Brave New World of Beverage
For cocktail connoisseurs and buyers of adult beverages, Patterson's California Beverage Journal has been serving up content for more than a half of a century, and for the last four years, in Glendale, CA. The magazine's other latest change, a conversion to computer-to-plate (CTP), proves that old dogs, or in this case—magazines—can learn new tricks.
According to Natasha Swords, associate publisher of the journal, "I wanted faster workflow at the printer via digital proofing instead of having film output, getting the film stripped, waiting for proofs, the added expense of changes after proofs and the time involved. The digital workflow allows me to control more of the process, rather than be controlled by it."
In order to fulfill the journal's goal of working with a printer that could handle in-house scanning and color correction rather than outsourcing color separations, Swords looked to California Offset Printers (COP), also headquartered in Glendale. The company, founded in 1963, has been CTP-equipped since 1992.
"CTP technology has defined our job as a printer," states William R. Rittwage, president and COO, COP. "[CTP] has forced us to become proficient digitally in order to be an even more attractive option to a large section of publishing [and] catalog clients who now choose to only do business with vendors that have adopted the technology." He explains that buyers forcing CTP on the manufacturing sector provide an additional incentive to printers. "We were already improving our digital strengths when the marketplace caught on and began making it a requirement," admits Rittwage. "Consequently, the quality of the manufactured product improved by sharper, cleaner dot and better register." Rittwage reports that COP received 40 percent of its jobs digitally within the first stages of enabling clients with digital workflow.
Those who can, teach
Swords says that in the process of converting to CTP, "There was no rock left unturned." The journal repeatedly met with COP's digital and prep departments before and during the transition. "Calibrating our production with COP's methods was critical," explains Swords. Now, as a rule of thumb, she says the key to digital workflow is really quite simple: "Good files, good files, good files." She adds, "Regardless of whether the file is going to film or CTP, if the files are not sound, the job will fail. If the fonts are either corrupted or not furnished completely, or images are RGB or compressed, the job will incur both a slow-down and extra charges." To combat aforementioned concerns, Swords has established that all digital files come with hard-copy proofs to spare any inconsistencies that threaten the final product.