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The design industry has a great many standards, computerized color checking, electronic transmission of files to presses. Yet printing is still an inexact science. Colors that match up perfectly in the computer still come out just a little bit off -- and then your CEO's nose looks red, your beautiful green grass looks a sickly yellow, or the color separations don't quite line up right.
One job a production artist may be asked to do is press checking -- going over a product as it comes off the press, suggesting color corrections and looking for printing errors. This is not the time to fix the headline or substitute a new photo -- you're only looking for things the press operator can control.
When doing a press check, respect your press operator. Ask or suggest rather than order, and listen when the press operator explains compromises that may have to be made -- sacrificing the fidelity of one photo so as not to throw another too far off, for example.
Time is money, both for your employer and for the press operator. So be thorough, but be quick. When the product is almost right, go ahead and let the press operator start the run. Minor corrections can be made as the press is running.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|