Has printing become a commodity? New technologies in prepress, digital, offset and wide format printing have given way to what can be a false sense of comfort in quality.
Whether or not technology should translate to quality is another issue that requires more pondering. Just because a press can hang its own plates and set its own ink density doesn’t mean that it can tell you how good the image appears. Just because printers skip film and go direct to plate today doesn’t mean that they will understand the concept of dot gain and how to apply the correct curve to compensate for it.
With each new breakthrough in technology comes a new set of parameters to overcome and master. It is important to look at the complete recipe of technology and services that a printer offers to decide whether or not they will be able to achieve the highest quality.
There are different recipes for various kinds of print. If you are printing black and white line copy then you are likely not concerned about the formation of the paper or the resolution of the image.
If you are printing a Fine Art piece, you should look for the print recipe that can only achieve the finest image reproduction on the best paper available, using the ideal color separation for the most suitable printing device.
So how do you find the best recipe for your next printing project? You have to speak with the Chef – or this case, your Salesperson.