The Hard Line on Softproofing
Without it, she may not have made it through the most critical product launch this year. Lorraine Alper Kramer, director of print services at Saatchi & Saatchi L.A., confesses that online proofing isn't what it used to be.
"Regardless of the location of our creative teams, we are able to quickly and easily collaborate and exchange comments on the content and composition of our projects effectively and on schedule," she explains. In the past, the agency tried posting files to FTP sites and exchanging PDFs, but found that RealTimeProof (www.realtimeimage.com) technology allows the ad agency to share digital files from anywhere in the world. "The ability to post a file in a folder and have everyone on our team view the file and provide comments is tremendous," says Kramer. "For example, one of our creative directors was out of the country on a T.V. shoot. He and his team were working on television and print shoots in Europe and New York, while in L.A., we were up against an incredibly tight deadline on brochures." After the studio posted the latest layouts online, the creative director logged on and provided immediate input.
For another campaign, the agency partnered with prepress provider, Lot 44. "The only challenge was that they were in Virginia, with satellite offices in Dallas and San Francisco," briefs Kramer. "The schedules on brochures, as well as our ad materials, were extremely condensed." But using soft proofing, "we'd proof the original round of artwork from Lot 44, make corrections, comments and give approvals before they ever have to output a single hardcopy proof," she says. As a result, the agency's other color prep houses and printers are now using the technology, as well.
Carey Digital (www.dambigidea.com), a prepress house with soft proofing services, describes soft proofing as "the ability to view, measure, check color and annotate a virtual proof on the monitor, instead of on paper. It does not take the place of a final contract proof, but eliminates interim proofs." In other words, a PDF file is used to review an ad before a final proof is made. A Postscript or TIFF file is then posted online using a standard Web browser in real-time.