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Jan 1, 2001 12:00 AM

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Forty-three percent of customers have unrealistic expectations about the benefits of contract-quality digital proofing, according to respondents of a digital proofing study by GATF (Sewickley, PA). Of those customers, 83 percent had unrealistic expectations about the technology reducing proof price, and 42 percent about the reduction of turnaround times.

GATF's Digital Proofing Study, Part VI documents the perceived performance and customer satisfaction of 109 print shops and prepress service bureaus that use digital proofs. Respondents were asked about the advantages and disadvantages of contract-quality digital and imposition proofing, and their customers' responses to the technologies. They were also asked which proofing device they used most often to create contract-quality proofs.

Other findings include: * Users ranked "less manpower required to make a proof," "reduced film and chemistry purchases" and "faster to generate a proof" as top benefits of contract-quality proofing devices. Most users (42 percent) indicated there were no disadvantages, although 26 percent cited the accuracy of color reproduction of the proof.

* While just more than half of the users said digital proofs were not more difficult to match on press than photomechanical proofs, 57 percent of catalog/periodical printers found it more difficult.

The study is available for $200 ($99 for GATF and PIA members), not including shipping. To order, call (800) 662-3916 and indicate catalog no. 1621; or visit