Soft proofing will be in full bloom with the development of networked technology

Reports about the soft proofing technology have not been reported, and the publication has also been published. However, the understanding and promotion of soft proofing technology are still insufficient.

Although soft proofing is not very popular, there are many aliases, such as video proofing, virtual proofing, on-line proofing, network proofing, and so on. However, whatever its name, its ultimate goal is clear and consistent. That is: to shorten the print production cycle, reduce duplication of labor, cut costs, and increase efficiency.

The superiority of soft proofing

The advantages of soft proofing are not difficult to understand. Traditional hard copy proofing is not only time-consuming and time-consuming, but the process of delivery, review, and proofreading is not short, ranging from one day to as many as one week. Errors or delays may also occur. In terms of soft proofing, the most basic method is to send samples in PDF format via E-mail. This is no longer a problem for content validation. As for the standards, stability, and reliability of color, it is through color management software and The calibration of the display screen is controlled, and it is relatively difficult to control the content or the shape of the image. However, special and auxiliary software systems launched by major specialized manufacturers are also more and more, more and more perfect, and the color of soft proofing is improved. The escort of reliability ensures the adoption of soft proofing methods with great results. Such as ICS (Integrated Color Solutions Corporation) "remote control", DALiM software company dialogue system, Kodak Poly Light's Matchprint virtual proofing system and so on. These systems not only provide reliable color proofing for customers to review, but also introduce a new review method—“collective review”, which greatly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of sample review work. The so-called collective review is relative to previous personal examinations. For example, when the client examines the sample, it is sent to the responsible persons such as the business department, production department, technical supervision department, and design department for approval, and finally signed by the factory manager or manager, and then fed back to the printing factory. There may be some problems. The exchange of opinions with the printing factory can be made by both parties. This period not only consumes and delays a lot of time, but also may encounter disagreements, and it is not possible to find out the situation in a timely manner. However, in the case of network proofing, these department and factory representatives, and even the representatives of the printing factories, can sit in front of their screens at the same time, discuss the proofs on the screen, and then determine the amendments. The degree of improvement in its efficiency and effectiveness can be imagined.

As the saying goes: The market is like a battlefield. On the battlefield, sometimes due to a few minutes of error, it will change the fate of the final destination. Since soft proofing shortens the printing cycle by several days or even weeks, it also has a significant impact on the opportunities for commodity packaging or label printing to work in advance. You know, if goods can be put on the shelves of the market one day earlier, it may mean thousands of profits for suppliers.

Concerns about the current implementation of soft proofing

After reading the above introduction on superiority, readers may ask, so why is soft-proofing currently not widely implemented?

There are many factors that affect the color reproduction of color proofing. After all, although it is completely feasible, including proofing as a contract, it is not so simple in practice. For example, the selection of the display screen and the regular calibration work are very critical factors; also, the standard light source environment cannot be ignored. These are the list of necessary conditions for suppliers of soft proofing technology and provide training and guidance.

It is difficult to meet the customer's requirements in soft proofing, but it is not absolute, but also depends on the relationship between the printing factory and the customer. If it is more familiar and friendly, it can be stated that the spot color is completely in accordance with the customer's requirements and that it is printed separately with a spot color ink. The proofing is for reference only and it is also feasible.

The quality of any technology or process, including hardware or software, ultimately depends on the level of operator control. If the same offset press is used, the printing effect will vary depending on the operator. Therefore, the implementation of soft proofing is also required to rely on operators to familiarize themselves with, master and follow certain standards, norms and conditions, can not tolerate discretion or contempt. At the current stage, this may also be the main difficulty that should be overcome. The perfect effect only comes after the accumulation of experience, and the accumulation of experience only after frequent use. If the initial test is not satisfactory and the result is not satisfactory, it will never be able to reach a skilled and superb position.

After all, hard copy proofing has been more than half a century old, and it has not reached the point where there is no problem at all. However, because people have become accustomed to it and accepted it, they will no longer look at it with suspicion, and soft proofing. After all, it is still a new thing. It is a skeptical vision that surrounds it and it is not surprising. However, it is certain that it will eventually grow with the development of networked technologies.

Strong support

The technical support for soft proofing is increasingly strengthened and improved. In addition to the above-mentioned ICS, DALiM, KPG and other companies, there are many suppliers of process solutions that provide better support for their systems. Such as Agfa Delano, Creo Synapse Insite, EFI Colorproof XF, Heidelberg Prinect, Screen Company True Flow Net, Rampage Rampage Remote, Lucid Dream On Time Proof, and many others via browser or server Provides soft proofing support, such as: RealTime Proof online proofing tools, Kodak's LCD display and calibration system and soft proofing software, and software service companies such as Paxonix can provide users with the required software downloads, and settle fees by the number of proofing, etc. . On the basis of the server, the required software can be installed in the self-owned server directly connected to the Internet by the printers, directly for proofing production services.

The development and improvement of these technical support, together with specialized training for operators, believes that the spring season of soft proofing is approaching, which is also the inevitable result of the development of the printing network technology.

Reprinted from: Graphics 270 / June 2006 Author: car Maofeng

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