By Noel Ward, Executive Editor June 11, 2006 -- Ever since the desktop computer began its frontal assault on document design and creation, two elements, fonts and graphics, have posed challenges to efficient production. Fonts seem like a problem that will never truly go away, while graphics--from illustrations to photography--continue to be plagued by issues of image resolution, color accuracy, and the various aspects of image quality. The bookcases in my office bear testament to the challenges these topics pose. Well-populated with books on all aspects of print production, a disproportionate number seem to deal with ways of ensuring the images used in a document will print correctly on an offset or digital press. The latest addition is Digital Color Correction by Pete Rivard, whom you may recognize as a regular columnist here at ODJ. Rivard's day job is Principal Instructor for Digital Imaging at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In that role he's charged with taking students, often with little or no knowledge or experience in photography, print production, or design, and turning them into experts in image editing, manipulation, color correction and more. His new book, focused primarily on the tools available in Adobe Photoshop, is certainly a worthy text for students at Dunwoody, and is also one that should be on the shelf next to every graphic designer and digital prepress person in the land, no matter how much they know (or think they know) about their craft. While I'm familiar with the relevant issues of image preparation and can discuss them in some depth, I usually don't have to spend time doing much more than basic image editing and color correction. When I have had to work with images of less than ideal quality I've used some of the texts on my shelves, but too often I find them like going to the Department of Motor Vehicles--you have to do this before you can do that, so you have to be in the other line. Groan. They help, but it's not always easy to get where you want to go. The same goes for the official and unofficial software manuals for Photoshop. The info is all there but it is often less than readily accessible. Rivard's book takes a different approach. While it is written to take a novice from their first foray into image editing and color correction though some fairly high-end work, you don't necessarily have to have read and understand all the earlier chapters to use some of the more advanced techniques he shows. This is a crucial difference in approach. Each technique and step is described in relationship to achieving the effect desired, with mostly full-color examples that usually show the before and after results. This enables a designer to more easily edit and color correct images so the final document they create will print correctly with no surprises on digital presses, both DI and toner-based. Adding value, Rivard often describes real-world projects as examples of how a technique has been used to make a final document more effective. The other big advantage of this book over similar volumes is that Rivard (as ODJ readers already know) is a gifted writer. His tone is friendly and conversational as he coaches the reader through different processes and the theory behind them. His time in front of a class, making sure everyone understands a concept, really comes through and makes this book a winner. You can find Digital Color Correction online at Delmar Learning and at Amazon.com.