Discover how a dedicated digital proofing system can accurately represent your production prints and save you money at the same time.
By Mike Ruff
Reliability is the last factor in pricing. Equipment failure will kill your profitability. Research how often printheads have to be replaced and how often the printing devices have to be linearized and calibrated. Environmental concerns are another consideration. Spending more money doesn't necessarily mean the device is more reliable. Define your needs for dot quality, speed, and price before you research the reliability of the device in question.
Customer acceptance must be a priority. Your client base may be very sophisticated or simply visual, pretty-picture folks. Pretty-picture folks are drawn to saturated colors (reds, blues, and greens) like honey bees to flowers. They never look at the gray balance. Professionals look at the grays first. Therefore, you must consider the degree of acceptance in this choice.
Coyle Reproductions of La Mirada, CA is the choice of many extremely critical print clients because of the shop's ability to show its customers a very accurate digital proof before going to press and then match the proof very closely. Coyle chose its proofing devices at the high-end of the price scale because of the acceptance factor we're talking about.
"Customer acceptance is the main purpose of our decision to invest in a top-end digital proofing device. Our clients are very demanding, and they know what they are looking for," says Scott Jehlik, Coyle's prepress manager. "Now we only produce digital proofs because the digital proofing system is accepted and is more versatile than the best analog proof available. Also, we have the ability to simulate more print configurations."
Most intelligent and educated clients expect two things: accurate image reproduction from the submitted file and a predictable proofing device. File accuracy and print predictability don't seem like much to ask; however, you would be surprised at how many proofing devices there are running amuck in the world of proofing and printing. The devices that are producing inaccurate color targets are frustrating salespeople and challenging the credibility of the printed product they are supposed to be simulating. These same frustrated salespeople have to make excuses for these poorly profiled devices.
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