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Digital Remote Soft Proofing: The Key to Effective Color Communication

(June 2008) posted on Thu Jun 19, 2008

Digital remote soft proofing offers screen and digital printers a way to improve color control, speed up time to press, and greatly reduce rejects. Read on to find out more about this technology and some of the other benefits you can reap when you implement a remote soft proofing system.


By Mark A. Coudray

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The second is from the wholly inadequate technical training at the collegiate level, which focuses primarily on Website design and suffers from a greatly diminished emphasis on print. Designers—the majority, it seems—who graduate from these schools are uninformed of and unprepared for the consequences of failing to understand the importance of a managed digital workflow. This puts the burden of education on the print provider to educate the rest of the supply chain on the variables that affect the outcome of their creativity.

There’s a real need for ongoing education of best practices if printers have any hope of achieving continuity with the rest of their supply-chain partners. This education may well be provided by the Screen Printing Technical Foun-dation or Specialty Graphic Imag-ing Association. Short of this, an entire niche industry of color consultants can provide this information.

Finally, education implies accountability. If files are created and assembled from a questionable workflow, the real liability lies with the creators, not the printers. There’s no possible way to expect a printer to hit an undefined moving target. Basing acceptable color approvals on luck means no positive expectancy of consistent results. Any variation that results on press, and the associated costs, should be borne by the appropriate creators of the questionable files. Printers have carried the burden for too long.

The viability of domestic manufacturing depends on flexibility, agility, predictable performance, and low operating cost. These are the benchmarks of best practices, and they depend on a stable foundation upon which our digital files are created.

 

Options for virtual proofing and collaboration

Let’s turn our attention to what is out there and working today. The major providers are Kodak Digital Sciences, Dalim, GMG Americas, CGS Publishing Technologies, and Integrated Color Solutions (ICS). According to my discussions with many offset and publication printers, the current system of choice appears to be ICS’s Remote Director (www.icscolor.com). The company is much smaller than the industry giants it competes with, but in this case size seems not to matter. The innovative and robust solution ICS has created and implemented is garnering rave reviews from those who use it.


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