Making CTP A Reality
Calvano: We use different printers for CTP. They have different CTP systems and may require different file formats. Slightly different, but not dramatically. For example, I can prepare a book in PostScript file format and ship it on a CD or transmit it via WAM!NET to three different printers and have it print the same at three different locations.
But any one of those printers could say, "Could you not save it as PS and make it TIFF/IT or DCS?" So I can say, "Yeah, we'll do that." I go to my engraver and say, save as DCS. Will it look any different on press? Potentially.
BTM: But you don't see it as a major obstacle.
Calvano: That's right. By the way, I do want to respond briefly to your implied statement that it's easier to prepare film than to prepare pages for CTP. I don't think that's the case. The rules for creating a file of integrity for film output also apply to computer-to-plate file preparation. If you made an error in a file which generated film output that was missing a font, the same thing would happen in CTP, or vice versa. So you're really only changing from outputting film to outputting the file on a plate--you can consider film like the plate.
Yes, you can take that film to another vendor. What about a CTP file? Maybe, maybe not. So some would say that film is easier from an administrative point of view.
Well, yes, you can see film. You can see the film on your shelf. You have an archive somewhere, and you can physically see the film and proof it. You can take the pages down and you can count them and look at them.
Take a computer-to-plate scenario. (Calvano pulls a Jaz disk from a file drawer in his desk.) I've got a book here. No proofs or anything. Here it is on this disk and I'm going to send it to Quebecor to be printed. Six months from now I'm going to send it to Donnelley to be printed. And here it is, the disk. And I can't see 144 pages, feel them and touch them, and make sure they are all here. I can see a directory of the page on the disk here. So I'm going to cross my fingers, hope to die and ship it.