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Soft sell

May 1, 2009 12:00 AM


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Don't look now, but there's a quiet monitor-based proofing revolution afoot, says prepress veteran Larry Warter. “Color measured data is replacing density and dot gain for determining quality printing but images will still be proofed,” he says. “This revolution could have a direct bearing on the future of the printing industry because of the potential to increase speed and quality with no increase in costs.”

While soft proofing has speed, quality and price advantages, hard proofs are unlikely to disappear entirely. “They may still be kept to fill some market needs,” says Warter. If you're still on the fence about monitor-based proofing, Warter suggests attending the IPA Technical Conference June 8-10, 2009 in Rosemont, IL. “Come to the IPA Proofing RoundUp and make up your mind,” he urges. See www.ipa.org/tech.

Certified colors in a single click

LaCie's (Hilsboro, OR) Blue Eye Pro Proof Edition monitor calibration and profiling solution ensures certified colors in a single click. Specifically designed to integrate with prepress and other soft proofing-based workflows, its advanced test and report function allows the most demanding users to perform color accuracy verifications based on UGRA/FOGRA Mediawedge standard colors.

See www.lacie.com.

Quebecor extends Remote Director contract

Integrated Color Solutions (ICS) (New York) has signed an extended three-year contract to provide Remote Director to Quebecor World for its North American premedia and print facilities.

Remote Director is designed to increase production efficiency while reducing costs and hard copy waste associated with traditional proofing. According to Quebecor World, since implementing online monitor proofing three years ago, Remote Director has helped the company to increase production throughput, improve quality, and realize savings by reducing the number of hard copy proofs.

Remote Director was selected by Quebecor World for its accuracy, color, and real-time proofing capabilities as well as flexible, multi-platform and multiple monitor support.

“In addition to achieving color-accurate proofs, Remote Director helps us to streamline our production for increased productivity that never sacrifices quality,” says Jean-François Cuillerier, vice president, technology/customer solutions, Quebecor World Inc. “It's also an eco-friendly solution that helps reduce hard copy waste. By saving time and resources we're able to continue to provide the highest level of support and service to our customers.”

See www.icscolor.com.

The best of both worlds

At Graph Expo 08, JUST Normlicht (Langhorne, PA) and ICS announced that ICS' support for JUST Normlicht's JUST USB Interface has resulted a simultaneous hard and soft proofing solution. ICS Remote Director's platform-independent, real-time calibration across devices allows it to automatically control luminous values and viewing conditions in many of JUST Normlicht soft proofing viewing stations from any remote location. Remote Director lets users control, set and adjust the viewing brightness of JUST Normlicht's Virtual proofStation, colorCommunicator and proofStation SP product lines for precise proofing.

“JUST Normlicht has made it possible, for the first time, for the image on the monitor and the printed piece to be compared directly under standardized light,” says Michael Gall, CEO of JUST Normlicht. “Remote Director maximizes the return on this functionality with its real-time and continuous device calibration across all viewing stations.”

See www.justnormlicht.com.

GMG releases ColorProof upgrade

GMG (Hingham, MA) has announced GMG ColorProof 05, a completely revised version featuring a simple, intuitive user interface, proof standard technology and calibration sets that define parameters for correct and color accurate proofs. Users just select the appropriate proof standard — GMG ColorProof 05 does the rest. The proof standard defines all parameters necessary for correct, color accurate proofs including the print standard to be simulated, corresponding GMG color profile or ICC profile, proofing media, printer used for proofing and calibration set. ColorProof supports remote proofing, soft proofing, load balancing; filter rules for automated production; and optimized combined form function.

See www.gmgcolor.com

New SpectroEye and DensiEye options

X-Rite's (Grand Rapids, MI) SpectroEye spectrophotometer is now shipping pre-loaded with the widely-supported ISO 12647-2 process control standard database. This new feature offers an out-of-the-box pressroom quality control tool to help printers achieve ISO compliance on their jobs, and allows them to start working immediately with the knowledge and confidence that all their color measurements will be made according to IS0 12647-2 standards.

X-Rite also has a new addition to its DensiEye line of portable pressroom reflection densitometers. The new DensiEye 100 provides users with density and grey balance data to ensure the quality, accuracy and stability of their prints.

See www.xrite.com.

Coming soon: even better integration

At the U.S. Dalim Software Users Organization (DUO) meeting held this past March in New Orleans, Carol Werlé, Dalim's CEO provided an overview of the company's new ES core technology, which includes an ES Core Engine mapping and coordinating all Dalim Software components to functional departments in a print or publishing organization. New versions of the Dalim Software solutions will be phased in over the next two years, beginning with DiALOGUE ES, followed by TWiST ES in late 2009 and MiSTRAL ES in 2010. The ES versions will have improvements in areas of job structure, web interface and job processing.

In another presentation, Dov Isaacs, principal scientist at Adobe Systems Inc., demonstrated how inconsistencies in PDF files and the print production workflow can be avoided by utilizing the Adobe PDF Print Engine. The Adobe Compliancy Package will be embedded in both DALiM TWiST and DALiM DiALOGUE in 2009.

See www.dalim.com.

Access IPA articles online, too

The IPA Bulletin magazine is now available online as well as in print. Don't miss the March/April issue featuring Larry Warter's “Time to give soft proofing a new name,” an overview of social media and more. See www.ipabulletin.com.

Online exclusive

At www.americanprinter.com, you'll find interviews with ICS user Brown Printing (Waseca, MN) and Dalim user Publishers Press (Shepherdsville, KY).

Cataloger embraces soft proofing

RR Donnelley and Quebecor earned 2008 Golden Cylinder Awards from the The Gravure Assn. of America for JCPenney catalogs produced using Publishing Technologies Intl.'s (Minneapolis) ORIS Soft Proof.

JCPenney has adopted the ORIS Soft Proof workflow with Eizo CG221 monitors and ORIS Certified Monitor certification software to streamline print file production, minimize costs, save materials and energy, and incorporate color copy and layout changes to shorten the creative and pre-production process. Final certified PDF files are submitted to the printing plants where tests charts and spectrophotometers are used for a close color match on press to the local certified monitors.

“We are honored to be featured in two Golden Cylinder Awards,” says Trevor Haworth, CEO of CGS. “Soft proofing really shows its true value to the whole printing and publishing industry, not only in savings in proofing materials and freight, but also in shortening the upstream process through quicker and more accurate design decisions taken at the creative stage. JCPenney has shown the way forward with a totally soft proof creation-to-production catalog.”

ORIS earns certification for Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900

CGS recently announced that ORIS Color Tuner is the first system to receive GRACoL and SWOP certification on Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 printers. ORIS Color Tuner utilizes all of the features of the built-in SpectroProofer of the x900 series to provide for fully automated calibration. See www.cgs-oris.com.