Quality No Longer King?
Taking the shortcut
Naiveté and the rush to publish are not the only factors placing quality in peril. There is also the mighty dollar. Although always a consummate concern, in today's economy, it may simply be a matter of survival. However, time, money and quality are a delicately balanced equation. When corners are cut, quality suffers.
Tina Dahl, director of print services for NFL Properties, says that she's keenly aware of the decreasing importance of quality. "The trend in our office has been for more of our clients and associates to submit high-res [files] they've scanned themselves, or photos they've taken with a digital camera. The problem with this is that everyone has his or her own version of what high-res means, many of which don't meet up to our reproduction and quality needs. We often spend more money color correcting a poor quality high-res than we would spend if provided with an original transparency."
The digital revolution offers more choices than ever before for meeting the various levels of production needs. Solutions to your quality requirements are available in a wide range of prices and speed. Perhaps that is the problem. As Dahl says, "Give them a digital camera, and they think they're [both] a photographer and prepress professional."
The old adage of "time, money or quality: choose two," no longer applies. With today's advances in technology, you can actually get all three. So, why are so many opting for less?
I urge you: Quality is print's franchise. It is what sets us apart from Web-based content delivery. Don't forget, the incredibly sensual experience of brilliant inks on bright glossy paper just can't be matched by a monitor. Embrace quality.
-Linda Manes Goodwin (email@example.com) is a CTP evangelist and executive director of Manes Goodwin Associates, specializing in print production workflow.