Changing Trends in the Preparation of Print Media

Changing Trends in the Preparation of Print Media

Mark Snyder
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch071
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Traditionally, the main purpose of printing is to generate reproductions in quantity. Before printing existed, scribes reproduced manuscripts by hand. Frank Romano, in the foreword of Pocket Guide to Digital Prepress, tells the story of a monk who, shortly after Gutenberg’s development of cast-metal movable type sparked the advent of printing, authored an essay titled “In Praise of Scribes.” The essay advocated the continuation of copying manuscripts by hand because of the character-building values it instilled in the scribes. The ironic part of the story is that the monk decided to have his manuscript printed. The moral that Romano teaches us is that the monk “was caught in the paradox of transitioning technologies” (1996, p. iv) and that a similar situation is taking place as digital technology revolutionizes the printing industry. The objective of this section is to provide some historical perspective and background of printing technology, particularly in the area of preparing media for printing (pre-press), and then identify current issues in the field as well as future trends that are developing.

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