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From imagesetting to color proof

From pre-press workflow to color proofing, new generation inkjet printers are rapidly changing the way the printing is done.

Digital workflows are changing and challenging every aspect of traditional printing.

Production deadlines are compressed, and print-runs shortened.

Now more than ever, the right investment in printing technology can impact and enhance your business' bottom line.

New applications and business opportunities for the printing industry are being created, including digital photography, image warehousing, color management, archiving services, multimedia, new media, and variable data publishing.

In the past, the printing industry has, traditionally, been driven by the owners of the production processes - the designer, typesetter and studio, the scanning and film bureau, the printer, finisher and binder.

Today, it has mushroomed into an array of polyvalent service houses offering a broader spectrum of these processes at a quicker pace and lower costs.

Now more than ever, the right investment in printing technology can impact and enhance your business' bottom line.

Getting it right the first time

What would commercial quality prints be without color proofs? Well, now that is a reality.

Traditionally, when presenting color concepts and mock-ups to clients, these designers have produced printouts on color laser printers or paid for expensive digital prints or film proofs from pre-press houses.

Color laser prints, created in-house, are an economical means of displaying designs and layouts. High quality digital or film proofs outsourced from a specialist repro house bring great color assurance, but can also prove expensive and time-consuming. Both alternatives offer advantages and serve their purpose well.

New inkjet technology solutions, however, enable graphics professionals to create more accurate and cost-effective colour concepts and mock-ups.

New printers, like HP's DesignJet ColorPro GA printer, enables customers to make top-quality B-sized conceptual color proofs.

Designed to be a digital colour proofing system, commercial printers like ColorPro delivers the ability to produce high quality Matchprint proofs into the hands of designers and graphics professional.

Instead of having to spend $25 for a digital proof produced by a pre-press house, not to mention the time and cost of courier delivery charges, designers can now create their own digital proofs for roughly $5 per proof.

That's a 80 percent savings in cost.

Furthermore, with digital printing solutions, you can also place color proofing earlier in the pre-press workflow, increasing productivity and cutting down on errors further down the production chain where it can become costly.

Getting it right before it's too late

Today's digital workflow has spawned a new printing paradigm - computer-to-plate or in some cases, computer-to-paper (CTP).

Eliminating film output speeds up the production process, and also removes the costs of imagesetting and developing systems, films and chemicals.

In essence, moving to CTP requires the removal of one key stage of the classic pre-press process - imagesetting or film output - by going, as the name suggests, directly from the computer to the plate or to paper output.

Eliminating film output speeds up the production process, and also removes the costs of imagesetting and developing systems, films and chemicals.

In the classic pre-press workflow, film output is used as the base for analogue proofing to check the content and page layout - before committing the job to plate-making and to the presses.

Similarly, CTP technology users will need an alternative digital colour and imposition proofing solutions.

The solution is large-format printer, which as been developed to deliver imposition proofing. Supported by the majority of pre-press workflows and file formats, large-format digital printers are able generate fast imposition proofs at minimum costs per copy.

Getting it right every day

In addition, larget format inkjet printers can also provide a means for generating halftone proofs on a variety of paper stocks so that page layout and color consistency can be thoroughly assured before going to press.

The ability to print accurately, quickly and cost-efficiently adds value and can help gain a competitive edge in reducing a company's bottom line .

When used in conjunction with advanced ink control technologies, such as HP's SeeColor RIP, which controls the number of ink drops per pass, a printer can create halftone proofs of up to 110 lpi at high speeds, providing a crucial quality control function to the printing process.

In conclusion

Now that the digital age may be upon us, printing technologies are being recognised as offering tremendous business advantages. The ability to print accurately, quickly and cost-efficiently is now more than ever within the reach of mainstream businesses, adding value and gaining a competitive edge where it counts - the bottom line.