Most of the time, our picture books print far, far away in China, and we check color in the proof pages sent back and forth between continents. Every once and a while, though, when we need a book to be printed and stocked faster, without waiting for the finished books to arrive on the ship from China, we will print at a US-based printer. When that happens, Greenwillow art director, Paul Zakris, and someone from our wonderful production team will go to the printer and approve the color as the sheets come off the press.
Recently, Michael Hall’s Perfect Square reprinted in the US, and Paul and Ruiko went for the “press ok” at Phoenix Printers.
Once a page is printed, the first printing color is compared to the new sheet. Here, Paul, Ruiko, and the printer are comparing the reds.
Ruiko gives her suggestions . . .
The printer marks the corrections . . .
And once it is corrected and exactly the color it should be, Paul signs with his approval.
Some of the issues that Paul and Ruiko look for, besides the color matching, are things that can happen on the press. Do you see the red streaks in the blue page here? The printer will adjust the ink until that doesn’t happen, and Paul and Ruiko give their okay. This day on press took six hours until everything was perfect.
And, of course, a day on press wouldn’t be complete without a snack break.