In the past there was a big difference between the creative people in agencies and the technical experts in pre-press shops. Today a lot of graphic designers are converting digital photos from RGB to CMYK and produce PDF files for printing from their layout programms. In this case they do the classical pre-press tasks.
For agencies it makes sense to see, how they can improve the quality of their internal pre-press tasks. Concerning color management the most important steps are:
- Use high quality monitor with hardware calibration for softproofing
- Choose the correct profile for the CMYK-settings in photoshop and the layout program according to the final printing standard
- create PDF/X files with the correct output intent according to the final printing standard
- use an inkjet based proofing solution which allows verification of proofs
- communicate early in written form (e-mail) with the printing house about profiles and printing standards.
Pre-press companies are getting more and more competion from in-house pre-press departments of agencies, publishing houses and even big print buyers. The automatization of pre-press tasks with PDF colorservers and devicelink-profiles helps to stay competitive for efficient handling of big prepress projects. Detailed knowledge about standardization in printing incl. colorimetric judgment of test prints from printers helps to improve the quality from prepress to print.