Nowadays, the time needed for the production of books and editorial publications has been greatly shortened. If we go back to only 20 years ago, things were totally different. How did that happen, exactly? For two main reasons:
- Super-fast communication thanks to the internet
- New technologies in prepress, CTP and printing
Let’s have a look at these two points together.
It’s no secret that today, you can chat in real time with virtually anyone in the world. It clearly allowed us to write off distances, especially in the field of data exchange – even more than in information exchange. There are many benefits. It is indeed now possible to receive images or files in a couple of minutes, which makes working in harmony much easier.
Although the same process remains at the core of offset printing, giant steps have been made in recent years, especially in terms of speed. At the DRUPA trade fair, press manufacturers compete against each other to show how fast their machines can be. Behind all this, there is of course the simple equation rapidity = money. The faster a printer gets to print documents, the more documents they can take and so the more money they’ll earn.
How do deadlines influence production?
In recent years, the whole supply chain has therefore felt the effect of this higher production speed. Graphic designers are asked to work faster and faster, publishers and customers always ask for the fastest possible production time for the launch of publications and for agreements with distributors.
On the other hand, in a world where users are used to accessing any kind of online content in one click, physical production may seem to be lagging behind.
However, we need to think carefully about the impact that shorter production times have on the product. There is no need to pretend that new technologies do not exist, but at the end of the day, human work is what makes great things happen.
Especially when it comes to art, photography and luxury publications, the machines used are not what makes the difference between mediocre and excellent results – the people and production processes designed for this type of publication are.
Ignoring this fact can lead to a huge misunderstanding.
Indeed, while the limits of individual productivity are increasingly being stretched, people will always be people and there aren’t still, to this day, any bionic devices capable of technologically improving the human brain!
That is why, when striving for perfection, one needs the right amount of time. Time is always inversely proportional to the quality that can be achieved, especially when it comes to art, photography or luxury publications. There is no doubt that technologies lie at the base of the perceived quality (type of inks, print frame, type of plates, etc.), but even today, people are the ones who make the difference with their eyes and hands. People can be trained to be quicker and more efficient, but there is always a limit that can’t be crossed.
The printer must have enough time to carefully check each printed sheet in its whole. The person in charge of folding must have time to calibrate the machine properly and make the necessary production checks. The ones in charge of binding and packaging must have time to check the product and its compliance with the high production standards that are required.
Time as a variable of quality
It’s important that you understand this concept very clearly. Time is a very important variable of quality; this is why it matters a lot when you’re looking to create a product that truly shines on the market.
Unfortunately, this aspect is often overlooked by both parties involved in production: the customer and the printer.
But not us. We keep it in mind and carefully agree on a production planning with you so as to have the time necessary to produce what you expect in terms of quality, while sticking to the agreed delivery deadline.
Contact one of our consultants today to discuss together the time needed for your next project.