Target - DRUPA 2000
And the overwhelming trend of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions within the graphic arts and printing industry means more and more nationwide, continent-wide and even worldwide print suppliers, and fewer and fewer local suppliers.
So what does it all mean? It means substantial changes in design, prepress and printing production workflows. It means distributing the production steps across an even wider audience of participants, who are often hundreds, even thousands, of miles from each other. And it means that the vendors who love and serve this industry must deliver tools that can ensure the predictability of the final printed product, even though the job will pass through a multiplicity of vastly distributed systems, devices and humans before it actually hits the press.
Two of the most critical technology areas for providing such predictability are digital proofing and color management.
No longer strictly the realm of high-end (and high-priced) halftone proofers, digital proofing—even for color contract proofs—is beginning to move toward lower-priced ink-jet printers, such as the Epson 5000 and 9000.
Our OEMs are able to drive these lower-cost proofing devices using virtually any of our screening technologies, including our traditional Harlequin Precision Screening (HPS) and our stochastic screening, Harlequin Dispersed Screening (HDS). By providing the same screening techniques as those being used for final output, these ink-jet devices are able to provide a closer match to the final output than ever before.
We will continue to develop new screening techniques to ensure that our OEMs are able to deliver high-quality, matchable color proofs from whatever proofing device they choose to support.
Of course, the most critical software technology for moving these ink-jet devices into the realm of color proofers is color management, and especially the use of ICC color profiles. But the question of what are we matching will become even more profound as the production process gets spread across more and more participants, farther and farther away from each other.