Pre-Press has always been an important part of the printing process. From making sure dimensions are right, to checking the right color, this department is integral to the process of getting your order right. Here is a story about aspects of what they do and check for.
From Grey to Green
When the Incredible Hulk #1 came out in 1962, the titular star was colored very differently than he looks today. Originally he was a shade of grey which didn’t stay consistent on different pages. He would be silver on one page and dark on the next and the printing technology at the time was unable to handle the shade. Often times grey can be seen as a different color depending on what it’s surrounded by. Have red surrounded by grey and you get a warm grey tone while blue and grey give a cool tone. So after some workshopping with the colors, green stood out the best leading to many different color variations and the Hulk you have today.
Why Pre-Press is Important
Some of the reasons colors appeared inconsistent back then was because of a number of things. First off, they had a 64 color palette to choose from which kept printing costs down. They also printed on cheap newsprint which a pre-press department would mention that when printing on newsprint always print lighter usual. Many times the particular company printing the comic had a tight budget so they may have opted to skip color proofing. Along with the fact that some of the darker colors were similar looking when printed, knowing how they got around these problems is amazing.
The four color printing process allowed them to create striking visual style in their comics at a time when a lot of factors limited what they could do. Today pre-press departments can handle almost any problem before it even gets to the client; colors not matching, paper quality affecting your print, they can catch it and suggest different options and be able to fix it quickly.
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