Serious about CTP
* If printing in four-color, will the publisher set up calibration routines to match the printer's standard operating procedures, or vice versa?
TIP: When going CTP with color files, it is beneficial for a publisher to set up internal calibration routines with the ultimate printer in mind.
Some ways a publisher and printer might begin to communicate here include the following: A publisher can choose some pages from a film-printed book, send them and their files and film contract proofs to the printer, have the printer proof those files on its digital proofer and, if possible, print them CTP. Or, the printer could supply the publisher with some pages from a CTP-printed book along with the printer's files and digital contract proofs. The publisher could then output the files using the digital proofer that the publisher (or prepress supplier) expects to use.
The publisher (or prepress supplier) can then adjust calibration curves with the printer's input.
* Is there a maximum page size at which fully imposed signature proofs are cost-effective?
* Is there interest in or the possibility for soft proofing (proofing on screen)?
TIP: Repeatable calibration for devices at both printer and publisher is a must for soft proofing.
* Is there interest in or the possibility for remote proofing (files produced at the printer, then sent via telecommunications to a publisher's site, or vice versa)?
If the remote proof is a final, printed out at the publisher's site, does the printer still want a signed proof sent back by overnight courier?
* What is the last proof the publisher will see? Is it color-accurate, or is it a position proof only?
* What is the printer's last internal accuracy check before going to press? Does the printer eyeball final plates against supplied proofs?
No one wants last-minute changes to be standard operating procedure. But to stay timely, breaking news or relevant political events must sometimes be incorporated into a chapter of a book that is about to hit the press.