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GATF Research Study Reports on State of Soft Proofing

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, Pa., June 24, 2003 — The technology necessary to conduct practical soft proofing has come of age according to a new original research study conducted by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF). The quality of manufacturing monitors has matured to the point of consistency between devices that allows for the implementation of soft proofing with confidence in accuracy. To help printers and their clients determine which solution is best for their situation, GATFPress has published the findings of the study. The GATF 2003 Soft Proofing Study examines both soft proofing for content (position, spelling, etc.) and soft proofing for contract color. There are a variety of soft proofing options for contract color and markup available to printers, service bureaus, and anyone who must approve content. The benefits in incorporating remote soft proofing in the production workflow include reducing the number of hard copy proofs in the production cycle, reducing materials, reducing or eliminating courier costs, and maintaining information of clients’ comments for billing purposes. While soft proofing is not a new concept to printers, the method by which proofs are marked up and delivered has evolved. Looking at available markup options, the study examines the applications of each system as well as delivery methods (whether they are browser-based, applications-based, a service, or a software package), as well as the features and limitations of each. In examining the contract color side, the study looked at the ability to manage multiple displays and ensure color accuracy between devices. Results of a measurable comparison to the press sheet and visual assessment as judged by representatives from the printing community are also included. Additionally GATF built a system composed of unrelated software and hardware with the intention of predicting color on a monitor. Results showed that printers could assemble their own soft-proofing solution at this time but may not be able to achieve the level of consistent quality currently offered by vendor solutions. GATF 2003 Soft Proofing Study is the latest study in a series of Research and Technology Reports (RTR) published by the Foundation. As an independent, third-party organization, GATF reports are objective and based on original research. The preliminary results of this study were presented at the GATF Tech Alert conference in February 2003. Now published, the report includes methodology of the study. Illustrated with charts and four-color screen captures, GATF 2003 Soft Proofing Study (ISBN 0-88362-435-4) is a 56-page soft cover booklet available for $99 ($49 for GATF/PIA members), not including shipping. Orders may be placed online from the GAIN Bookstore or by contacting GATF by phoning 800/662-3916 (U.S. and Canada) or 412/741-5733 (all other countries); or faxing 412/741-0609. Mail orders to GATF Products, P.O. Box 1020, Sewickley, PA 15143-1020. Indicate Order No. 1632.