Vertis’ Dave Colatriano on Soft Proofing
TG: What kind of cost savings can it deliver?
DC: That depends on a lot of factors. Number one, how many rounds of proofs do you go through up front? Proofs are not cheap. So if you go through four rounds of proofs that basically are thrown away because you are making changes, it can be a pretty dramatic savings. [You] should be able to calculate this—how many rounds of proofs are you going through right now? And are those rounds full-color proofs? Perhaps the early rounds can be done interactively through soft proofing, minimizing the cost of the hard proofs. Again, it also goes back to the time savings, [which] equates to money as well.
TG: What are the technical requirements?
DC: If you want to have soft color-contract proofs, you need to have a specified color-calibrated monitor, and there’s a list of what monitors are SWOP (specifications for Web offset publication) approved. That’s the industry standard. The more critical the color, the more critical the set up, and that means that when you set up the monitor with the proper viewing profile, you want to make sure you’re in a color-neutral room, the same way we view [paper] proofs. You don’t want color influences outside of the area you are viewing. So it’s critical that you have proper viewing conditions and proper color control over that monitor. If it’s set up properly, it’s very accurate.
TG: Are there any times when you would not recommend soft proofing?
DC: I don’t know that there are any times I would not recommend it, however, people have a preference of what they want to see as a proof. In some cases, people still want to have a paper proof to get an overall look and feel of the piece—you may not be able to get that … on a color monitor. That being the case, we may use a combination of both. A lot of times we make a blueline proof to show where the folds are and how they back up, which is one of the areas of concern.