Virtual Proofing the New Color Contract Proof
Virtual proofing, at its core, refers to color accurate viewing of CMYK proofs on an RGB monitor. Color matching and the ability to match standards, such as SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Publications), are crucial for true virtual proofing.
KPG's Matchprint Virtual Proofing system includes an 'applet' (a small program) that automatically checks the system to confirm it is operating at SWOP-certified settings.
High-speed Internet connectivity and state-of-the-art image streaming technology enable large files to be transferred fast, without first being compressed or converted to another file format.
Beyond the software, a true virtual proofing system also includes a number of components and processes that ensure contract color proofing quality. Automated daily color calibration, two high-end color monitors, a controlled-light viewing environment, and a productivity tool suite are other components of a robust virtual proofing system.
This allows proofs to be managed entirely online, including the ability to make annotations and mark-ups similar to hard copy proofs. Compatibility with numerous graphics file formats is also essential to allow for integration with existing workflows.
True virtual proofing can be used for content, imposition, color-critical proofing, predicting press results, checking file integrity, and job approval.
These features of a true virtual proofing system reduce cycle times, expedite approvals, and improve production efficiencies. Barriers that hinder the approval and completion process are removed.
Acceptance of virtual proofing is under way. It represents the new color contract proof of today, and the preferred method for color contract proofs of tomorrow, and establishes the new color-accurate proofing standard.
- Rob Pipe
Rob Pipe is director of Kodak Polychrome Graphics' worldwide color proofing business. He can be reached at PipeR@KPGraphics.com.