Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 13, 2019 and Island Ad-Vantages, June 13, 2019 and The Weekly Packet, June 13, 2019
Making good on color printing problems
by Nat Barrows
Each week our staff creates electronic files for all our pages, photos and advertisements. Since this company does not own a newspaper printing press, we send these files to a printer each week.
Without getting too technical, the printing process consists of rolls of paper flowing through separate units, each of which has plates of the page images that pick up ink from a fountain to transfer those images to paper. The paper flows together into a folder that puts all the pages together in the right order.
The process is technical and complicated, and involves lining up the printing in each unit with the right amount of ink in the correct alignment. Print with black ink only involves only one color variable.
To print in color, the black ink must be coordinated with three other colors of ink in separate ink fountains. The colors—cyan, magenta and yellow—are laid on top of each other with the black to produce the color you see in the newspaper. If the separate rolls of paper flowing through the press do not line up perfectly, the images on the paper look like a 3D movie without the glasses.
Over the last few months, there have been major quality problems with the color printing we have received from our printer. These problems are beyond our control. The situation came to a head last week with the unacceptable color printing in our graduation section. This is a keepsake edition, and we pay extra to have it printed on heavier paper for better quality.
The quality wasn’t there. We apologize to all our readers for what happened. We are working to get another printer to print a quality section we can give to each graduate as a keepsake.
We will continue to work on trying to solve the problems. This is very disappointing because color is important for our advertisers and for enhancing our photographs.
All of the staff at your community newspapers are very frustrated with this situation. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to get you the quality printing we and you expect in our products.
Publisher and Editor