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Donnelley Does DRUPA 2000

May 2000
Premedia and its role in the changing print landscape is the prime directive of Mary Lee Schneider—and she's taking her directive all the way to Dusseldorf, Germany.


Imagine you are chiefly responsible for the premedia directions, investments and operations of one of the largest companies in the world. Imagine that company is giant R.R. Donnelley & Sons. Imagine it is your responsibility to be current on all the new prepress trends, on-press imaging moves and Internet directions impacting—and readying to impact —the commercial printing industry.

Hold that thought. Now, imagine you are attending DRUPA 2000 in Dusseldorf, Germany, this month to get top secret reviews of the latest in digital prepress and on-demand digital printing technologies.

You must be Mary Lee Schneider, president of R.R. Donnelley & Sons' Premedia Technologies.

Schneider—abundantly accommodating with her time, for a person with such a serious job—is well aware of the ever-growing importance of the online world as a consumer resource for content and information.

Schneider contends that digital technologies and, chiefly, the recent upsurge of Internet services, has prompted a change in the way the printing profession now defines itself.

"We are no longer printers in the traditional sense of being responsible solely for putting ink on paper, but are now, in fact, facilitators making content available to consumers across multiple media," Schneider reports. "Therefore, prepress as a descriptive name is limiting—premedia is encompassing, and a more appropriate term."

Premedia will be the day-and-night driver of Schneider's DRUPA 2000 tour.

Schneider is already booked with a series of meetings with the key drivers in digital workflow, digital proofing, digital photography and on-demand digital printing arenas. What issues does she plan to take up with her technology hosts as she reviews new devices on the Dusseldorf fairgrounds?

"A key issue premedia providers and customers will have to face in the immediate future is the current lack of color standards for output devices. This is significant because the efficiencies and conveniences of digital soft proofing will not be realized until colors appear consistent, regardless of monitor or printer," she states. "At Donnelley, color scientists work with standards boards such as the International Color Consortium and other ANSI committees to address this need, and standards are indeed on the horizon."

Serious About DRUPA
Another hurdle to overcome in premedia, according to the Donnelley executive bound for DRUPA, is in the area of integrated software. "Although some progress has been made in the effort to create a single program customers may use to create content for multiple media use, a seamless tool set has yet to be developed," she contends. "The ability to tag data in Quark pages may address this issue. Still, these two areas, color standards and integrated tools, present our greatest challenge as we move toward a new future."


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