DIGITAL COLOR PROOFING -- Right on the Dot
"In response, we'll run film to make a Matchprint to show them that the problem is with the file. Matchprint is like law to print buyers," the shop manager continues. "Once they see that, they're willing to pay us to make the necessary changes."
From his perspective as vice president, prepress operations, at The Hennegan Co. in Florence, KY, Mike Fleury sees room for digital halftone and continuous-tone proofing workflows in the industry. However, he believes printers and print buyers decide what level of proof quality they require and then stick with it.
"We created an expectation of seeing dots in proofs during the analog days, and the quality demands of our customers dictate that we stay with a halftone solution," Fleury says. "The cost of a proof is a factor in what we use, but reliability on-press is a bigger concern for us."
The important trend Fleury sees in the industry is a move toward a more color-managed workflow in order to maximize the accuracy of proofs to press. Shops are under pressure to streamline their workflows and effectively manage color throughout the entire production process, he asserts.
"This tends to mean you are going to pick one color proofing solution to achieve that goal. Shops can't afford to have two or three proofing solutions to satisfy two or three flavors of customers."
The Hennegan Co. has chosen the Kodak Approval XP4 system from Kodak Polychrome Graphics as its primary color proofing solution, Fleury says. It also has several wide-format HP 8550 digital proofers for outputting color bluelines, but it doesn't run those proofs on-press, he notes.
The company doesn't use any type of interim color proofing, the prepress exec adds. "Any time they get a proof from Hennegan, our customers expect to be able to say 'go' and have the job print based on what they see. We have to be on our game from the start, which is why we've introduced color management into our processes. From our first-off scans through to our Approval proofs, we can send work off to customers with confidence in the color."