Friday, December 17, 2010

BoSacks Speaks Out: The Color OK from Hell

BoSacks Speaks Out: The Color OK from Hell
By Bob Sacks
I've been in the publishing business a long time. I have seen amazing technologic changes in our industry that have brought an exactitude to the printing process that was always wished for but hardly achievable when I got started in publishing. Registration problems were not only expected, but in a strange way almost accepted as an unavoidable part of the four color printing process.

In my time in the business I have been not on dozens, but on hundreds of color OK's. I have been with excellent and very creative art directors who know less than nothing of the printing process. I always considered traveling with the "creatives" to a press side experience both fun and challenging. The challenge was explaining the printing process and getting them to sign off when I told them in no uncertain terms that that this is really a terrific match to your proof and the best that printing science and the press can deliver.

There was an eight year period when I was at High Times that I would go to Quad Graphics, usually without an art director, and did the Color OKs solo. In those days I had the unheard of liberty not to have to match the proofs, but rather to do on press anything I wanted to, to get the best printed results possible in the shortest amount of time. In the old days I felt that I could achieve an OK faster than any man or woman alive. Now that I think about it, it would have been a fun challenge between Production Directors - the Super Bowl of press side Oks.

Anyway the following video is pretty damn funny even if you haven't been on a color ok.

My Favorite quote that I can recall about the printing process comes from my college roommate Ed Cobb. I am no doubt only paraphrasing him but it went something like this:
"A proof proves nothing"
I couldn't agree more.

My compliments to Sappi Fine Papers, for understanding the drama and the on-press dilemmas of the pressman, and the Production persons as they deal with the lovable creatives. Let's be realistic here and remember that without the creatives there would be nothing to print.