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Screen-Preparation Heroes

(October 2007) posted on Tue Oct 02, 2007

Screen prep is often a thankless job. This month, Roberts addresses the importance of the screenmaking department and sets the stage for a series of columns in which he'll discuss ways to improve quality and efficiency in this critical area.


By Gordon Roberts

Typically, this is when the production manager arrives and asks where the screen is because it’s due to be on the press next and the job has to ship today. The question is always the same: Can’t you speed it up a little? The screenmaker knows very well that the most dangerous thing that he can do is to hurry up the process. The screen-prep person also knows that the best made screens are the ones that have sat all night in the drying cabinet before they were exposed. However, as usual, there is no time for that, so the screenprep folks have learned to live on a knife’s edge, always pushing the envelope and using their skill and judgment to get the job done on time with as few problems as possible.

Next, the screen prepper blocks out the screen and fills in pinholes. How hard is it to dab a little filler into a hole? You often ask this question when you summon your prep person out to the press to point out the holes he or she missed. Mean- while, they are thinking that they might not miss so many holes if they weren’t interrupted every few minutes. But once again, they know that it’s better, and often less stressful, to smile and apologize, and then get back to work.


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