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ICS Demonstrates Remote On-Screen Press Check of Live Job

(September 2003) posted on Tue Sep 16, 2003

Remote Director breaks new ground in contract soft-proofing


Most people think on-screen proofing can only be used for early and intermediate stage proofing. Integrated Color Solutions (ICS) proved otherwise by using its Remote Director proofing system to conduct a color-accurate press check of a live production job.

For a publication to be distributed to guests of the W Hotel chain, prepress company C-t-PLUS and its printing affiliate Inland Press used the monitor-based contract proof to set ink keys on the press and win customer approval. C-t-PLUS felt confident enough to participate in the live demonstration because they have used Remote Director for more than 400 proofs since they installed the system last spring.

For the remote press check, a pressman at Inland Press brought a Heidelberg SpeedMaster 8-color sheetfed press up to color and pulled a press sheet, as he would do for a typical press check. However, in this case, the pressman used a press-side Remote Director display in a GTI light booth to compare the contract proof to the press sheet. Based on that comparison, he adjusted the ink keys on press, brought the press up to color, and produced a press proof.

Then, using a wide-format scanner, the pressman scanned the press proof into a Mac G4 computer equipped with Remote Director software. Within four minutes, the image of the press sheet was displayed on the Remote Director system at C-t-PLUS and inspected by the client.

Because the client was viewing a calibrated display that was color-managed to GRACoL requirements for the #1 commercial paper used in the job, the client was able to inspect the press sheet for registration, dot structure and traps.

ICS vice-president Dan Caldwell observes that proofing continues to be the only non-digital step in the print-production process and suggests that "Confidently maintaining a job entirely in its digital form can result in significant savings of time and money."

During the remote press check demonstration, Inland used ICC profiles created by the Profile City.com division of ICS for the #1 paper. These profiles made it possible for Remote Director to show on screen how the ink would look on that particular paper when printed by Inland's SpeedMaster press.

"Paper is a huge variable in printing"?really a fifth color"?because its color, absorbency, and other attributes affect how a given ink appears," explains Caldwell. "Being able to mathematically describe"?fingerprint"?the press to a specific paper stock lets everyone in the production chain see very closely on screen how the final printed output will look." (Integrated Color Solutions: www.icscolor.com)


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