An Investigation into the accuracy of mid-range digital proofing to SWOP

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Title: An Investigation into the accuracy of mid-range digital proofing to SWOP
Author: Herman, Elizabeth
Abstract: Direct Digital Color Proofing (DDCP) significantly improves quality control when compared to traditional analog systems. This thesis project investigated the accuracy of a DDCP. In addition, the advantages of the digital proofing process versus traditional analog systems are discussed. The major advantages of DDCP are that it is less expensive and less time consuming than traditional analog proofing methods. Direct digital color proofs are not widely accepted by the graphic arts industry. The reason for part of this problem is that in the past midrange digital proofers have not been accurately calibrated to SWOP specifications. In this project, the author tested to see how well two different midrange proofers could be calibrated to meet SWOP specifications. Two midrange digital proofers were used to demonstrate how accurately the proofs can match the press sheet. After calibrating the proofer to match the press sheet as closely as possible two experiments were conducted. The first was an objective test which required solid ink density readings to be measured, calculations performed and the results plotted on the GATF color hexagon. The plots of the press sheet, 3M rainbow proof and the Tektronix Phaser 300 were analyzed to see how well they aligned. The second experiment was subjective. This experiment entailed designing a survey form, enlisting the cooperation of industry experts to participate in the survey. The experts were asked to visually analyze the proofs and determine whether or not they could serve a useful purpose. Their comments were recorded on a survey questionnaire and finally, the results were analyzed. The results from this thesis project will serve to inform potential users of DDCP the level of quality they can expect from a mid-range digital proofer.
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Date: 1996-02

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