DISC Solves Problems for Magazine Publishers
Every day, editors, art directors, production managers, prepress operators, and printers reject digital photos because they are too small, unreadable, improperly color-corrected, or otherwise unsuitable for color magazine reproduction.
The DISC Working Group surveyed 32 publishers, and used the results to develop a hotlist of high-priority issues to be resolved in the near term. It was determined that a single specification for resolution (i.e., pixel count) will not adequately cover the diverse needs of all magazines.
Some magazines need higher resolution to support their particular reproduction process, while others prefer smaller files to make transmission faster and storage less costly. So, the DISC Working Group developed three resolution categories: 'A', 'B', and 'C'.
Each category is based on the type of print reproduction, known as 'line screen reproduction'. The line screen translates to a pixel count for a certain use; such as a spread or a quarter page.
Category A is 150 line screen at 300 dpi. Category B is 125 line screen at 250 dpi. Category C is 100 line screen at 200 dpi. Magazines using DISC guidelines for digital submission should stipulate which resolution category they require.
For each category, the DISC specifications identify four key settings. These settings have been determined by the DISC Working Group to provide the highest quality reproduction from digital images. They are:
• Image size (a-k-a resolution, size, or pixel count): This is the size of a digital photo in pixel resolution, relative to publisher's production requirements.
• Color space: To ensure accurate translation of the image to the printed page, a color-managed workflow is essential. The DISC Working Group is recommending the Adobe RGB 1998 color space, because it's large enough to encompass most digital capture, display, and output devices. Camera parameters should be adjusted so that the 'COLORSPACE' (or 'ColorMode' or 'ColorMatrix') is set for 'Adobe RGB 1998'. Publications adhering to the DISC standard will likely not accept sRGB or CMYK files. DISC also advises photographers and publishers to leave all color management to the prepress professionals, as they do this job best.