Please stop throwing “bad” proofs and prints in the trash bin. I really want you to stop doing that and put the cash saved in your money jar. Today I want to explain how color verification and process control are just like the old carpenter’s saying “Measure twice, cut once.” While it oftentimes takes only one measurement to be sure your print will “pass” quality muster, I can virtually assure that two measurements will get you there more than 99 percent of the time.
Back to the carpenter’s story
Many years ago, I helped my father build a darkroom in the basement of my childhood home. Yes, we used to process black and white as well as color film and prints back in the day; but that’s an entirely different story. I was in my teens, young and impatient. I was measuring and cutting 2x4s as fast as I could so we could get the darkroom done. Sure enough, eventually I cut several to the wrong length (too short). We had to return to the lumber yard for more wood. On the drive, my dad calmly and patiently explained to me that carpenters live by the rule “measure twice, cut once.” He also mentioned that this rule helped to avoid extra trips to the lumber yard and reduced allowance for a few months.
That’s right. He basically took the funds to pay for the additional wood out of my money jar.
In the same way, if you’re producing bad proofs and prints and not utilizing some form of color verification and process control system, you are doing the same thing I was. You’re not taking the time to remeasure when necessary.
Most times one measurement will do
The cool thing about the computer age is many repetitive tasks become easier. You can measure a control strip on each proof (or a periodic test print) and get an overall pass or fail status. As long as you get a pass, there should not be a reason for a second measurement. Proceed with production and filling the money jar with profits.
If, on the other hand, you get a fail, it’s time to slow down and figure out why. Once you determine the source of the measurement failure, take corrective action and re-run your test print. With time and practice, you’ll almost always get a pass the second time around and can then return to production and filling the money jar with profits.