Special Report The 3Ps: Printing, Production and Paper
CS: What about soft proofing? Do you see a trend of catalog creators and their printers using soft proofs in lieu of hard proofs, and at what stage of the workflow?
Downey: I don’t see a trend unfolding here yet. I have one client who is very progressive and looking hard at [soft proofing]. But they were in a good position to do it. They were used to doing a lot of online imposition proofing with the printer, anyway.
The key to soft proofing will be a cataloger’s ability to control the situation by calibrating the equipment and software, and ensuring that the viewing conditions are optimal and consistent.
CS: To catalogers, how important are press approvals today, as compared to five or 10 years ago?
Downey: There’s a little less need for it, I’d say. Of course, in the gravure world, you never really needed to be there. But offset’s different. I’m a huge proponent of going on press, simply because of the relationship you build with the printer. That face-to-face time is invaluable; it communicates to your printer that you truly care about your product. Sometimes as much as two years can go into making a catalog. Why would you just step out of the picture at press time? If you’re not on press, you’re out of the loop — it’s as simple as that. ... At the very least, you should schedule a quality meeting with your printer every three months or so.
Janie Downey can be contacted at (207) 233-3339 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This 3Ps Special Report was written by Gretchen Peck, a freelance writer and consultant specializing in the graphic arts and print industries. She welcomes feedback at email@example.com.