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TEXT I. SUMMARISING

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TEXT II. STRUCTURE OF PARAGRAPH

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TEXT III. NOTES ON PRINTING IN RUSSIA

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TEXT IV.

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TEXT V.

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TEXT VI. LARGE-FORMAT RAPIDA A BIG HIT

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TEXT VII. ECO-LABELLING

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TEXT VIII. THE WORLD'S FASTEST NEWSPAPER

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TEXT IX.

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TEXT X.

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TEXT XI.

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TEXT XII. ECOLOGY TECHNOLOGY

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TEXT XIII. THROUGH ELECTROSTATIC TO THE SUBLIME

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TEXT XIV.

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TEXT XV. AN EXCITING FUTURE BECKONS THE PRINTER

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Joe Brim,

Chief Executive, Laserbureau Ltd

I. Read the article and when reading it make notes.

This Article is aimed mainly at printers who do not yet have prepress facilities in-house. I believe that if printers are not in the process of installing repro now, they will do so in the near future. These are the buyers of prepress equipment today. The whole industry of graphic design, repro and printing is merging. Naturally there will always be companies that specialize in a particular area, but the majority of successful printers, designers and repro houses will each provide a similarly full range of services to their clients.

I am a third-generation printer, and started up my own business in 1975 with Express Print, when the instant print concept was in its infancy. In 1979 I became one of the founders of Kall Kwik, an instant print franchise operation that was based mainly on my earlier experiences with Express Print.

One thing a printer must understand is that a customer does not specifically care about how his requested job is produced. The customer's main interest is service, quality and price - normally in that order of priority - and the secret of success is to always consider these requirements and to ensure that they are being met.

In 1986, when Kall Kwik had become a successful instant print centre, my colleagues and I recognized the quality and future potential of the Mac. To fully make use of this potential, good output was needed for quality - 300 dpi was not good enough - and so a Linotronic 300 was installed. This was the origin of Laserbureau. On the basis that other printers would need similar technologies, Laserbureau was established in 1987 as one of the first Post Script output service bureaux in the UK. Today it provides a complete range of services from creation and design to printing and finishing, using digital technologies in all aspects of business from design and production to data communications. It is now involved with digital repro, computer-to-plate, and "direct to" technologies operations.

In the early days, Laserbureau pioneered the service bureau concept. This was at the beginning of the desktop publishing revolution which has since so changed the industry. Today, prepress service has become the key to the profitable operation of a printing company, a fact that is now being recognized by many printers -as the trend to install prepress systems close to the presses clearly illustrates.

From early beginnings, where Laserbureau supplied output films to customers, the company has rapidly expanded its facilities to offer colour scanners, colour copiers, Macintoshes and ultimately printing machines. Today customers can dip into the organization for whichever particular service they require.

To be successful and profitable, Laserbureau has had to recognize changing technologies, react to them in a positive way and continue in the meantime to meet the challenging needs of its customers. To give one example of this, the use of Kodak Photo CD for repro purposes was pioneered by the company. I could not believe my eyes when I first saw the Kodak Photo CD system. The speed, quality and ease of use made it a perfect tool both for internal scanning needs and for outside customers. At Laserbureau, my colleagues and I buy the kit that is needed and then customers use any of the processes they require. Some want only film output, while others need proofs, Photo CD or drum scanner digital files. Laserbureau has a complete design, repro and printing production process but has found that it is better to share the initial cost by offering a bureau service.

A designer can bring in his originals and walk away with a CD disk containing high and low resolution versions of those originals which can then be used for page makeup and final film production. Laserbureau may never see that job again, but the company has provided the customer with the service needed and so fulfilled its objectives.

For the process itself, a fully efficient digital workflow is followed, where text is keyed in only once. Designers use the Macintosh to create their work directly on screen, and they have access to the best available and affordable technology. Thus full control is maintained over the design and subsequent production of printed work.

In 1990 Laserbureau installed the only five-colour Heidelberg GTO in the West End of London, to meet customers' growing needs for fast turnaround, good quality short-run colour printing (up to 10 000 copies). The key to success here lies with its prepress operation. Prepress operations are going to become increasingly important as the move continues towards providing multimedia solutions to customers. Whatever happens to the way in which information is presented to end users, a good design to present the material and to ensure maximum reader impact will always be needed. The prepress operation will survive to convert creative design concepts into a form ready for the ultimate output methods, whatever these methods are.

The QuickMaster DI was installed at the end of September 1996 and it went into full production immediately. A second shift is now running and a third will be introduced soon. The connection to the company's comprehensive prepress system was made without any major problems. With such a busy work-load, jobs are queued up waiting for printing as soon as the previous one has been completed by the QuickMaster. This streamlined workflow has been a tremendous asset to meeting customer demands.

Computers are used every day. It will only be a question of time before everything in the printing industry is fully digital - we are all in the business of communication, and now communication is undertaken by computers. This can range from a simple page of text, created on a PC and printed on a personal black and white inkjet printer, to a full colour glossy brochure printed in top offset quality.

Laserbureau's customers are interested in increasingly innovative ways to present their products, to an ever more competitive market-place. Laserbureau looks to assist them in every way possible in meeting these constant challenges. I have already mentioned Kodak Photo CD as a simple and inexpensive way to provide digital colour input; at the same time, Laserbureau has also developed a new service in archiving picture and image libraries. It is another indication of the advance of the new digital world. Not only will digital archives prolong the lifetime of millions of images, they will also make those images instantly available, colour separated and ready for publishing purposes in a variety of media.

The printing community can no longer afford to think just in terms of putting ink on paper. Already customers are beginning to use the Internet to promote products and disseminate information using World Wide Web (WWW) sites. The necessary skills must be developed for providing customers with the means of getting to the WWW as easily and as quickly as possible. The first step is to be able to provide the customer with a complete digital file of colour printed material so that it can be transmitted to the Website, and this needs creative design combined with an efficient prepress system. Perhaps a new term will evolve such as "digital pre-media" or "digital pre-publishing". Certainly the current prepress systems will have to develop to meet the demands for publishing information in new ways. Many printers have already started along that road by getting all the necessary ingredients - text, graphics and images - into a standard digitized form. Now the information must be able to be converted into a form which can be delivered on whatever new medium comes along and can help customers to satisfy any demands placed upon them.

The digital world is exciting and challenging, and offers many new opportunities. We printers have traditionally provided the collateral to communicate. We are communicators and to stay in business we must keep abreast of new, emerging technologies which threaten this role. We must be prepared to try out new, challenging technologies and test them in real-life production environments. The new world is beckoning. Let us ensure we are an integral part of it.

II. Summarise the text from your notes.