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If the project is destined for a printing press, whether a magazine ad, business card, or hardbound coffee-table book, documents are preflighted to ensure image resolution and proper color space, trim size and bleed, fonts provided, etc. Projects range from preflight only, minor corrections, to full assembly of provided content to designer specifications. All popular layout applications are supported: InDesign, Illustrator, Quark Xpress, Word, Publisher, and others.
Book projects range from text-only narratives to coffee-table books loaded with color imagery. Projects may require design and typesetting or simply need preflight of documents provided by the designer. In any case, images are enhanced as needed and converted to the color standard specified by the printer. Once final text corrections are complete, press-match color proofs are generated and submitted to the client for approval. Any problems discovered with copy, the layout, or color are swiftly remedied and affected pages are re-proofed until the client is satisfied. Then, and only then, print-ready PDFs are delivered directly to the printer.
Color Correction and Retouching
Any image is rarely perfect when pulled from the camera. Many are great, but often something needs a tweak. It might be too blue, making it cool. The whites could be yellow, making the image appear dingy. Or people look green, or like lobsters, or pale and nearly lifeless. There are any number of potential flaws in modern digital images.
For color correction, depend on 25 years experience with Photoshop and four decades applying color theory in commercial printing. Below is one example. See more examples.
Then there is the subject of images, not of any technical concern, but subjects have their flaws, too. The perfect shot of a showcased home is ruined by garbage cans out front or trash littering the curbside. Or it was overcast that day, leaving the sky dull gray. All of that, and more, can be fixed. Below is one example of an exceptional photograph made better and modified to suit the layout requirements of the publication (primary goal was to unclutter the top portion of the image where the magazine masthead would appear). See more examples.
The perfect image doesn’t always exist, either impossible to capture or too costly to attempt doing so. Stock photography is a popular option as vast libraries are available online and the fees are reasonable. However, sometimes the perfect image eludes us. Or the desired result is specialized, more than just a photograph. The solution is to combine imagery from separate sources. Composite images may be as simple as adding a single element to an existing photograph. More complex images are built from multiple elements altered and combined with text and other effects, as the example below.
Press-match Color Proofing
Calibrated to GRACoL/SWOP/FOGRA/ECI
The Epson 9800 inkjet plotter provides an exceptional match to press. Proofs are output using genuine Epson inks and Epson Standard Proofing Paper (GRACoL certified) up to 42" wide. Eight colors (additional light cyan and magenta, and multiple blacks) give the device a broad gamut that easily covers the CMYK and Pantone spectrum. Pages or entire press forms are processed and color managed through an EFI Colorproof XF RIP calibrated to the desired standard: GRACoL, SWOP, FOGRA39, ECI, or any other standard for which a profile exists and the client supplies.
High quality: transparencies or negatives up to 8" x 10" and reflective originals up to 8.5" x 11.7", maximum 6400 dpi resolution and with optical density of 4 Dmax.
Standard quality: reflective originals up to 11.7" x 17", maximum 1200 dpi resolution. When feasible, larger artwork may be scanned in portions and stitched together using Photoshop’s Photomerge.
All scans include basic color correction to match original. Proofs are available at additional cost.
State-of-the-art Prepress Workflow
Render, trap, and screen PDF pages or imposed forms for output to plate or film. The Adobe PDF Print Engine consumes PDF pages in their native form (no conversion to outdated PostScript at any stage of the process). This provides rendering of transparency effects (drop shadows, reduced opacity, etc.) at output device resolution, typically 2400 dpi, rather than flattening the PDF with effects at lower resolution, typically 300 dpi. Given the increased resolution for effects, the superior results are easy to imagine. Available screening includes Agfa Balanced up to 425 lines per inch, Cristal Raster stochastic 21 micron, and Sublima hybrid up to 340 lines per inch. Agfa Flexo angles are also supported.
Mars Cloud Server
An online server hosted by Mars Premedia that allows clients to securely upload, organize, and download files from any browser connected to the Internet. The server is for the exclusive use of Mars Premedia clients, providing online file storage and a means to deliver and receive job materials, view PDF proofs, and more, including sharing files with third parties. Mobile apps are also available for popular devices. Contact us for more details.
Web Development and Programming
Platform-independent web applications based on HTML5 and JQueryUI on the client side, and PHP and MySQL on the server side, exchanging data via AJAX. Securely accessible from any browser connected to the Internet.
Programming support includes scripting Adobe Creative Cloud applications to automate client workflows. Browse the scripts available on this site that automate common design/prepress challenges, available free to download. A small sample of what is possible. Similar custom-coded solutions have saved clients hundreds—if not thousands—of man-hours over time and will continue to return on investment for years to come.
- Document pages assembled into press forms using Kodak Preps imposition application
- Pleasing color duplex construction proofs, folded and trimmed
- Text corrections to documents (from annotated PDFs or e-mail instructions)
- File conversion, data transfer between popular media, data archiving and retrieval
- Image re-purposing, conversion to/from print specifications and web usage
- E-book programming