Sanoma Magazines Belgium is part of the international magazine division of the Finnish Sanoma Group. In Belgium, the company is primarily known as a magazine publisher, but it is also a modern multimedia company with multiple sites for its magazines. Divided into two branches; one in in Antwerp and one in Diegem, the company counts more than 500 employees. It is a leader in its segment and has developed a strong reputation with many famous magazines such as Flair, Libelle, Femmes d’Aujourd’hui, HUMO, Feeling, Goedele and Marie Claire.
Fancy magazines ask for beautiful images. Clear, sharp and with fresh colors. Nevertheless, in reality most of the supplied images are not ready for use and image correction is required. Bart Van Looy, ICT Publishing Project Leader at Sanoma Magazines Belgium explains: “Before we started to work with Claro Premedia, all image adjustments were made manually in Photoshop® and that took a very long time. Generally these are fairly simple but necessary adjustments to the color balance, color saturation, sharpness, brightness and contrast. Moreover, there was much time lost searching, opening and saving the images in the right place.” A solution that not only automates repetitive corrections, but also saves the images through intelligent routing to the right place would help.
At Sanoma Magazines they work in a complete RGB setting. The conversion to print-ready files is done only at the very last minute. Therefore it was particularly important that the image optimization solution would support this process.
Bart Van Looy: “The various solutions that we tested, had similar characteristics, but with the Elpical team it matched right away. The willingness to listen and the speed with which they responded to our questions and suggestions, were exceptional. Besides, by the time we chose Elpical, most of the modifications we had requested were already implemented in Claro Premedia. Truly unique!”
The impact of Claro Premedia was immediately measurable and noticeable after installation and configuration. Thus the flow of images and color correction of images for the various TV magazines is now fully automated. Without any manual intervention, the imported images are corrected in Claro Premedia and saved in the correct location.
Bart Van Looy: “It is fascinating to see how quickly the corrections are made and how it ends up in the correct folder. The predictability also improved since Claro interprets and corrects an image always in the same way.“ For exceptional cases, or when doing extreme adjustments, with Claro Inspector for Photoshop® the image editor has the possibility to compare the original and corrected versions side by side.
The image routing is done using file naming conventions and IPTC data. This approach guarantees an unlimited number of correction channels with corresponding hot folders, to collect and save images. The support and addition of XMP data also ensures perfect compatibility between the various workflow systems at Sanoma Magazines. All information about the image is kept, so you can always see what and when something has changed in the image.
Bart Van Looy concludes: “Claro Premedia is definitely a unique product. Personally I am surprised again and again how good the image corrections are. Thanks to the automation there is more time now for working on delicate images, such as fashion photography, where corrections often go deeper than just color and contrast. Thanks to Claro Premedia adjustments are no longer ignored, we work more efficiently and the quality of our magazines has improved a lot. What else can you wish for? “