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Publishers Press--A ColorSync Pioneer

September 2000
BY HOWARD FENTON


Anyone familiar with Publishers Press will not be surprised that it was the first company to express interest in, pursue and pioneer entrance into the GATF/Apple ColorSync Registry. The registry outlines tolerances for acceptable quality control specifications for the implementation of color management technology, as specified by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF).

Publishers Press is a family owned company originally created in 1866, now operating under the fifth generation of the Simon family. Printing giant Frank E. Simon ran the company from 1946 to 1990 and is responsible for redirecting the company to its niche of short-run publications. At the helm today are brothers Nicholas X. Simon, president, and Michael J. Simon, executive vice president.

Michael Simon, who has been spearheading the ColorSync Registry effort, admits that one of the initial motivations for the process was marketing. "Our market is magazine printing, which is tremendously competitive. Just because we can print high quality and fast is not enough. To stay ahead of the competition, we need to show that we are the pioneers in implementing the latest and greatest technology. That is why we adopted TQM [Total Quality Management] and SPC [Statistical Process Control], and why we were the first to print a four-color magazine computer-to-plate [CTP] without using film."

Publishers operates two plants in Kentucky: the original facility in Shepherdsville and the Lebanon Junction plant, which was built in 1990. While Simon sees the registry as a marketing tool, he greatly supports his staff in production who see it as a way to improve the quality and consistency of the printed product.

According to Tim Haley, general manager of prepress services at Lebanon Junction, "With two plants so closely positioned, we have work going back and forth constantly. We need a way to ensure consistency, not only from day to day, but from one piece of equipment to another, no matter their location."

A Little History
Dan Millsap, electronic prepress digitizing and imaging manager at Shepherdsville, cautiously initiated the original conversations with his staff and Simon. In 1998, Millsap attended a seminar at Graph Expo in Chicago and saw a presentation. The presentation was conducted by GATF's Rich Adams and Dave Hunter from Pilot Marketing Group, two pioneers in the development of the GATF Registry.

In 1997, Apple and GATF began talking about ways to make color management technologies more accessible to printers. As a result, the GATF/Apple ColorSync Registry was developed under the Apple ColorSync-funded Chair from 1997-1999, which was held by GATF research scientist Richard Adams.

 

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