In the Black
And yet another production partnership flourished, this time between designer and printer. Throughout the past year, Holtz has grown to respect her colleagues at American Web.
"If you want a magazine from them in eight days, you will get it, but you have to follow their rules," Holtz notes.
Keeping costs in check
American Web's Executive Vice President Clarke Fine concurs with Holtz's assessment that cost is always a concern for publisher and printer alike. "(American Web) has a good deal of experience in dealing with new publishers," notes Fine. "With items such as paper being up to 40 percent or more of the printing costs, much of the advice and information we pass on to new clients involves cost savings."
American Web handles both prepress and printing for In the Black. "In 1990, when (American Web) entered the desktop market, we trademarked the name, 'Smart-Stream,' and created an internal workflow for cost-efficient page production," recalls Fine. "In review of competitors and service bureaus at the time, we found too many simply 'opened their doors' to process any and all types of file formats.
"(SmartStream) took the competition by surprise; we established a flat $39 (rate) per 10x12, four-color page, including Matchprint and composite films. This was, at the time, about one-tenth of the typical national cost for high-end film and proof production," Fine asserts.
All art, with the exception of the cover, is scanned using SmartSep, a component of American Web's SmartStream process. As Fine explains, SmartSep involves a Crosfield drum scan "done with the same setup and care as a 'conventional' scan."
SmartSep offers a financial incentive to a publisher, notes Fine, because the customer does not receive color proofs of the images after they are converted to digital data. This requires a special understanding between the publisher and American Web, Fine adds. There is a mutual understanding that the original art is of high quality, and, secondly, the publisher understands that the printer will take particular care when scanning the images, to result in a "commercially acceptable product."