Image is Everything
Throughout the past decade, emerging digital technologies have changed the entire scope of contemporary publishing as we've come to know it. These same digital technologies—CTP platesetters, digital proofers and high-speed telecommunications solutions—have enabled publishers and their print partners to redefine how they place words and images on paper.
The renaissance period
Prepress houses have taken the most dramatic hit when it comes to technological advances of the digital kind. No longer only responsible for separating color and making film, they've been forced to learn new skills required to manage and perfect digital files. Printers, too, have changed their service offerings; many, large and small, have been challenged to learn a new methods for proofing files and making plates.
And publishers have not gone unaffected by this renaissance period of print. Many, once primarily charged with creating content, are now taking on the added responsibility for managing their digital files all the way to press. Not a day goes by when a publisher does not address whether to use a supplier or handle its own prepress. This, however, is not a new trend; there are those that have aggressively sought to pursue in-house capabilities.
If I can make it there …
Condé Nast title, The New Yorker, was among the earliest adopters of in-house prepress. More than five years ago, the magazine's management analyzed costs associated with establishing its own prepress facility.
Greg Captain, manager of The New Yorker Imaging Center, recalls the early days: "It was March of 1994 that I went to The New Yorker, and there was no 'room' yet," Captain notes when referring to the publication's plans to create its own imaging center that would, incrementally, take on the responsibility of imaging 100 percent of the publication's editorial pages.
By May 1994, Captain (then a scanning operator) and his colleagues had built a prepress facility responsible for proofing and film output for 30 percent of the editorial pages, with the balance sent out to Quality House of Graphics and Manhattan Color Wheel, two New York City-area prepress suppliers.