What Goes in to Printing a Catalog?

Part of my job is managing our spring and fall catalog production.  This includes coding all the plants we will be offering, pulling and matching images, color correcting images, lots of proof reading, image proofs, compiling customer mailing lists, press checks and oh, this all sounds so simple (it’s not)But I am the freak of nature that finds this whole process fascinating and fun.  We had to switch printers due to our last printer of 10 years closing it’s doors.  So yesterday, my boss and I traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia to meet with all the printing staff we’d already been in much contact with, tour the building, and do a live press check.  Here are some pictures my boss took with his fancy camera throughout the day and thought I would share them with you.

Me with the ginormous barrels of ink.  The ink is vegetable-based, yum!

Each roll of paper is over 51,000′ long…that’s 10 miles. On average, our printer uses 1300 miles of paper a day!

So huge.  I was imagining these were wheels of cheese.
Each paper roll weighs over 1 ton.
4 of these plates are created (1 for every ink color).
The press switch is flipped on!
As the first pages come off the press, the pressman compares the images we sent to the colors coming off the press to make sure they match.

Me, examining each image to be sure it matches and making adjustments as needed.  The catalog is printing on the press as we do this, so the changes you make are “live” within seconds.

One of the screens used to do press checks.  This monitor shows the colors for each column on the page.  We have to adjust the amount of ink to get the most accurate color of the live plant as possible.  By adding/removing yellow, magenta, cyan, or black.  But adjusting color for one image can affect the other images in the same column…so it is tricky! 

This machine folds, staples, collates, and addresses each catalog.

5 thoughts on “What Goes in to Printing a Catalog?

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