Proofing for Accurate Color on Your Next CTP Job
Vendors provide proofing methods for direct-to-plate workflows.
IN THE FILMLESS world of computer-to-plate (CTP) printing, it's no wonder that digital color proofing has become a hot topic. One critical issue publishers face when going CTP is whether or not they can rely on the proofs they receive. Will those proofs be accurate? Will they be consistent?
The burden often falls not only on the manufacturer of proofing equipment, but on the prepress house or printing company that is actually plating the job. So, how are these printers and service providers meeting the proofing needs for their CTP clients? Here's what several representatives had to say.
Taking the first step
The decision to offer CTP services was not one that World Color, Chicago, took lightly, says Laura Gale, senior vice president of customer technical services. In fact, a lot of research and preparation time went into the decision.
According to Gale, World Color really took its cue from clients, who began to express an interest in CTP technology in 1993. After several years of investigating its options, World Color jumped on the CTP bandwagon at the urging of its customers, and by 1995, the printer purchased its first Creo platesetter.
The demand for CTP services has grown exponentially in recent years, says Gale. In response, World Color is now ranging between 30 and 100 percent direct-to-plate throughout its nationwide plant network.
"In many of our plants," Gale adds, "all of the new incoming work is 100 percent digital at this point."
While some of World Color's publishing clients have their own pre-established prepress departments, most are simply not equipped to handle that end of the workflow, so World Color generates color proofs for them.
"The proofing angle was really critical when we approached our customers early on," says Gale.
To assure quality and customer satisfaction, the folks at World Color devoted countless hours and manpower to assisting customers in the process, including bringing in test files generated by customers and walking through the entire process—from conception to print. According to Gale, that set many of their minds at ease.