Press checks: an exercise in discriminating color

Attending press checks for our publications is a critical step in ensuring the final printed piece meets Wax's standards of quality. While there are several items to watch on press – paper, sharpness, registration, impositions, crossovers – I find that one of the most important (and challenging) is color.

Attending press checks for our publications is a critical step in ensuring the final printed piece meets Wax’s standards of quality. While there are several items to watch on press – paper, sharpness, registration, impositions, crossovers – I find that one of the most important (and challenging) is color. 

While on press, we  make several color adjustments to get the publication as close as possible to the approved color proofs. However, because at least two pages always run in line with one another, many color moves (adding or subtracting red, yellow or blue from a page) can affect multiple images. As we try to achieve the optimum color throughout the publication, we have to consider the effect each color adjustment will have on other images in the same line. 

We may have to sacrifice a small image’s color for the greater good of the cover or center spread. And that’s why we’re there in the wee hours (and often arctic locations like Wisconsin and New York) to make the judgment call.

–Jozy Torres