Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Field trip to a printing press, part of Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques.
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Hey! Welcome. Chris Orwig here. Here we are at V3 Data, Print, and Mail and what we're going to do is we're going to take a field trip. We are going to head on in to the printing press and there is something that's so wonderful about doing this, because we captured our image, we worked in Photoshop and here we are then going to see the whole process. One of the things that's fascinating to me about going through that process is that we are going to create 500 promo cards. And if you are going to create 500 promo cards, they better be pretty good, and because are committing this time and energy and effort and going through this whole process, it will kind of sharpen our overall photographic skills and even more it will formalize a few thoughts for us. And that's a lot of time what happens is when you go to press and that's one of the reasons I recommend you experiment with this, because again you are committing to something in a little bit different way.
A lot of times when you have a higher level of commitment, it kind of requires that you step things up a little bit, that you get a little bit more involved and by getting involved in that process, a lot times the end results are so much better. All right, let's go ahead and head on into the press. I look forward to walking around the press with you and having this little "field trip" as we check out the process of creating a promo card. Hey, here we are inside of the printing press. You can see that the tour is taking place back there. What we are going to do is stray away from the actual tour. We are going to take a little bit of our own behind the scenes tour so we can see how this whole printing press process actually works. Let's go.
All right, come on. As you can tell the printing press is a very active place and it's really noisy in here. So what I want to do is talk a little bit about what we're doing. And I want to talk about that as we walk through the printing press. Well, here we are right on top of the printing press and one of the things that's interesting to me about printing is we talk a lot about CMYK conversion and a lot of times that's strange. Well, what exactly is CMYK? But then when we actually look at the color, we have our Cyan, our Magenta, our Yellow, and our Black. You realize all it is, is kind of like painting or when you were kid and you worked with your different paint colors. You combine different ones together in order to create new colors. And that's the same thing that's going to happen here on our press. We are going to take all of these different colors, combine them together to create our final full colored promo card.
Here we are right in the midst of the printing press and yes, it is noisy but also it's fascinating. You can see these different colors here. We have the Yellow, some of the Magenta, the Cyan, the Black behind us. What's going to happen is the printer is going to run through these three different colors and plus that black, and then we are going to create this final beautiful photographic print. All right, here we have the location where they are going to create some test prints. The fascinating thing about this is what they are going to do is create these test prints and then measure the color, measure the CMYK values, they are also going to get into the fine details of these prints and just make sure this is looking good. What they want to do is make sure that this looks perfect before they actually do the press run and so they have this neutral light environment and it's a great way to evaluate things.
A lot of times what happens is you come to this location in order to do a press check, in order to say you know what, does my promo card look good? And here's the promo card that we created. And as I look at that I say hey, you know what? That looks great. The color and tones look really nice. I can't wait to see how the final promo card actually turns out. All of these inks are vegetable based. They are either soy or linseed and the nice thing about that is all the paper is actually recycled. So these are just the make-readys or the test prints. So what's going to happen with these is we are going to measure the color. Make sure everything is looking perfect and these look great.
Then we are going to toss them into the recycling bin and again that's a nice aspect of printing. A lot of times you think, where does all of this stuff go? Well, everything that's used in this process in this case is really environmental, which is a nice touch, and it kind of makes the overall process a little bit better. It's so fun to take a field trip and get out of the classroom and here we are at the press and there are a number of other Brooks' faculty members here and I thought it would be kind of fun to have some of them step in front of the camera just in order so that it feels like hey, you are coming along with us to the press. The first guy you are going to hear from is Anacleto Rapping.
Now, Anacleto Rapping was Los Angeles Times staff photographer for years and years. The guy is a legend. His photography is amazing. Anacleto Rapping >> It's really quite amazing to see all the color being printed on this high, glossy, stock, wonderful reproduction. A lot of us are used to just printing out of a small Inkjet printer or a large Inkjet printer and we think, ah! I've got a great print. But to make 80,000 copies of something and to watch that go through is quite amazing. These presses run so quickly. They can print 700 copies in probably 10-15 minutes. It's absolutely beautiful to see the finished product.
Chris Orwig >> The next person you are going to hear from is Greg Voight. Greg Voight, again is just one of those amazing people. He is v ery talented teacher and commercial photographer. Greg Voight >> My background is in commercial photography, primarily products, advertising, those types of things, catalogs and today we are into Ventura Printing and this is the end product of most of your clients. It's not going to be websites always. It's going to be something printed on paper that's going to be sent out or put into a magazine or something like that. So you have to understand the printing process really well. What you see on your monitor may not be what you get in the final press. So, learn color management, learn it well, because the quality of your work is solely dependent on whether or not you understand this process or not.
Chris Orwig >> One of the things that's fascinating is what happens is these aluminum plates are created. Check this out. This is aluminum and here we can see that we have the magenta plate and this plate is used combination with the other plates in order to create the final photographic print. The nice thing about these is because they are aluminum you can recycle these and use these again and again. So after those big sheets come out of printing press what happens is they go to the cutting area and in the cutting area they trim off all the excess edges and it's really quite fascinating and of course all of this can be recycled which is really nice. And it's just kind of an interesting visual of the one of the final steps there.
The nice thing about those cards being cut is that once they are cut you have them in hand. Now ours haven't been cut yet. I can't wait to see how they actually turn out. Oh yeah! Right there. One of the things that's so fun about going to a press is that you get to see the final result and here I have some of the promo cards that were created and there is the promo card that we worked on there. It's just fun to hold it in your hand and watch is go through this whole process and as I was watching around the warehouse, I happened to notice that there are some other interesting pieces being printed here. These are lynda.com gift cards and I was like hmmm, $25 value. I might need to grab a couple of sheets of these for myself. But I just thought it was fun. And it's interesting to see what actually gets printed at a press and really, that just happened to be here.
And it's interesting to see these different things and to see them before they are all cut and cropped in and even the promo cards. What it gets me thinking about is the value of the process. As a creative individual there is so much value to the overall process. A lot of times what happens is we just focus on shooting or maybe we just focus on Photoshop, but in that case we are missing half of the enjoyment of photography, of completing that by going to print and then somehow finalizing the print. Maybe it's at a press or maybe it's simply by framing a photograph, but either way there is something incredibly invigorating about delving into the process, the creative process of photography and of creating that final print.
All right, well this concludes our tour of Ventura Printing or as it's called now V3. Now here is what you need to do. You need to go to press. I hope that this video has provided you a bit of inspiration and it has helped you demystify those processes of going to press. Now I was just talking with the guys at V3 and they said if you mentioned that you are coming to them by way of lynda.com, they will give you a free consultation. Now either way go to V3 or go to another printing press, but what you want to do is begin to establish a relationship with a printing press, so that you can talk through the different issues, maybe it's for your client or yourself.
What paper do you use? How do you actually deliver this particular marketing piece that you are creating? Or what are some different considerations that I need to think about before going to press? Because one of the things that you will soon discover is that going to press is an incredibly rewarding process. Well, thanks for joining me for joining me on this field trip. I look forward to catching you in the next movie.
- Implementing a color-managed workflow
- Creating color-correct prints
- Advanced image sharpening techniques
- Using typography with promo materials
- Working with print layouts and montages
- Considering paper and printer choices
- Soft-proofing to ensure stunning results
- Optimizing the print workflow
- Converting to CMYK and going to press