, a 176-degree viewing angle for comfortable collaborative viewing, and easy picture adjustment via keyboard and mouse.
The latest color laser and inkjet printers deliver unprecedented quality and value. Whether your end product is a presentation on disc, a hardcopy sales proposal with graphs and charts, or a company newsletter with photographs, you'll find a wide range of printers that do an excellent job with color. You'll need to make your selection based on type of content (charts, photographs, etc.), expected printing volume, relative printing speed, and the cost per page, including ink cartridges, tanks or toner.
Inkjet printers come with low price tags yet provide superb color output. The latest development lets you print directly onto the surface of inkjet printable CDs and DVDs. We put Epson's versatile new Stylus Photo R320 (less than $200) through its paces using Imation's inkjet printable CDs, and achieved excellent results. The included Print CD software made it easy to combine pictures and text to create high-impact designs, and output professional looking discs for distribution.
Canon's new PIXMA iP8500 ($350) 8-color inkjet delivers pro-quality photo printing of 8.5 x 11 inch borderless photos in just one minute. The additional red and green ink tanks help provide brilliant printouts comparable to that achieved with positive film. The iP8500 also includes Canon's advanced photo software that helps you ensure accurate color reproduction.
Inkjet multifunction machines with color, print, scan, copy and fax capabilities, are a cost-effective solution for businesses with low-volume color printing needs. The new Lexmark X7170 All-in-One ($249) features versatile document and photo management software that enables you to more easily perform various routine functions. The unit also offers network support, with optional Ethernet and wireless network adapters.
The quality and purchase price of inkjet printers make them attractive for business use, but the total cost of ownership is usually higher than that for color laser systems. On an average, printing a color page on inkjet costs four times more than printing the same page on a laser printer. With the purchase price of high-quality color laser printers now below $1,000, these machines offer the best solution for businesses that need to print large numbers of color handouts, proposals, and direct mail pieces.
Konica Minolta offers a full line of top-quality, affordable laser printers. Its magicolor 2300 DL (less than $600). employs new toner technology that creates very detailed, sharp lines, text, and images. The unit offers 2400 dpi (dots per inch) resolution and an automatic color calibration function that delivers consistent image quality. A built-in 10/100 Ethernet interface and a 200 sheet feed tray are just two of the 2300 DL's many workgroup-friendly features
The use of color in your business communications online, on paper, and on-screen, can make a positive and lasting impact on people who receive them.
Heads up to all small and mid-size businesses...KONICA MINOLTA has designed a high-speed, network color laser printer with you in mind. The new magicolor(R) 5430. DL has extreme speed, printing color and black-&-white pages at 21 ppm. From set up to every day operation, it's as easy to use as your typical black-&-white office printer. The magicolor 5430 DL. also has high-speed Ethernet and USB interfaces and is compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems. All of these features add up to high productivity at a very low price -- just $899 (after rebate).
For more information, call 1-800-523-2696 or visit www.buymagicolor.com.
Create or adapt design projects in-house and get professional results with CorelDRAW(R) Graphics Suite 12!
Now you can ensure a polished look and feel across all your design projects, whether you contract them out to an agency or work on them yourself. With CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12, you get three powerful applications for page layout and illustration, image editing and motion graphics, so you can save both time and money. Quickly and easily produce your own communication material, including business cards, stationery, logos, brochures, newsletters, ads and annual reports. Plus, enhance digital photos, and create animations for presentations and Web sites.
Design like a pro with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 -- the creative design agency in a box!
For more information, visit www.corel.com/inc.