DIGITAL COLOR PROOFING -- Right on the Dot
"Our customers asked to still see a dot because they are concerned about subject moiré in things like fabric, in particular," notes Darren Yeats, general manager. "Our clients like a very sharp scan to capture image detail, but that tends to increase the possibility of subject moiré."
The company is a general commercial printer that does high-end color work primarily for the ad agency market. Almost all of its prepress work is for jobs printed internally on two six-color, 40˝ presses and two smaller two-color machines. Quality Graphics converted to an all-digital workflow, including CTP, nearly three years ago. However, it switched to using two Polaroid PolaProof digital halftone proofers only about six months ago.
The shop's workhorse is the automated Prediction model, but it also has the bigger, manual Gold unit to produce larger proofs, serve as a backup and provide more capacity, according to Yeats. The devices are color matched and calibrated, he continues, and can be driven by the identical front end (RIPs, trapping and screening) to Quality's CTP system. Along with the other advantages of halftone proofers, the general manager values the proofers' ability to use some special colors and metallics, as well as image a clear overlay to represent a spot varnish or show a die rule.
At the same time, though, the print shop has maintained the capability to make an analog proof, Yeats notes. "We still can have a client come in with a digital proof and file from an independent prep house. That digital proof will be calibrated to who knows what target, so when we make a digital proof here it may not look anything like the digital proof the client has already bought and paid for. They expect us to fix the file, at our cost, to match the proof that they've already purchased.