Latran: Fast-Growing Cloneheads Provides High-End Digital Halftone Proofs
Press release from the issuing company
KNOXVILLE, TN, January 23, 2006 – CloneHeads is a name that everybody remembers. And that’s just what prepress veterans Mark Mayberry and Gilbert Watson want. It’s the unique company name they came up with for the fast-growing prepress house that the partners launched just two years ago in Knoxville, Tennessee.
And it’s a name well known by the leading advertising agencies and corporations that rely on the small company to produce superior retouching and printable digital files for magazine ads, packaging, outdoor, point-of-purchase and web products.
“About 70% of our production is offset magazine ad work,” says Mayberry. “We’re sending ad page files and proofs to major magazines all around the world. We’re serving advertising agencies that send pages to Cosmopolitan, Glamour and other high-brow consumer magazines that are very particular about the proofs they will accept.”
During its startup year, CloneHeads provided only analog proofs to its clients, but was being increasingly pressured by one very important client to switch to dot-based proofing. However, the two big-name dot-based proofers that the partners looked into were well beyond the realistic budget capabilities of their small startup company.
“We definitely needed to go to a dot-based proof. And to be the quality prepress house we wanted to be, we had to have a high-quality proof,” says Mayberry.
Show Me The Proof
When their Anderson-Vreeland rep came in their shop one day and announced that he had an affordable high-quality dot-based proofer for them, they were skeptical, but agreed to see a demonstration of the Latran Prediction digital halftone proofing system.
“The more we saw, the more impressed we were,” Mayberry relates. “But our client who wanted dot-based proofs insisted on seeing proofs only from the big-name film suppliers’ proofing systems. We started sending him Prediction samples and even actually ran proofs with his files. It took a while, but those sharp, accurate SWOP-certified proofs finally convinced him. From the first day we started producing Prediction halftone proofs, we’ve never had a complaint from him or any of our other clients about them. We switched entirely to Prediction proofs, and frankly, it’s been better than we could have anticipated.”
The productivity of the Prediction 2230 allows Cloneheads to produce four to five magazine pages per Prediction flat. At less than 30 minutes per flat, the Prediction can produce dozens of magazine pages a day for Cloneheads.
Mayberry says his clients tell him that their Prediction halftone proofs look like press sheets. He actually goes on press checks with Prediction proofs for certain clients from time to time, and says that press operators find them extremely easy to match. This allows for faster make-ready time on press.
Shortrun Production Mockups
CloneHeads recently had an opportunity to use its Prediction proofs in a unique way for a packaging job involving full-color package mockups for test marketing by a major apparel manufacturer. The prototype packages had to accurately reflect the actual production quality appearance of the final packaging that would be printed on flexo presses.
“The Prediction system enabled us to proof directly on an adhesive-backed transparent poly film, Mayberry explains. “We proofed their graphics, including simulated spot colors, with Prediction’s CMYK ink sheets. Then we backed them up with Prediction’s opaque white ink to give the graphics a density that made it look exactly like the final flexo-printed package as it would appear on store shelves.”
To get the most cost-effective results of the short-run job, dozens of package images were spread out on a Prediction flat, then cut apart and adhered to the test packages. Some 80 flats were produced on the Prediction proofer within an exceptionally fast turnaround time. Shortly after the first run of proofs, the client came back with an order for an additional 40 proofs from the same files for another set of test packages. “This application of Prediction has brought incremental business to Cloneheads,” remarks Mayberry.
“The Prediction has been extremely stable and consistent, proof after proof after proof for all our jobs,” says Mayberry. “I can make a Prediction proof from a file today and if I make a proof from the same file a month from today, it will be identical. We have been very pleased with the consistency of Prediction.”
He says that until they installed the Prediction system, he and Watson were very concerned about having to keep it calibrated. “But we run a color bar on every flat that we produce, and I can tell you that our color on every proof has remained remarkably constant from the very first day that we calibrated this machine.”
In addition to poly film, CloneHeads has calibrated its Prediction system for proofing directly onto paper substrates such as Kromkote, Lustro and even newsprint.
“The newsprint proofs that we make with our Prediction system are by far the closest to actual newsprint printing that you’ll ever see anywhere,” Mayberry points out. “When I show a sample to anyone, they’re totally shocked that we can create a newsprint proof as accurate as that. It’s amazing to see everything that the Prediction system will proof on. I’m sure there are opportunities that we haven’t even thought of for different types of substrates.”
Digital halftone proofing systems are seldom thought of as durable pieces of equipment, but Mayberry has a different take on that. “The Prediction is built like a rock,” he says. “We recently had to move it to our new larger location and asked Latran what we should do. They told us where the lock-downs are, and when we plugged it back in after the move, it started right up and worked just great.”
“We’re just very enthusiastic about the Prediction system,” Mayberry says. “We think there’s no better proofer out there. As far as repeatability, matchability, cost, dependability, I don’t see a flaw in it. It’s a sweet machine.”
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