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All Printing Resources Helps Color Smiths Rebuild After Fire

Press release from the issuing company

GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 17, 2008) – When employees at Color Smiths, Inc. – a suburban Chicago prepress shop – smelled smoke, they ran for the fire extinguisher. Minutes later, the entire building was engulfed and, in a matter of hours, everything was lost. But in just one week, Color Smiths was up and running again, thanks to extraordinary service from All Printing Resources (APR).

"We had an informal plan in case a major catastrophic event caused a shut down of our business, but I never imagined we would need a plan for rebuilding the entire business," says Calvin Hill, owner of Color Smiths. "Despite the loss, there was never a question that Color Smiths would reopen its doors."

Hill says he contacted customers later that day, informed them of the situation and let them know that he was working on locating a temporary facility and getting back into production. "The only question," said Hill, "was how we were going to get the equipment we needed."

Color Smiths is a trade service company in business since 1961. Color Smiths' customers require unique, customized platemaking services, which range from regular offset plates to flexographic plates and dry offset or letterpress. As a result, the company's customers rely on Color Smiths to be able to deliver what they need to keep up their printing operations on schedule and Hill knew he had to have his own operations running again as soon as possible.

Already a customer of APR, Hill leaned on the company heavily in order to get back to business. Within a week, APR installed new and expanded proofing capabilities and assisted in establishing new bench marks as well as ICC profiles.

"The biggest change was with our proofing," he notes. "Previously, we had a digital contract proofer for our high end proofing and used inkjet proofing for our internal and lower end proofing." But, because of advances in inkjet proofing technology, APR recommended and installed an Epson 7880 and Epson 9880 to handle a majority of Color Smiths' proofing needs.

"The inkjet print engines have improved immensely in the last few years and color management systems have taken advantage of those improvements," says Hill. "Now, we use the EFI Colorproof XF digital front end with our Epson proofers and, so far, have been very impressed. This system is much more user friendly and we've been able to fine tune our proofing to meet our customers' printing characteristics."

Because of customers' needs and requirements, Color Smiths also installed a Kodak Approval NX 68 for true dot proofing. "Many of our customers require a true digital dot, but for those that don't, we're able to use the new Epson devices for their projects," explained Hill. "Based on the improvements in proofing technology, we were able to eliminate one system, while greatly improving the quality of the proofs and tightening the variance between the digital proof and the final printed piece.

"We take pride in the integrity of the final press file and in the proofs we provide," he continues. "Every proof we submit – from an on-screen PDF to a true digital dot proof – has been processed through our workflow and then the files are ripped, trapped and then proofed to various devices. These controls and extra steps reduce the number of surprises on press as well as reduces the costs associated with makereadies."

Hill credits APR with helping the company get back on its feet in such a short amount of time. "A number of our customers were surprised," he says. "We have one client that relies on us to prep and proof a monthly publication. We never missed a deadline."

"We'd been working with APR prior to the fire and felt that they provided a higher level of service and support and they met with us regularly to discuss how we could grow our business," said Hill, "but the way they reacted and the assistance they gave us after the fire was incredible. Their help was immeasurable and I'm not sure we would've opened our doors nearly as quickly without them."