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Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

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  #11  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:14 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

I haven't made any sort of proof in years. It's all well and good, in theory, to be knocking out proofs but in practice if you aren't totally in control of the process it is nothing more than a pantomime. All my clients like to make their own proofs and then nail the printer down to matching them! Suits me as I avoid any post mortems lol.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2014, 02:20 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

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It's all well and good, in theory, to be knocking out proofs but in practice if you aren't totally in control of the process it is nothing more than a pantomime.
The reason to make a proof, a Contract Proof is so if you end up at the press check and the output from the press isn't matching (within reason) the proof, you're off the hook. You don't pay, you don't do anything but show up when the pressman has that press and the contract proof matching. Unless you want to spend say $5000 an hour mucking around on the press until you get something that is a close match. A contract proof is far more cost and time effective.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2014, 05:55 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

Call me a cynic but I've heard a thousand times "make a proof (any type) and we'll match it". Lo and behold the proof cannot be matched and the response is "aww, it's only a proof". I know what proofs are for but I also know what it's like (from my agency days) to stand there with the guy with the ink and the spatula, on a tight time deadline, just hoping to get somewhere within an acceptable commercial standard. I love looking at proofs: I just wouldn't bother producing them unless there was a big financial reward for doing so.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2014, 06:11 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

IF it's a contract proof, you've got a contractual agreement for a match. If there's no agreement, the proof probably isn't worth whatever it's printed on. There are proofs and there are proofs. If you deal with a print shop that either will not produce or abide by a contract proof, you may be screwed.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2014, 09:08 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
I'd never assume that any print output is 'standardized' and thus, without absolute guarantee by having the output profile and permission to convert that data, I'd leave the data alone. And unless I knew the other people in the workflow fully understand color management, I'd never hand them Adobe RGB (1998). That's a recipe for disater in the wrong hands.

What you could do is this: convert from RGB to this assumed standardized CMYK output, then BACK to sRGB. Hand them the sRGB data. What this would do is place all the RGB data within the gamut of the assumed output gamut while handing them something they can convert to CMYK. Yes it takes time and there's some data loss. But it will work if you know the people getting the RGB data are color management impaired. Let them convert and provide you specific documentation that does not hold you responsible for any color/tone issues on-press.

Sorry, but that doesn't make sense. You seem to want to be part of a process that you are not in control of in almost any way. Why would you convert to a CMYK and then, of all things, back? You seem to think that it's some sort of pump priming of the image, getting it ready for the final conversion. But, all you've done is eliminated color data in the original. Why not just give them the Adobe RGB and be done with it. I worked for a major publisher, and their workflow was, and probably still is, Adobe RGB until final conversion in page assembly. The original image is never converted, and, in essence, never will be. You're just supplying raw material to them.There is no way you have any idea how to convert and proof an image accurately unless you are sitting side by side with the pre press guys, and you guys like each other enough to collaborate. But, I wouldn't recommend it. Been there, done it. Retouching is much more interesting. Prepress is for dullards these days.

It's not a "recipe for disaster". It's how it's done every week and month for thousands and thousands of images.

Sorry, but this whole contract proof thing is just urinating in the wind. Unless you're making a ton of money from one. But, then again, it seems to imply that you are then on some sort of hook if there are issues matching that proof. No thanks. I would not want to be responsible for incompetents down the line.
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2014, 09:22 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

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Why would you convert to a CMYK and then, of all things, back?
Because now that sRGB document has no out of gamut colors for conversion to CMYK, where as before, there was and if not converted correctly, more color issues. It's simply a way to hand off tagged RGB data that is less likely to be screwed up by someone doing the conversion.
Quote:
Why not just give them the Adobe RGB and be done with it.
Lots of possible OOG colors. Handing people who don't have a clue about color management Adobe RGB (1998) is a bad idea.
Quote:
Retouching is much more interesting. Prepress is for dullards these days.
Yup and if you never have to deal with prepress, you're lucky. Just retouch. If you do have to hand off files with people in prepress who might hose the data, and you're in a possible positon to get blamed, anything you can do to mitigate conversion problems is helpful.
Quote:
It's not a "recipe for disaster". It's how it's done every week and month for thousands and thousands of images.
Much of it output poorly or even worse, much of that blamed upon people outside that prepress shop who handled that data prior to output. That's WHY contract proofs exist. Been done this way for decades and decades.
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Sorry, but this whole contract proof thing is just urinating in the wind.
If you're the person responsible for the color, or if you're in a position to be blamed for the color due to your hand in the work, that's a foolish attitude. The reason we have contract proofs is so someone is contractually responsible for problems on press. If you have deep pockets and are OK paying for more press work, go for it man. To suggest that a contract proof isn't useful shows some ignorance on your part and contract proofs are produced every week and month with thousands of images.
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2014, 09:41 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
Because now that sRGB document has no out of gamut colors for conversion to CMYK, where as before, there was and if not converted correctly, more color issues. It's simply a way to hand off tagged RGB data that is less likely to be screwed up by someone doing the conversion.

Lots of possible OOG colors. Handing people who don't have a clue about color management Adobe RGB (1998) is a bad idea.

Yup and if you never have to deal with prepress, you're lucky. Just retouch. If you do have to hand off files with people in prepress who might hose the data, and you're in a possible positon to get blamed, anything you can do to mitigate conversion problems is helpful.

Much of it output poorly or even worse, much of that blamed upon people outside that prepress shop who handled that data prior to output. That's WHY contract proofs exist. Been done this way for decades and decades.

If you're the person responsible for the color, or if you're in a position to be blamed for the color due to your hand in the work, that's a foolish attitude. The reason we have contract proofs is so someone is contractually responsible for problems on press. If you have deep pockets and are OK paying for more press work, go for it man. To suggest that a contract proof isn't useful shows some ignorance on your part and contract proofs are produced every week and month with thousands of images.
OK, before we go any further here, I have to call you on something. Where have you worked in prepress, and how many of these "contract proofs" have you made and handed off to printers?

I am going to wave something at you and repeat, again, that I worked prepress for a long time for the biggest magazine publisher in America, and then went off and worked prepress in a very large and modern printing plant in upstate NY that printed millions of magazines a year for said publisher and others. I have been around color management a few times. And, if some photographer or retoucher showed up at that plant, or even the creative department of any of that publisher's magazines with a "contract proof", telling someone that the final product had to match it, he or she would have been politely laughed out the door, unless they were some ungodly superstar like Annie Lebovitz or Walter Looss. But, really, even they are just humored, and allowed a color show or two. Press time is too expensive to let their type screw with it.

"If you do have to hand off files with people in prepress who might hose the data, and you're in a possible positon to get blamed, anything you can do to mitigate conversion problems is helpful."

That's their problem. It's their damn job! There really isn't much else to do these days, it's all automated anyway, but they still need good eyes to get color right. You have no responsibilities after delivery. You can't!
I have been around plenty of post mortems about bad color. Never had I heard, "let's get that photographer/retoucher!". Nope, it was us, the prepress guys who caught it. It was our job.

"If you're the person responsible for the color, or if you're in a position to be blamed for the color due to your hand in the work, that's a foolish attitude. The reason we have contract proofs is so someone is contractually is responsible for problems on press."

What can I say, other than you are a total fool to sign a contract like that for final color. Good luck with that.

Do you make any money from that arrangement? Like enough to cover your butt when the stuff hits the fan down the line, and you're on to the next thing? I would charge a ton for that. And, even then, look for insurance to cover my butt. And pray.
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  #18  
Old 01-12-2014, 09:51 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

A basic question before this goes any further. What is this "contract proof"? Who is the "contract" between? What parties? What is the responsibility, and to whom? How does that work?

Last edited by Benny Profane; 01-12-2014 at 10:10 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2014, 10:37 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

Quote:
A basic question before this goes any further. What is this "contract proof"? Who is the "contract" between? What parties? What is the responsibility, and to whom? How does that work?
That you have to ask such a basic question after your last rant is pretty funny. Or that you ask about my background which is perfectly transparent if you click on my bio here, as much as can be pasted, check out my web page. There's a real URL there.Yet yours says:

Quote:
About Benny Profane (that really your name?)
Location
third stone from the sun
Occupation
Pixel Ape
I was shooting for the likes of Apple, GTE, Forbes, Disney and Microsoft in the 80's and early 90's, much of it digitally (I started with Photoshop 1.0.7). I ran what was called a service bureau after that for about 4 years. Know what that is Benny? Since that time, from 1994 on, you can read about my work with digital color by doing some very easy and basic research about me, again all here to see, very transparent.

http://www.digitaldog.net/about/

To answer your question, all you have to do is read the URL's I provided earlier.

Look, Beeny Profane or whoever you are or want us to think you are, if you wish to work without any contract proof with a print shop, by all means take the risk. If you feel a $5000+ an hour press is the place to be making color changes, great, your money. Don't advise others to be so foolish, especially when you don't even understand basic nomenclature (What is this "contract proof"? Who is the "contract" between? What parties? What is the responsibility, and to whom? How does that work?). This isn't a term or a process I made up, rather a process that's been used for decades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prepress_proofing
http://www.swop.org/certification/systemlist.asp
http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/proof...tractproof.htm
http://www.fogra.org/en/fogra-fograc...-creation.html

You asked about the conversion to CMYK (heck, TR001/SWOP V2 is fine, you know what I'm referring to?) back to sRGB and I answered why and how. You want to know what a contract proof is, I've explained it long ago, do the basic research. More links above this paragraph.

Maybe on the 3rd stone you reside, the processes are different, print shops take pefect care to output the color and everyone is always happy such that no contractual proof between customer and printer is ever necessary. On the plant I live on, it's done all the time. It might be called a Kodak Approval, or a 3M PressMatch, or a Chromalin (god forbid) or even an Epson ink jet. Doesn't matter, what does is two parties, print buyer and printer agree to the color before ink hits paper on press. And then ink on press closely matches (within say a deltaE 2000 of 6 or less) matches the proof. Understood?

Hopefully we're done here. Because you're wasting my time.
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  #20  
Old 01-12-2014, 11:18 PM
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Re: Certified Contract Proofing on a budget!

Ok, I'll swing back at you and tell you I was a photo assistant in NYC for eight years before working for the largest publisher in America in prepress. I have been a high end retoucher for nine years. I know this business. And never, never, have I heard of a photographer or retoucher, who I assume is the audience here, handing a proof to the final printer or client to match, unless it was a photographer who hired a printer directly, and kept complete control of the final product with, well, I suppose, a contract. But, believe me, señor, any printer would be charging quite a tidy sum for that service, or wouldn't be in business very long.

Of course there are proofs made and sent to printers every day. I make proofs daily, now converted to Gracol, in my day to day work for the company I work for right now. BUT THOSE AREN'T THE FINAL PROOFS. They're for the designer's eyes, like all in that process, and, when they say fine, groovy, my job is officially over. The final proofs are output by our prepress dept, who have a day to day relationship with our printers. Those proofs are what you may be calling "contract proofs". They certainly are beyond the photographer's or retoucher's or even creative department's control. That's the dirty facts of printing. It's expensive, so the last thing you want is so called experts or creative types running up costs even more.

Yeah, I saw your bio. You consult. Fine. World's full of them. Seminars are profitable these days, it seems. But, you didn't answer my question. How many times have you sent one of these "contract proofs" off to a printer? In what capacity did you act to assure the final printing matched this proof. Under who's authority, or, the ultimate authority, who's dime? Who was paying for all of this? Were you the publisher? Editor? What?

You really have to get out of the rarified air of "consulting" before you try to impress someone who has actually been in the trenches for forty years. You've been around way too many photographers and creative types who really don't know squat about what happens to their stuff after they hand it off to whomever. I was that whomever, so don't try to do that with me. I know better. You're doing some people a lot of disservice by telling them they a have some sort of control over their images besides a little Lightroom and Photoshop work before they leave the nest. But, hey, it probably makes you money, so, what do I know. Sounds easy, especially if it brings you to exotic places. Have fun.
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