Dickeson–Print Communications Made Easy

It’s mind-boggling to consider the thousands of editions of a single weekly magazine. Think of all the specifications, plate changes, inserts, mail lists, magnetic tapes, CD-ROMs, makereadies on press and bindery, and the boxes and stacks of imprints, inserts, samples, and who knows what next.

How can we keep it all straight? That’s why we must understand PROSE (standardized Production Order Specification EDI), a whole new world of standardized instruction between publisher and printer.

It’s explained in understandable, logical fashion by K&L in their work. If you’re not familiar with PROSE, just read through Chapter 7 of the book where everything you wanted to know about PROSE but were afraid to ask is explained.

Thank goodness Norm Scharpf and his group at GCA had the foresight to see the needs for standardization and communication that were going to be essential to survival in this age of “smaller is better.” Norm’s people have been involved in bringing the committees and industry groups together and hammering out the details of how to make the disparate pieces fit.

Kotok, as a colleague of Scharpf, has been at the center of it all, keeping the minutes, scheduling the meetings, goading, wheedling, interpreting for the PROSE, EDIs, EMBARC, OpCode participants—constantly struggling for common understandings and standardization. We’re indeed fortunate that Alan Kotok has taken the time to write it all down with such clear expression. What a jewel this man is!

And, likewise for his co-author, Ralph Lyman. What Kotok has done for the administrative and procedural impacts of change, Lyman, a printer/printing professor/author, has done for the aspects of the printing craft. Take, for example, the matter of digital proofing, a “critical quality step that can save the printer and print customer considerable time and money down the road.”

Digital proofing, Lyman tells us, relies on the CIElab model for defining color values. The “l,” “a” and “b” refer to coordinates for hue, saturation and brightness. CIE is the Committee for Illumination that defined the three-dimensional color space in 1931, Lyman explains. This enables matching some 1,800 points between color proof and press sheet, using the robotized spectrophotometer.

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