When It Absolutely Has to Be There Over Lunch
"My workflow is 100 percent faster with WebProof—I don't have to leave the office at all," reports Albert Ganss, graphic designer for Fierce Graphics, Philadelphia.
This type of system provides a quick method of communication between a publisher and a prepress house. Haas explains that North Park will post the file on WebProof, the client can view it, type comments, and North Park will adjust accordingly—in a matter of hours.
If your workflow requires color proofing, then an on-screen solution may not be sufficient for you. Hard-copy color proofs generated on a digital proofing device can provide better color match than the monitor. However, all partners need to ensure their devices are calibrated properly for accurate and consistent results.
Hartman warns that the integrity of the files is not assured when making hard-copy proofs. "It involves two RIPs, one for the publisher's output device and one for the plating device; so there is a possibility that some things in the file could change," he notes.
To reduce difficulties with color match and file structure, Ervin advises the publisher, printer and prepress house to work together to ensure the compatibility of their processes.
Of course, every publisher isn't going to be ready immediately to harness digital telecommunications for remote proofing.
Look Ma, no lines!
"Our whole workflow is digital," says David Cohen, director of business development for Cape Cod Life in Pocasset, MA. "We just don't do it over the lines." Cohen represents the many publishers who have kept up with industry technology but whose workload doesn't warrant the use of telecommunications. "We just don't have enough to justify the cost (of digital page transmission)," he remarks. So, the magazine uses an overnight carrier to send files between publication and printer.
Digitizing the workflow has allowed Cohen to quicken internal production. The regional magazine produces 80 to 85 percent of its advertising content in house, so keeping the rest of the book in a digital file made sense to Cohen. He took nine months to analyze his workflow before deciding that a Polaroid DryJet digital color proofing device best met his production needs. Because his production department worked with their printer to calibrate the DryJet, "the printer is satisfied that ... our proofs are acceptable as press guidance," Cohen explains.