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EVALUATING DIGITAL PROOFERS

Dec 1, 2000 12:00 AM


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The digital proofing system you choose will depend on the following factors, according to Larry Warter, associate director, new business development, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc., who spoke at the Research & Engineering Council Critical Trends Breakfast during Graph Expo:

1. Workflow. Will you be using the proofing system to output a concept, contact or contract proof?

2. Engine and media. "The engine gives you resolution and speed; the media gives you the gamut," Warter explains. "Together, they give you reliability." With that, the exec adds, printers must also balance their desire for predictability or flexibility, and dots or no dots.

3. Color management. Printers will be using targets and making proofs to match other areas. "Will this be automatically via color management systems, or through a manual process?" Warter asks.

4. Adjuncts.

Warter also discussed five trends with digital proofing systems that may affect a printer's purchase:

1. There are a limited number of engines being used.

2. There is a trend to very large-format inkjet proofs. Warter listed DuPont Color Proofing, Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Fuji, Imation and Agfa as some vendors offering these large-format systems.

3. Focus on spot colors. "There is a need to do non-process colors, and correctly," Warter says. "There are a fair number of analog systems that are mixing ink."

4. The use of color management systems to match families of proofs. According to the exec, content and contact proofs are getting closer to matching contract proofs.

5. The market is seeing different systems that address different needs, such as direct-to-paper systems (such as Imation's) and hexachrome-compliant systems (from Polaroid Graphics Imaging, for example). Warter also mentioned DuPont's IGC series and Fuji's Pictro and FinalProof models.