# Key Concepts

To fully understand how to Phoenix works, there are a few key concepts we need to discuss and define. Nearly Everything in Phoenix is built around the idea of Products and Costing.

First, products are the artwork items that can be placed on a Layout. There can be one or more layouts within a Project.

Next, nearly everything with in Phoenix can have a cost associated with it to be used for estimating as well as making decisions based on cost. We can associate costs with Things (like a press or finishing device), Consumables (like stocks and plates), and Tooling (such as thru-cut or creasing). So, for example, Phoenix can intelligently decide that it may be cheaper to use Press 1 and stock size A instead of Press 2 and stock size B because it is cheaper (when combining press costs, finishing costs, and stock costs).

Let's dive into more specifics on each of these concepts.

# Products

A Product is the fundamental building block of any project in Phoenix. Simply put, in Phoenix a product is the unique postcard, sign, carton, label, artwork, etc... that needs to be printed. Products are the reason for Phoenix - the item you need to produce is a product.

Every instance of a product in your project will have the same front and back side artwork, marks, and die design. Any change made to a product is propagated to all instances of that product in your layout automatically. The Product is also where all the parameters for a product is stored, such as the ordered quantity that need to be fulfilled, grain direction, stock, spacing, bleed, and so on.

For a given product, the following aspects will be the same across all instances placed in the project:

  • Die design including all cut and crease lines.
  • Artwork for front and back of product including artwork offset within the die.
  • Marks including mark positions within the die.

Whereas the following aspects can be customized for each instance:

  • Bleeds. Product instances will have the same bleed as defined by the product by default but each instance's bleed path can be changed independently from the Artboard Toolbar, the Overlap Tool, or by directly editing the bleed with the Edit Bleeds tool.
  • Mark visibility. Turning off visibility of a mark in one instance of a product does not affect other instances.

Products can be edited in the Product View or directly within the Layout View by drilling down into product context.

More Info

For more detailed information on Products, visit the Products page.

# Layouts

A Layout is the arrangement of Products in Phoenix, and is a representation of how the products will eventually be printed our output on either a sheet or roll. Each Phoenix project will contain one or more layouts and all layouts in a project can be viewed in the Layouts panel (Window > Layouts).

When a new project is created in Phoenix, a layout is created for the project. To see the layout, click the Layout view button, jus t under the project tab. You can select a different layout by clicking on the layout selection dropdown, or by double-clicking the desired layout in the Layouts panel. You can create a new layout from the layout selection dropdown, or from the dropdown menu in the Layouts panel.

By default, a layout doesn't have a stock defined. A stock can be added to a layout through drag-and-drop from the Stocks panel, or can be automatically assigned when a layout is created through Imposition AI.

# Projects

A project is the native file type of Phoenix, and was formerly called a "job" in prior versions. Everything in Phoenix is based on a project. Projects are typically based on a customer order, and can contain one or many products and one or many layouts. To create a new project, navigate to the File menu and select "New Project" or use the keyboard shortcut Command + "n" (on a Mac) or Control + "n" (on a PC).

Projects contain everything about the order, including products, layouts, marks, and all of the associated parameters, such as product order quantity, or layout sheets. A Phoenix project can be saved to the .phx file format, and reopened later. You can optionally save the artwork in a project file by enabling the preference "Embed artwork in project save" in the Preferences > Project menu.

# Things

Phoenix models your production environment and includes the "things" in your production environment. A Thing could be a Press, a Finishing Device, or Die Making. You can read more about Things and the various types of Things on the Configuring Phoenix page.

# Tooling

Tooling refers to any process that needs to be performed before a project is complete.

Tooling could include cut or crease lines, varnish or coating inks, embossing/debossing, glueing, and many other configurable processes. The inks within a product are used to describe steps in a process chain that require additional inline or nearline steps to create the finished product.

Mapping Tool Types is an integral part of Phoenix to capture all neccessary costing of a product to be used with the ImpositionAI module.

# Consumables

Consumables refer to the materials used in the process of making a project. Phoenix includes costing breakdowns for Inks, Stocks, Die Templates, and Plates (if a convential printing press is used).

Ink costing is specified at the press level. For each press, Phoenix allows you to customize the costing of inks using either a Click-based ink cost or a Coverage-based ink cost. You can also model the ink costs using different print 'Modes' for each press (for example, the EPM mode on an HP Indigo press may have a $0.00 click cost for the black ink)

Stocks are the material on which the project will be produced, such as a sheet or roll of paper or corrugate. More can be found on Stocks on the Configuring Phoenix page.

Plates are the medium that transfers ink to the stock in offset and flexo printing. Plates are necessary to model in Phoenix for costing as well as ensuring correct product and sheet placement in a layout. More can be found on configuring Plates in Phoenix on the Configuring Phoenix page.

Last Updated: 10/24/2023, 3:38:05 PM