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Color proofing from a press perspective

May 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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We are seeing a lot of new inkjet proofing units on the market, and pressroom staff loves them. There are several reasons for this love affair.

Now, we have a fairly accurate two-sided proofer that can make a proof fast. It is basically a very high quality imposition proofer. No inkjet proofer is perfect in terms of lineup, but some of the new ones are far better than the old ones — and better than pasting two proofs together.

The second reason is improved resolution of process color. Now we see a sharp, clean image. The flesh tones look smooth and screen tints no longer show mottle.

Built in spectrophtometry controls color automatically, maintaining consistency. This is a very big plus. No one wants the same image proofed on different days to look different. It seems as though all customers are color critical.

Great color management can be applied to dramatically cut down on makeready time.

Another reason that more or less sums it all up: a proof that can be matched. To truly make that work, you need to make sure you are printing to a standard and that your print quality is good. In addition, you need to ensure that the process inks you are using match the ISO standard. If you are unsure how to measure print quality, you will find very good information from many suppliers and manufacturers.

Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and operational issues. He is vice president and senior consultant, operations management, NAPL (Paramus, NJ). Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail