Hamilton--2000 - The Controversies Continue
On that front, it will be interesting to see if a truce can be negotiated between the "vectorians" and the "rasterfarians." The former advocate using PDF and PDF/X as the means of reliably transferring and processing files, and the latter are still convinced that only a bitmap can provide the integrity and security that clients demand. Of course, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but like a Middle East peace negotiation, there are few with the courage to withstand the heat from both sides in order to broker a compromise that will best serve the needs of the entire industry.
Similarly, will this be the year that we'll stop hearing about thermal vs. visible-light imaging? The whole debate has been somewhat nauseating, as both technologies have been shown to work extremely well and offer distinctive advantages for specific applications. On this front, there is talk of a new type of imaging laser coming to fruition, based on the same technology as is used for DVD players. If it's just another imaging technology, I don't want to hear about it. But if it will lower plate costs, reduce imaging or processing time, or provide a tangible benefit to the printer, then I'm all ears.
Speaking of CTP, this technology really took off at DRUPA 95, that colossus of a trade show held in Germany every five years. Now that it's a relatively mature technology, which has made its way into more than a few pressrooms, it will be interesting to see what technology steals the limelight (infrared light? violet light?) at DRUPA 2000. While the pre-show glimpses won't start for another month or so, it's a good bet that direct-to-press technologies will take center stage.
In the same vein, 1:1 marketing and digital presses have been around for a while, constantly making progress in terms of speed, quality and reliability. Perhaps even more important, database applications have made great strides during the past few years, and, with the Web being the perfect complement for finding out what customers want to learn more about, it is now realistic to think 2000 will be a year in which personalized print communication achieves wider acceptance.