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Proofing Options: Survey Examines Current Stats and Future Trends

Press release from the issuing company

April 4, 2002 -- CAP Ventures and WhatTheyThink.com have released results of a survey aimed at determining current and future proofing trends. This survey was conducted with 153 U.S. printers in March. Respondents to the survey represented a wide range of companies by various business and demographic factors. It is weighted towards mid to large commercial printers. Nearly 60% of the 153 respondents characterized themselves as general commercial printers primarily offering offset printing services. The other 40% included a mix of digital print specialists (mostly digital), quick printers, prepress services and other graphic service providers. Proofing has seen substantial changes over the last several years. This survey asked print providers to indicate ALL the types of proofing methods they currently use for contract or final proofs. The choices were: Color copier/printer Continuous inkjet (like IRIS) Digital-based laminate Digital printer/press (like Indigo, Xerox) Direct thermal/dye sublimation Drop-on-demand inkjet (like Epson) Dylux PDF Traditional film laminate Other Nearly half (49.4%) of the printers indicated they use PDF for contract proofs. This percentage is NOT the percentage of their contract proofs, it is simply whether or not the company uses this method for any contract proofs. The survey also asked which one of the above methods “do you feel will be most important or account for the majority of your FINAL or CONTRACT proofs in the next two years? The highest percentage of printers cited PDF (23%) as being the most common method for contract proofs in the future. CAP Ventures believes another way to interpret this finding is that many print customers are satisfied with knowing that the images and layout are correct and the color is close enough. They trust the print provider and aren’t willing to pay for a hard copy proof. For many jobs (short run, color copier/printer, etc.) fast turnaround and low costs are the primary drivers, not “knowing what the dots will look like”. In general, high volume plate producing companies were much more likely to currently use film or continuous inkjet methods than lower volume companies. The lowest plate volume print providers were more likely to cite PDF, drop-on-demand inkjet and color copier/printers as the dominant proofing methods in the next two years. Again, the use of these technologies is consistent with the job mix and customer base associated with lower volume print providers. Premium Access Members at WhatTheyThink.com can view complete results including charts, graphs, cross tabulation and more detailed analysis at www.whattheythink.com. About WhatTheyThink.com: WhatTheyThink.com is the print and publishing industry’s leading online community. The company offers a mixture of free and subscription-based content for industry executives. Additionally, WhatTheyThink.com provides a robust content syndication program serving related web sites. For more information, visit www.whattheythink.com About CAP Ventures CAP Ventures is a strategic consulting firm for providers and users of business communication technologies and services. They deliver key research, analysis, forecasting, benchmarking, and strategy recommendations to make a competitive difference in our clients’ businesses. www.capv.com

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