The prepress industry has witnessed unprecedented change over the last decade. Economic changes in the prepress industry have caused publishers of short run publications to depend on a variety of sources for color proofing materials. Color proofs can be supplied from as many as fifty different proofing systems. Advertisers now provide complete and partial advertisements directly to the publication printer. These changes have caused not only a reorganization of work flow in publication printers, but a need to examine more stringent rules concerning the variety of color proofs accepted for one publication. Color proofs, which are used for on press color approval, are supplied from three primary sources: Proofs produced by the publisher's on site production department Proofs supplied by the publisher's service bureau(s) Proofs supplied by the publisher's advertiser The publication printer's task is to receive supplied materials, process these materials through the production process and use these materials for on-press color approval. Contractual arrangements between the publisher and the publication printer exist which establish how, and to what extent materials will be processed, or examined. These processes depend upon the submission of "accurate" color proofs. Lack of training of the publication printer's personnel, and film and film related issues result in the processing of unacceptable proofs through the production progress. Proofs that do not accurately represent desired color are used as press color target. The author hypothesizes that the greater the variety of color proofs used, the more likely a color quality complaint will be submitted. The use of such proofs results in inferior or unacceptable product being produced on press. A publication printer that produces a range of publications exists as a microcosm of the printing industry. Three publications produced at a color publication printer will be evaluated as to type of proofs submitted for issues produced for distribution in 1997 - 1998. These publications will be called publication A, publication B, and publication C. All three publications use supplied proofs received from film houses, advertisers, or are customer generated proofs. Proofs produced by the printer will not be considered. Customer color quality complaints for these publications will be gathered so a degree of customer dissatisfaction can be quantified. Customer complaints exist in three formats: Written complaints submitted by the publisher Verbal complaints documented by the customer service representative through quality complaint inquiries. The submission of marked up copies showing folio pages considered "less than acceptable" quality. Information gathered will be evaluated and a conclusion will be made about whether publications with a greater variety of color proofs received a higher number of quality complaints.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Proofs (Printing); Color printing; Preprints
Department, Program, or Center
School of Print Media (CIAS)
Collins, Kim, "An Investigation into the applications of color proofing technology in a publication printing plant" (1998). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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