Producing effective visual content is easy--if you invest in the right tools, and keep your creative people focused on communicating a clear, simple message.
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium integrates new versions of seven powerful best-of-breed applications, including: Dreamweaver for website design; Photoshop for image creation and manipulation; Illustrator for sophisticated artwork and type-intensive page design, and Flash Professional for creating animations. The total package is not cheap (around $1,599, and upgrades available for $499), but in the hands of a computer savvy creative person, this potent bundle can produce dynamic content that clearly communicates your unique business proposition.
QuarkXPress 7 is a major upgrade of the publishing industry standard for the creation of page-based communications. In addition to delivering virtually unlimited page layout capabilities, XPress 7 has brought refined type control within the purview of us mere mortals. The new version (full $749, upgrade $249) also adds enhanced table creation capabilities, an improved set of integrated graphics tools, and many other easy-to-use, time saving tools.
High Definition video continues to mature as a business communication tool, with the increased availability of cost-effective camcorders and broadcast-quality stock footage and special effects.
The Everio GZ-HD7 is a 3-CCD high-def camcorder from JVC that records up to 5 hours of HD content on an internal 60 GB hard drive. Providing full 1920x1080i HD video resolution for less than $1,800, this easy-to-use camcorder features a Fujinon lens, optical image stabilization, a full array of manual controls, multiple digital connections, and bundled editing and archiving software.
Whether you are editing standard or HD video, you can benefit from Swipes! These animated sound wipes from Digital Juice can be used to draw attention to graphics or an edit point by providing network-quality transitions. Each of the ten volumes contains 30 thematic transitions (e.g., Super Star, Fiery Thoughts, etc.) in SD and HD video, with 60 matching sound effects (two for each transition). Each volume is priced at $99.
If you've created an effective digital video presentation of your products and services, consider extending the reach of your program to all types of media devices. InstantVideo To-Go from ADS Technologies ($80) enables you to convert video and audio for playback on portable players such as Sony PSPs and Apple iPods, http://www.apple.com/itunes/ and for Web-based use as well. This compact, hardware-based H.264 conversion solution for PCs with USB 2.0 connectivity provides superior quality encoding at speeds up to five times faster than real time.
Protecting your AV and graphics workspace from the vagaries of power outages and surges is a critical, but often overlooked aspect of professional production management. Plugging your computers and drives into an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) to protect your digital assets during a power interruption, and using a surge protector for expensive presentation and display systems is just good, common sense. APC's new premium AV surge protector features EMI/RFI noise filtering banks for high-current systems (e.g., plasma TVs with separate amplifier and subwoofer). The $200 APC C10 power filter provides 12 buffered A.C. outlets, as well as CAT 5 Ethernet, coaxial (cable/satellite), and phone jack protection.
With versatile, powerful tools like these, and a smart approach to managing creative activities, you'll be able to produce timely, attention-getting business communications.
Large-Format, Photorealistic Quality Color Laser When image is everything and time is critical, count on the magicolor® 7450 from KONICA MINOLTA for dazzling color prints in seconds. With 9600 x 600 dpi-class quality, the magicolor 7450 delivers photorealistic, true-to-life detail. It prints 24.5 ppm in color or b&w, with a first-page-out time of only 11 seconds. And since it supports diverse media types and sizes--from 3.54" x 5.5" to 12.25" x 18", and up to banner size (12.25" x 47.24")--you can bring all of your color printing tasks in house and save big. The magicolor 7450 is backed by five years of toll-free, U.S.-based technical support for years of trouble-free productivity. For more information, call 1-800-523-2696 or visit www.buymagicolor.com.