Digital Proofing--Proof Positive
"A digital proof serves the same purpose for buyers/designers as the analog proof it replaced," Bassett explains. One way to reduce the angst, he claims, is to be proactive in resolving customers' (spoken and unspoken) fears by asking, examining and answering seven specific questions. He calls this process "Scholin Brothers' Seven Questions to Digital Proofing Confidence" and says the questions are intended to accomplish two very important things. First, they will provide the print buyer/designer with information about digital proofing and, second, they will improve the communication between printer and print buyer/designer.
(Note to printers: The comments in red parenthesis are the unspoken concerns that the print buyer/designer has that you need to address with specific information and evidence.)
1. What am I looking at? (Contract proof? Digital Dylux? Other?)
2. Why is this better for me? (Faster? Better? Cheaper?)
3. How do I know nothing will change from proof to plate? (Consistency?)
4. Can you match this on-press? (Color managed profiles? Pressroom confidence?)
5. Can I be enabled to implement a remote proofing device at my site with confidence? (Speed? Convenience? Networking?)
6. How do you handle PMS colors? (Flexibility? Capabilities?)
7. What about dot issues like moiré, highlight detail and shadow detail? (Confidence?)
"At Scholin Brothers, our goal is simple," says Bassett. "Once the information is shared, the benefits are shared." One of the benefits of sharing information is that it cuts down on the inevitable "confusion factor" concerning the technology.
Lisa Saul, director of marketing at Franklin Park, IL-based Tukaiz Communications, says clients are often confused by the term "proof" itself. With all the many digital proofing devices on the market, she says, "to call all color output 'proofs' is deceiving. While the digital desktop manufacturers have greatly improved speed, resolution quality and size of output, the main concern should be color. When designers use desktop versions of digital color proofers to show comps, they should be intended to show design and content only."