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Remote Proofing--The Collaborative Proof

September 1998
BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


Remote proofing may be the ultimate form of collaboration between client and printer—each reviewing a proof rendered at separate locations, thanks to technological advances in color management software, digital proofing devices and digital file delivery services.

The benefits of adding remote proofing to a printing organization—outputting less film, buying less chemicals, avoiding shipping costs and time-consuming review periods—seem to position remote proofing as the logical direction for the contract proofing process.

So why aren't more prepress firms and commercial printing organizations rushing to add a digital proofer and team that digital proofing device with digital file transfer technologies ranging from simple dial-up ISDN to T-1 lines to connectivity via managed, secure networks?

Timing may have a lot to do with it. By and large, commercial printers like to see proof in their, well, proofs. Still rather cutting edge, remote proofing is just now refining issues with color management, as the digital proofing field continues to make its own equipment enhancements and new launches.

Polaroid's Jonathan Agger, marketing manager, offers his take on the key to productive remote proofing and what may be the finest attribute of the newest generation of digital proofing systems.

"A digital proofing device that completely meets the needs of both printers and their customers is the key to remote proofing," he explains. "Printers want fast, accurate proofing systems that can emulate their press conditions, while their customers want cost-efficient, type-sharp proofing systems with the economy and simplicity of copying machines."

The Next Generation
The newest generation of pigment-based digital proofing systems that output proofs with extraordinary color accuracy on actual printing stocks now satisfies the needs of both printers and print buyers, and is helping to drive the growth of remote proofing.

"These new systems empower decision-making at each proofing point within the prepress production cycle," Agger reports. "Using the same language through a common proof, printers and their customers are relying on remote proofing as a tool that permits them to interact and manage color far earlier in the process. With remote proofing enabling color-critical decisions much earlier in the prepress process, it is as though customers are, in effect, sending their best color specialists to help run the presses."

Eighteen months ago, though, it was a customer that pulled Cline, Davis, Mann into remote proofing.

Itself a specialist in color manipulation and art design, Cline, Davis, Mann—a New York-based, full-service ad agency focused on the health-care industry—turned to remote proofing by incorporating Digital Art Exchange (DAX) ISDN integration in use with Polaroid digital proofing technology. DAX oversees the links between 4-Sight's ISDN file transfer tool and Polaroid's DryJet.

 

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