The widespread use of Cathode Ray Tubes (CTRs) as soft-copy proofing devices in electronic imaging situations has raised serious questions as to their relevance, the appropriate viewing conditions and the necessary design, color and tone characteristics of the color monitors. Proofs are used at many different stages in the print production process. Each stage has different requirements in terms of color acceptance, detail, sharpness, composition and portability. At each level of the approval cycle various measuring devices are used to qualify acceptability. This thesis deals with every-day use and problems of soft-copy proofing. An electronic test pattern was displayed on a color monitor while the same test pattern in hard-copy proof form was displayed under industry standard 5000 degree Kelvin lighting. Fifty printing industry users of these proofing methods, comprising art directors, buyers, quality assurance representatives and electronic pagination users, evaluated the two proofs using the most common method of measurement visual assessment and completed a written questionnaire. This survey covered color and hue variations, detail, sharpness, design, size and portability descrepancies as they related to a soft-copy proof used as a design comprehensive, initial color approval, intermediate proof and/or the final proof. In general, the fifty industry decision makers found the soft copy proof to be acceptable for all the variables listed above when used as design comp, initial color and /or intermediate proof but rejected it in all cases when used as the final proof. The results of this study will enable monitor manufacturers, electronic pagination suppliers and users to better understand how soft-copy and hard-copy proofing differ, what the weaknesses are of each, and which areas are most objectionable. By having industry experts weigh the key differences and similarities between the new and the old proofing methods and by judging the shortcomings and the constraints of each, the soft-copy manufacturers will be able to better rank priorities in improving this developing science, and thus better meet the needs of the people they are serving.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Proofs (Printing); Proofreading; Video display terminals
Department, Program, or Center
School of Media Sciences (CIAS)
Fuhs, Sandra, "A study of the subjective differences between soft-copy and hard-copy proofing" (1988). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus