Online Proofing Up to the Task
Professionals who live, breathe, and have that unique passion for publishing are, with good reason, tough on new technologies.
After all, we are ultimately talking about art. And the people who make this art their livelihood are, at times, just as obsessed with the details as sculptors or musicians. There is no room for compromise.
For these people, rocking the boat in the slightest is disturbing. They might be cynical about new tools and methods, and will, therefore, subject them to the toughest tests.
When a technology passes those rigid tests, however, the marketplace will 'do a 180' as they say, and rush to take advantage. It happened with CtP, PostScript, and PDF. And today it's happening with online proofing.
The early resistance to online proofing could be attributed to the misconception that all of its proponents were asking graphic arts professionals to compromise the contract proof in a number of ways.
The greatest area of concern was, legitimately, color fidelity. This could be why online proofing was the last analog frontier to be conquered, and merged into otherwise all-digital workflows. The single, hard-copy contract proof was (and remains) the 'point of no return'—the most critical and tangible evidence of job approval.
The fact is that the best, most sophisticated online proofing solutions available today don't force compromises. What they do is get stakeholders to the final proof much faster than conventional analog methods—and with the color fidelity and high resolution even the toughest customers require.
Online proofing technology has clearly advanced, and now addresses the chief color proofing concerns for publishers. In fact, leading online proofing solutions such as KPG's MatchPrintVirtual, powered by RealTimeImage's technology, are SWOP certified!
Online proofing providers have figured out how to harness the power of the Internet to make the proofing process an easy, collaborative, and rapid step in the publishing workflow.