#UKvUSA: Stop The Presses!

Two continents: US and UK. Two different buying backgrounds: procurement and agency. Two alternative ways of looking at things. I’m delighted to have teamed up with Deborah Corn from PrintMediaCentr to bring two extremely different views to some important print questions. So welcom e to Print Buying: #UKvUSA where Deborah and I share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond.
At the end of this post I have linked to Deborah’s answer to the same question. We wrote our answers (each limited to 500 words) without any idea of what the other was writing. As Deborah says: “Maybe we will agree, maybe we won’t, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part!”
Please do leave comments, thoughts and support at the bottom of this post and on Deborah’s post. It would be great if also posted your thoughts on Twitter, using the hashtag #UKvUSA Remember to watch out for our answers to another question next month.

#UKvUSA: Stop The Presses!

Preface to my US friends: I know you guys talk about color. But I like to stick to my UK heritage. We add a “u” over here 🙂

I’m not a fan of press passing

A few years ago there might have been a case for it – colour standards varied wildly at different companies. But now that proper colour management is commonplace, I really do not see the need. Here are five reasons why:

Don’t you trust your printer?

A good printer has suitable colour management in place. They can put ink on substrate well. If you have any specific colour issues, you should be able to discuss them in advance and trust the press minder to get on with their job. If you don’t trust your printing company to get the colour right, maybe you have the wrong supplier?

Haven’t you got anything better to do with your time?

We’re all busy these days. Everyone has been given more and more to do. Do you really have time to press pass? In many cases, that time would be better spent educating your designer to get the files and the colour management right in the first place. I always have a sneaking suspicion that people who spend time press passing are trying to look busy to justify their jobs.

How much cost are you adding?

Press passing takes valuable press time at the printer. Somewhere along the line, that is added to your bill. I always like one printer who states that there is 15 minutes press pass time built into the price. They then state the hourly rate for extra press passing time. It certainly keeps their press-passing customers focussed!

Here are 5 minutes why press-passing is a waste of time!

Here are 5 minutes why press-passing is a waste of time!

Are you seeing colour correctly?

Few printers have a colour managed viewing booth. So how can you be sure that the print will look good in real life? Let’s say it will be looked at under shop fluorescent lighting. It looks very different in a factory that has totally different lighting conditions? Press passing is generally a subjective operation anyway. I know at least one person who used to press check regularly, even though he was colour blind…

You may be setting yourself up for some late nights

You need to work round the print company schedules. There’s one factory where people still talk about the two customers who turned up at 2am in the morning in pyjamas and dressing gowns to carry out a press check!

It’s time that print buyers accepted that modern printing is an efficient manufacturing operation. It doesn’t need their intervention at press passes.

How did Deborah tackle this question? See here. Look out for the next #UKvUSA battle next month!
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