When It Absolutely Has to Be There Over Lunch
Digitally fleet feet
"Communibonics" is the name Stocking gives the alphabet soup of digital file and telecommunications terminology. Beyond sorting out all the buzzwords and acronyms, today's production professionals need to understand the technologies involved and potential applications.
What are some of the consequences of being uninformed? "You can buy a lot of bandwidth and not use it," Ervin says. "That's a waste of resources." Ervin maintains that the secret to avoiding such a waste is to educate yourself: confront Communibonics head-on, and become savvy enough to discern whether a connectivity solution is appropriate for your workflow.
Installing a system to digitally transmit files among publisher, prepress and printer is the first major hurdle to establishing a complete digital workflow; remote proofing is added later, explains Chuck Gehman, manager of technology for Digital Art Exchange (DAX), Boston. "Most people work their way towards remote proofing once they and their clients are comfortable with and have mastered the connectivity basics." Connectivity solution suppliers also include managed-network pro WAM!NET, Minneapolis, which recently acquired 4-Sight, a specialist in ISDN dial-up solutions.
Establishing proofing parameters
Once your means for file transmission system is in place and you are ready to proof on site, the decisions continue. Should we use soft or hard-copy proofing? Do we want to see black-and-white or color proofs? Your solution will likely be some combination, with components used at different stages in the production process.
Soft proofing is "a realtime solution for anyone who has a fast turnaround and is trying to hold open ad sales to the last moment," explains Edward Hartman, vice president, division manager for PerryJudd's in Strasburg, VA. Using a Creo Virtual Proofing System (VPS), the printer allows publishers a last-minute look at the RIPed files on screen before plates are imaged.
WebProof—an Internet solution offered by North Park Digital, a prepress provider in Pennsauken, NJ—provides on-screen comment boxes which suit designers needing client approval, says Bernard Haas, North Park's president.