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Thursday, 25 August 2005
By Print 21 Online Article

Reports to Clancy have the members scratching their heads over some of the pointed criticisms of the newly launched heatset web proofing guidelines. One source maintains it’s because the Melbourne professionals are more up to speed, but that’s only stirring. However it does appear that the call for an Australian proofing standard is growing and won’t go away.

Perhaps someone should ask the Federal Government for a science grant, instead of criticising the unpaid 3DAP volunteers.

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One consensus at both meetings is the difficulty in finding good prepress houses. At this stage of the industry’s evolution as stand alone prepress companies hit the wall one by one, printers are left fielding files that are created by designers who have not got a clue. The attempt to ‘dumb down’ the art and science of graphics prepress is producing a generation of operatives without the necessary skills to deliver value to their own customers.

As 3DAP member Bruce Sinnott pointed out to a despairing TAFE teacher at the Sydney launch, the guidelines are only the tip of a pyramid that is built on years of training and eduction.

There is a lot of prepress work that cannot and will not be automated, no matter how good the software.

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Perhaps the 3DAP committee, in addition to its association with its USA counterpart should be looking at getting in touch with the people in Ghent, Belgium. Set up to create, test, and disseminate best practices and specifications for publishing workflows, the Ghent PDF Working Group (GWG) has recently welcomed Heidelberg as its latest high profile member. The GWG, which is comprised of a who’s who of the international industry, focuses on developing standards for the production and pre-flighting of PDF files for a variety of specialist applications based on, and compliant with, ISO PDF/X standards. It’s at some remove from 3DAP’s remit but proofing is part of workflow.

In welcoming the latest member Erwin Danis, Chairman of GWG said, “We would be hard-pressed to overstate the many benefits we, and therefore, the graphic arts industry, will derive from Heidelberg’s membership in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.”

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And while on the subject of proofing … EFI announces the availability of the latest publication in its popular ABC’s Series. ABC’s of Proofing is available free via mail or download at www.efi.com and provides printers and their customers with information and guidance regarding this most important step in the production of print. It joins EFI’s other uniformly excellent titles focusing on the areas where the company has commercial products – ABC’s of Print MIS, ABC’s of VDP, and the ABC’s of Workflow.

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Harking back to the Melbourne/Sydney interchange in the first item, it was pointed out to Clancy recently that perhaps the reason the greater Sydney train commuting public is so obviously underwhelmed by the News Limited ‘freebie’ MX, is that the original title stands for Melbourne Express. Hard to think of a more difficult title to sell, or even give away, around Wynyard station during rush hour.

Certainly advertisers in both Melbourne and Sydney appear to have no difficulty in ignoring the free sheet. Makes you wonder why News bothers?

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And finally … some people voted this as the funniest joke in the world.

A couple of hunters are out shooting pigs when one of them suddenly falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other bloke whips out his mobile phone and calls the emergency services.

“My friend is dead! What can I do?” he asks the operator.

The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Now just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is a silence, then a shot. The bloke comes back on the line.

He says: “OK, now what?”

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