Publishers Clearing House Wins With MPS' Group Picture Software

News Highlights

  • The GroupPicture XTensions software module accelerates throughput in publishing workflows where QuarkXPress “product blocks” or groups are re-used;
  • Publishers Clearing House is one of the largest and most successful direct marketing companies in the world, celebrating its 53rd year as a direct mail marketer of value based magazine and consumer product offerings;
  • Meadows Publishing Solutions is a software development and consulting company specializing in commercial and custom XTensions for QuarkXPress, plug-in modules for Adobe InDesign and Adobe Acrobat, and other extensible technologies.

Pt. Washington, NY– August 2, 2006 – Sometimes it’s the smallest of tools that make a major impact in a production environment. Such is the case at Publishers Clearing House, where they use a software tool called GroupPicture for aiding in the decomposition of all their mailings that contain magazine or product images. As one of the largest direct mail companies in the US, reaching hundreds of thousands of consumers each year from coast to coast, their production department is required to manage literally tens of thousands of images. GroupPicture, a software tool, produced and distributed by Meadows Publishing Solutions, enables PCH to not only re-use images, but image groups and related page elements. The result is a savings in valuable production time and significantly accelerated throughput. For more information about Meadows Publishing Solutions and GroupPicture, go to www.meadowsps.com

The Publishers Clearing House Workflow
PCH relies on their in-house Art and Photography Studios for the design of their mailings. Once a mailing has been finalized, PCH’s production department begins the decomposition process by taking every composed piece within the mailing, and breaking out each offer into a separate entity. They do this by opening the document in QuarkXPress, selecting the items associated with the offering, then grouping and saving them using Meadows’ GroupPicture software. Offers are then imported into their data asset management system, where the appropriate metadata is applied. When a new mailing is started in a production workflow, a database search is conducted and related GroupPicture elements are imported directly into QuarkXPress. Because the elements are in the GroupPicture format, files flow easily into PCH’s layouts, with all of the original QuarkXPress styling and positioning information fully retained and ready for editing.

Publishers Clearing House Quote
“We’re constantly challenged to find tools that allow us to automate specific production functions, and still give us the ability to create highly-customized and creative designs,” notes Lisa Roth, Senior Publishing Systems Administrator, Publishers Clearing House. “Before GroupPicture, we followed the same decomposition process and ingestion into our asset management system. Because the offers could not be imported into QuarkXPress, we needed to download them to our desktops, and go through the time-consuming process of opening each page element individually. We would then copy and paste page elements into a new page. GroupPicture is a good example of an effective automation tool that enables us to pickup and reuse content easily. It still gives us the ability to modify fonts, colors or completely redesign an offer within QuarkXPress.”

About Group Picture
The GroupPicture XTensions module for QuarkXPress provides for accelerated production of pages incorporating “groups” of elements that are used repeatedly in catalogs and other publications .For example, publishers can archive and re-use catalog "product blocks", which are groupings of items (picture box, descriptive copy, price chart, etc.) that are related to one or more product SKU's. GroupPicture converts the concept of a "product block" into a tangible QuarkXPress element that can be saved, placed, databased, and archived just like an individual image file. When the user imports a GroupPicture file, they receive the original, native QuarkXPress elements perfectly positioned on a page and ready to be edited and styled.

GroupPicture is an ideal complement to practically any image database program and workflow. The software presents each element as both a color thumbnail and a full-size preview image. In addition, users can attach keyword and descriptions to each GroupPicture at the time of the save. This information can be picked up automatically when the image is cataloged, allowing users to perform keyword, or even full text searches, for GroupPictures in their database. GroupPicture also provides a number of options for automatic keywording, and can report additional information relating to fonts, colors and graphics used within the group. For more information about GroupPicture, go to: http://www.meadowsps.com/site/main/grouppicture.htm

About Publishers Clearing House LLC
Publishers Clearing House is one of the largest and most successful direct marketing companies in the world. Founded in 1953 by Harold Mertz, a magazine circulation veteran, the company has capitalized on the opportunity to pool the subscription offers of many publishers into one direct mail effort which offers the consumer unbeatable variety and value-plus convenience. Since1967, PCH’s mailings have featured the famous free-by-mail sweepstakes that has become part of Americana, and since 1985 have included a wide variety of merchandise that now accounts for well over half of the company’s sales.

Headquartered in Port Washington, NY, the company is nationally known for its famous “Prize Patrol” that surprises screaming million dollar winners on their doorsteps with huge sweepstakes prizes. In 2003, PCH began celebrating its 50th year as a direct mail marketer of value-based magazine and consumer product offerings. PCH has awarded over $187 Million in major prizes to consumers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company currently employs over 400 individuals. For more information on Publishers Clearing House, visit www.pch.com

About Meadows Publishing Solutions
Meadows Publishing Solutions is a software development and consulting company specializing in commercial and custom XTensions® for QuarkXPress, plug-in modules for Adobe® InDesign® and Adobe Acrobat®, and other extensible technologies. Meadows has developed a number of popular software packages for the database publishing and variable data printing markets, including their award-winning products AutoPrice(tm) and DesignMerge® Founded in 1991, Meadows is based just outside of Chicago in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Press Contacts

John Kriho Craig Kevghas
President, Meadows Publishing Solutions President, CPR Marketing, Inc.
E: jkriho@meadowsps.com E: kevghas@aol.com
T: 847-882-8202 T: 978-392-8990

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© 2006 Meadows Publishing Solutions. The Meadows Publishing Solutions product names mentioned in this document are trademarks or service marks of Meadows Publishing Solutions, Inc. and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Other company and brand, product and service names are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Data subject to change without notice.