Living Digitally in a Four-Color World
Proofing four-color CTP
The most common proofs used today for high-resolution digital proofing of the four-color work are Kodak Approval, DuPont Digital WaterProof, Fuji FirstProof and Iris proofers, experts agree. "People have become comfortable with (Approval and Iris) like they are comfortable with DuPont Cromalin or Fuji ColorArt," comments Bauer.
"For less expensive proofs, there are dyesubs, inkjets and various other laser proofs which are too numerous to mention," offers Andersen. "Emerging as ... popular today is the HP8 page-imposed laser proof which is used in conjunction with Creo and Barco platesetters," he says, adding that he feels improvement in that area is still needed to make publishers more comfortable with choosing CTP.
"... A common proof today for books I believe is digital blueline (DBL) developed by Creo," says Franzino. According to him, DBL replaces conventional Dylux proofs. "We believe inkjet to be both cost-effective and color-accurate," adds Franzino. Roanoke's R.R. Donnelley plant also uses DBL.
Phoenix Color uses its ColorNet system digital proof almost exclusively for both CTP and traditional plate production processes, says Ervin. Since Phoenix does a lot of work that is more than four-color, what Ervin wants to see more of are the six- and eight-color proofing systems "that are beginning to hit the market that we will be able to apply to the ColorNet system very nicely."
"The only questions are cost and customer demand," he adds.
At Quebecor, in addition to the DuPont Digital Waterproof, Gerber Impress and DuPont Digital Dylux devices are used to produce digital folded and trimmed double-sided proofs, says Charlton.
For Banta, Wills ranks the proofing systems as "good," "better" and "best" and identifies the different purposes they serve. "Good" is the DuPont Digital Dylux, a black-and-white duplexed laser copy used for bleeds, margins and editorial and graphic placement only. "Better" is the Kodak Digital Science 1000, a large-format inkjet proofer which produces a fully imposed, full-color, 300 or 600 (black-and-white) dpi proofs used for imposition, editorial and graphic placement and color breaks. The "best" is Fuji FirstProof, a CMYK ink-transfer proof used for color matching on press. Fuji FirstProofs, Wills comments, although not as high quality as Kodak Approval, serve as a better economical alternative. "We've had good luck with them," he notes. Rainbow, Iris and Kodak Approval proofing devices are all fine, he continues, as long as the operator "takes the time to calibrate the device, preferably with a spectrophotometer to take the guesswork out of the equation."