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For Consolidated Graphics Color is Key in Photo Books

Published on November 11, 2011

Cory Sawatzki, Director of Operations for Consolidated Graphics, shares some of the key things CGX is focusing on with their venture into the photo book niche.

Hi, I’m Cory Sawatzki; I’m with consolidated Graphics out of Houston, Texas.  I’m the Director of Operations Technology.  I felt as if it was important to talk about… being in the photo book industry and that being a niche that we’ve really found to be good for us, one of the things that a lot of people just bypass is the necessity for good color.  You know, what you’ll see is, is you know, these people send their pictures of their families in and you know, not everybody is a color genius or a camera guru, so you get lots and lots of different variables and you have to be able to manage those properly.  

Most of the people who we do photo books with are very savvy when it comes to how to prep those files and give them to us, but we had to find ways of really stabilizing color across and across what’s a worldwide footprint as well.  When you’re printing these books off you know, 60 or 70 different presses, it’s very, very difficult to know that they’re all going to print the same.  

We’ve used a couple of tools that we’ve been really successful with.  We had originally, we looked out to CGS and their Oris technology has been a phenomenal tool for creating device link profiles and keeping those presses stable.  The other thing is, when I talk about you know, savvy clients, you know, those savvy clients need proof that you’re doing what you say you’re gonna do.  You promise them a Delta EF4, you know, you have to prove that and so being as big a footprint as we are, we looked out for tools that would help us control those, centralize them, and be able to keep up with them.  We’ve actually implemented Task Arrow at our major digital facilities to track that color.  It’s, you know, it gives us the ability to really trend presses.  Even to find out if there’s particular times of the day where they maybe fluctuations for some reason, beginning ends of parts of paper, maybe a batch of paper that’s bad.  We have to know those things.  

So through that tool we are able to centrally monitor, keep warnings on about fluctuations and it’s been very successful.  I mean, at the end of the day, you just have to know that if you’re gonna be in that niche, there’s a higher expectation and because of that, you need to be ready to invest and you know, keep up with the technologies that are out there that will allow you to do it because they won’t do it on their own.  And if you’re going that big, **** will be running on several presses, so in different varieties of presses.  So managing that is a heavy project, but it’s one where we’re happy to be in and hope to be in for some time to come.  

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