There’s something very different about the May 2008 issue of our monthly magazine, the Reformed Presbyterian Witness. But you’d never know unless I told you.
That issue is the first one of our magazines to ever be produced without leaving the digital world until it was put on the printing press.
Most of the magazine’s production has been digital since 1987, when we first purchased a computer and layout software. Over time, even our articles and photos were submitted in all-digital form.
Always, though, at some point the magazine had to be printed out before it went to press. We would receive this final proof copy (sometimes called a blueline or blueprint, since all the type appeared blue) to check for mistakes that we or the printer had made. This final proof was made in such a way that it was an exact representation of the plate that would go onto the presses.
Technology has advanced to the point that making such hard-copy proofs is no longer necessary. When the magazine is ready for the printer, I simply upload the layout file to a web site that belongs to our printing company. There, its software automatically processes the job, and, almost immediately, I am able to see on my computer an exact representation of what will go onto the presses. This new technology saves at least 1/3 the time of our normal printing process, and saves a bit of money as well.