More printers are implementing these technologies and persuading their customers to employ soft and remote proofing as part of their workflows. Collins says North Atlantic Books plans to incorporate soft proofing within the next few months, while Willing, who's there already, says online soft proofing is the wave of the future.
The percentage of print buyers who've embraced the technology over the past three years has crept close to the 10-percent to 15-percent range, Zarwan says, and he suspects the user rate is currently higher.
"People are using it a lot more, but whether it's to the extent that they're willing to sign off on something [using a soft proof], I think that [depends on the] function of their relationship with their printer."
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT
One unforeseen benefit of CtP technology that few can debate is the reduction of make-ready waste in the pressrooms. "That wasn't originally pushed as a benefit of CtP," Zarwan says. "For book publishers, paper costs is anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent [of each job]. So if you could save 5 percent to 10 percent, it's huge."
With faster turnarounds, flexibility and new color-management tools, it's hard to argue against moving toward a CtP workflow. And the benefits that print buyers have experienced over the past couple of years will seemingly grow in the future.
- Warren Chiara