Pre-Press at Printers and Publications Tools

Subject: Pre-Press at Printers and Publications Tools
From: Gwen Barnes <gwen -dot- barnes -at- MUSTANG -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 16:53:57 GMT

-> The pre-press manager said that they preferred jobs to be created
-> in FrameMaker or Quark Express. The reason being these applications
-> gave them flexibility to massage the data before creating the press
-> plates. Some of the massaging that goes on includes messing with text
I've worked both sides of the street here, as a graphic artist/prepress
technician for large printing companies and color houses, and as a
technical writer. I'm no wannabe one-or-the-other, I have professional
credentials and lengthy experience in both fields.

The last thing I need is to have meaning take second place to
aesthetics, which is what's likely to happen when the graphic artists
and pre-press technicians, with their high school educations and maybe a
bit of art college, get their hands on my files. Mess with my text, I'll
mess with their lives.

I also don't need my left and right quotes turned into straight quotes,
em dashes turned into hyphens, nor do I need "its" changed into "it's"
for every occurrence because someone at the plant thinks it looks wrong
without the apostrophe.

I also don't need them substituting their Times Roman and Helvetica
printer fonts for my selections, then complaining that they had to spend
2 hours a page making it all fit again.

Pound for pound, writers and prepress technicians are equally capable of
ruining carefully-prepared work because neither understand the complete
process of writing, page layout and production. Yet both think they
know it all. I will gladly print my camera-ready pages on an LJ4
at 600 dpi, even if I have to forego a bit of resolution in the end
product, just to have total control over both content and appearance.

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