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Make it personal and empowering

I just came out of an Adobe all company meeting where our CEO, Shantanu Narayen, talked about time he recently spent speaking with customers and partners across multiple industries including media & entertainment, publishing - and systems integration. He came away with the clear message that even with the macro economic slowdown, there will be no slow down of the ongoing transition from the offline world to the online world. This shift and ongoing movement is being driven by the Web’s interactivity and the ability this medium offers for personalization and customization. The Internet empowers consumers in ways that traditional print and broadcast media have not been able to do. The more relevant the content displayed…. the more engaged the user.

Via the Web, we have new ways to market and can offer more services and solutions to more people on-demand. We’ve naturally been participating in the aforementioned transition from traditional to online media, but now are also looking at ways to find ‘the best of both worlds' – where traditional media and online can work together. My marketing team just launched these new demos on Scene7.com that offer examples of how one can leverage the Web to empower users to create their own physical output – a bit of the inverse of the macro trend of things flowing online. In this case, using the online world to create output for offline use. While this "web to print" is a new capability for us, we are already running into many new ways to apply it…. for such things as self-service localized marketing and sales materials, custom catalogs/brochures/datasheets, one-off in-store signage, office supplies and more.

Demo: Greeting Card - PDF Download Demo: Business Card - PDF Download

After you check out these examples, send me questions or thoughts in the comments box.

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web to print has been done for years….stick to ecommerce and powering consumer generated shopping applications that foster collaboration and drive offline sales. Stick to what you guys do best.



We are creating eCommerce site for our client. For this we need to show templates like greeting cards, business cards on the web application. Later on user can edit those template. Means user can personized it by adding/updating text, adding/updating images on the template. Using this user can create business cards, greeting cards etc..

To perform above we are thinking to go ahead with Adobe Scene7. Could you please let us know whether there is any web service URLs or any SDK or any Adobe Scene7 APIs documents are available which can helpful for development process, so that we can go ahead? This is just to integrate with our web application to show/save personalized images(cards). Also let us know about costing…

Thanks in advance!

Hi David,

Thanks for the comment. I agree that the notion of ‘variable print’ may have been around forever – but don’t believe that using the web as the customization front-end for novice creators (such as consumers) which then results in high quality one-to-one print output is particularly mature, yet. As an early litmus test, we are finding that many of our customers in the eCommerce space that sell print products are very receptive to these web-to-print solutions to do a better job of empowering their customers to create their own personalized designs and foster further interaction with their brands. Also, our customers in consumer products manufacturing with direct sales forces are able to leverage the Web to enhance communication and generate custom output to drive offline sales. Time will tell.

We as Scene7 are continuing to develop and deploy great solutions dedicated purely to the eCommerce/digital space – full stop. We as Adobe are one of the most important solution providers in the print market. As I am always intrigued at the potential of finding cross-media or cross-channel scenarios that create incremental value, we hope that we’ll find one of these “best of both worlds” situations here – where traditional media and online can work together to create new growth opportunities for businesses both online and offline.

Yes, variable printing has been around, sure. But the real importance here is that it has not been done by the industry leader in creative and digital publishing software. Others are poorly done and leave much to be desired in terms of clunky, inefficient interactivity and tedious variable field entry processes for the end user. Having implemented, managed and used several VDP/web-to-print platforms for one of the largest non-profit organizations, I welcome Adobe’s entry into the web-to-print arena. KUDOS, Adobe!

J. Thomas

Wow, glorious article and fantastic examples, Liam! You hit on a heap of great points here, this can be a resource I will return back to often.

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