Print and Media Management
Considered and informed investment in colour management can benefit buyer and supplier alike. It is one of the few areas where increases in quality and efficiency go hand-in-hand.
Chapter Press are a young company who demonstrate how good colour management can benefit all round. According to Chapter, the decision to invest was an easy one. Jonathan Savory, director of Chapter Press, tells us: "We felt strongly from the outset that there was little sense in making the considerable investments required to start a printing company without also investing thoroughly in colour management. The ability to accurately measure, analyse and calibrate through the proofing and printing process holds clear advantages for us and our clients in terms of expectation, not to mention the efficiencies and cost savings from improved productivity which we are able to pass on to our clients"
Jonathan goes on to say: "Here is an industry that benefits from enormous R+D yet if you asked the majority of print buyers whether they are used to seeing accurate colour matching between (for instance) digital proofs and press sheets, especially when printing onto uncoated materials, the answer is generally that they are not, and you have to ask yourself why, when the technology and support is there for everybody to take advantage of……….. With the level of investment that our clients make in their photography we really do owe it to them to make the best use of the wonderful technology available to us"
So, should print buyers expect to see a marked improvement in image reproduction? Of course, much of that depends upon the supplier. We asked two of Chapter’s clients, DAKS and Ted Baker, how they found the experience: Dan Maxted, Senior Designer for Ted Baker, said "We have high expectations from our imagery. Sometimes when you are happy with the way things are it is difficult to envisage improvements beyond what you know. However, having now worked with a supplier who is committed in this area I now have a lot more confidence in knowing exactly what we are going to achieve on press well before we even reach that stage. In our field that is an invaluable benefit". Similarly, Bretton Bird of DAKS commented "We recently printed a Lookbook at Chapter onto an off-white uncoated material. The press-pass was a formality. Chapter had run a digital proof with an uncoated setting that matched the press sheet with such accuracy it was difficult to tell the two apart."
Upon winning ‘Printweek Brochure Printer of the Year’ in 2009, Chapter were said by the judges to have illustrated an ‘exceptional understanding of the printing industry’. If that judgement is anything to go by, then it is worth investigating the benefits that colour management has to offer.