We currently employ 3 scanner operators, one for each shift. The scanners are used to electronically "read" images and output them to film. They have greatly streamlined the production of halftones and color separations which used to require somewhat complex and time-consuming photographic techniques.
Our operators produce a variety of film images at customer request. These include but are not limited to: rescreens (halftones from already printed halftones); keylines (the lines or boxes which indicate the exact size, shape, and location of photographs or other graphic elements); double keylines, ghosted halftones (density has been reduced to produce a faint image through which type is often visable); mezzotints (a screen is used to produce a "fuzzy" look to a picture); posterizations (all highlight and light middletone areas of a photo are eliminated); and graduated screens (produces a gradual change in density across a photograph).
Camera-ready copy (text in various type styles on art board or previously printed pages) is photographed with exposure appropriate for the particular characterisitics of the type. The resulting negatives are large sheets of film which are then checked for any flaws. They are then sent to the cutting area.
The job of a Cutter is to hand-trim the large negatives down to single pages and send them on to the Layout area.
The technology of printing is currently moving toward elimination of the processes described above. Increasingly, printers are receiving "copy" in the form of computer disks. The technology already exists to allow transfer of text and images directly from computer disk to press plates. Therefore, look for major changes in our prepress areas in the coming years.
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