Pre-Press, Messing with Your Text, and the Coming Revolution: Part 3

Subject: Pre-Press, Messing with Your Text, and the Coming Revolution: Part 3
From: Harold Henke <hessian -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 1995 09:32:54 MST

Hi all, first I should not have used the phrase "messing with your text"
as far as what is done in a pre-press shop. The pre-press shop might
do some kerning and massaging to keep your text on a page. This
does not happen too often. And generally, the pre-press operators, who despite
the assertion they "may have a year of art college", know not to mess with
the customer's stuff unless they customer is aware of it. (BTW, pre-press
people are paid comparable salaries to technical illustrators and
writers.)

But the reason I am interested in pre-press is that there is a revolution
brewing in the print industry that will impact us. The revolution is the
growing use of print-on-demand and pre-press digital data. Now many
of us are already using print-on-demand, which can be a simple as I have
a PostScript file and I print it on my printer, or my printer uses
a production printer such as the DocuTech Production Publisher, Heidelberg
GTO-D1, Indigo E-Print 1000, and Xeikon DCP-1 to print my PostScript
file, or output directly from my desktop publishing application. The common
factor with each of these printers is that your data goes directly from
the application to the printer. This means no film, no proof, and no plates.
And the Heidelberg, Indigo, and Xeikon are all color printers that support
color print-on-demand. (Note the Heidelberg does use a plate but the plate
are created by lasers.)

So what? The so what is that:

* Costs should be reduced because most of the set-up fee should go away.
* Printers will be able to print books in small quantities to fill your
orders. (In essence, just-in-time inventory management.)
* In-house publishing will grow. Many companies will make an investment
in these printers to publish their own information and reduce print cycles.
(Just imagine, you can make that last minute change and print
another thousand books. Scary, isn't it?)

Sorry for the long winded note, but its windy here in the Colorado Rockies.

Harold Henke
Pennant, the IBM Printing System
Boulder, CO


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