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Getting Dedicated to Digital Proofing

(July 2006) posted on Tue Jul 11, 2006

Discover how a dedicated digital proofing system can accurately represent your production prints and save you money at the same time.

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By Mike Ruff

I believe the client has a right to see very accurate color before the job goes to press on any device. If I were a client, I would expect to see a print very close to the color target that I received for approval prior to the press run. I would be reasonable and understand that some degree of color variation may occur, but I would expect and demand the color be very close.

Some clients will expect to see a sharp, conventional dot and rosette pattern on the proof. The people who want to see a sharp dot will normally be other printers who have not moved into the world of accurate instrumentation or color management—or they will be clients who are accustomed to working with those types of printers. If only some of your customers demand a clean, conventional dot with a rosette pattern, you needn't spend an extra $150,000 to satisfy 5% of your client base. Buy an in-house proofing system that satisfies 95% of the clients, and then outsource the other proofing work to a service bureau.

Some digital proofers are able to produce a simulated rosette pattern (Figure 4). In some cases, RIP software can handle this task by prescreening the file. The digital proofer then attempts to print the rosette. Some printers have found this to be valuable when clients want to see a full-size sectional proof of a coarse line count.
Troyk Screen Printing, of Milwaukee, WI, services clients who demand to see the final line-count simulation. They expect color accuracy. Troyk uses a professional inkjet proofing system to service this need. Troyk's Roxanne Black says, "Our digital proofing device allows us to show the client what the finished product will look like before going to press. It also eliminates any guess work when it comes to color adjustment."

Most of the value of dot simulation is realized when printing rosette patterns for full-size proofs at low line counts (85 lines/in. and lower). Higher line counts using an inkjet or toner-based proofing device do not produce dots that are sharp enough be useful in moiré prediction. This is why most high-line-count production facilities have just moved on to FM (frequency modulated) dots for proofing.


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