PI's 45th ANNIVERSARY -- From Art To Science
By 1988, the introduction of high-end flatbed color scanners had kicked off the great image quality debate, with discriminating print buyers still looking for drum quality. A similar argument was waged about the merits of capstan versus drum imagesetters, with drum systems again seen as the top-of-the-line technology.
The launch of USA Today had turned the newspaper segment on its ear in 1982, and the publisher was still leading the way technologically toward the end of the decade. It was now implementing satellite transmission of files to remote printing sites.
Other items of interest:
* When Printing Impressions' 30th anniversary issue came out, waterless printing was still about a year away from its roll-out for sheetfed printing applications. It quickly became a hot topic of conversation to close out the decade, though.
* Aqueous coating and drying systems had grown in popularity with conventional printing, but UV also was getting attention because of improvements in its application.
With the discovery of a hole in the ozone layer of earth's atmosphere still fresh in people's minds, environmental compliance remained a recurring topic of conversation in the early 1990s. Non-attainment areas and VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions had become part of the industry lexicon, as pollution control systems and alcohol-replacements were now standard in the printing plant. Recycled stocks—and the need to distinguish between pre- or post-consumer waste—became a hot button, before the realities of cost, quality and availability overwhelmed good intentions.
In 1993, the need to diversify to survive was already a topic of conversation in the industry, but CD-ROM publishing was considered the threat (or opportunity). The Internet was still the domain of researchers and computer geeks, although CompuServe forums had already become an industry resource for dealing with issues related to the Macintosh, desktop publishing and electronic prepress in general.