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Desktop Digital Printing--Waldman

March 2001
Do you remember my November column? Or is that like asking if you recall the last time you stubbed your toe? Well, just in case my golden words aren't etched in your memory, I wrote about a new print market generated by totally automated, e-commerce, short-run color printing. Let me refresh your memory by retelling the scenario that I related in the November column.

The real estate agent logs onto the Website of her favorite printer and easily fills out the quick quote form that mostly consists of check boxes. She gets an instant quote, which she accepts. The quote, along with some additional information that she supplies (billing, shipping, etc.), now becomes the job ticket.

Each quote has a unique number, which becomes the job number. She drags her files onto an icon on the printer's site. The icon automatically starts a procedure that flight checks the job. If the job passes flight check, it is automatically sent to the printer's server by FTP. The quote, which is now a job ticket, is sent to a production control computer. Of course, a copy of the job number stays with the job at all times for identification.

The job is RIPed and trapped automatically, and sent to a digital press to be printed—all almost untouched by human hands, in a fraction of today's time, at a fraction of today's cost. Furthermore, I wrote that the job would be color corrected automatically so that no proof is necessary.

If you want to know more about this, go to Printing Impressions' Website at Click article archives, type "waldman" (without the quotes) in the top box, and "11/1/00" (without the quotes) in the bottom for the complete November article. Incidentally, you should take advantage of PI's fine Website. It has a wealth of knowledge, particularly in article archives where you can find valuable information on just about any subject that you may be pondering.

Let's now suppose that the very same real estate agent only wants 50 copies of her brochure, which is 11x17˝, four-color, two sides. Guess what? She doesn't need the Internet or a commercial printer. She can print it right in her own office in less than an hour for about $50 in consumables. Guess what, too? The quality can be at or near commercial print quality. If you haven't noticed, today's laser printers for the office are producing extraordinary quality. Case in point: the Xerox Phaser 790DP.

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