In This Issue:

• CTF, CTP and Color Management in China
• Case Study: Software Packaging Set
• CPS News:
 — CPS Acquired by Ivie & Associates;
 — New Office Location;
 — Meet the Staff
• Happy Chinese New Year!
  China Printing News & Advice

A brief comparison of the traditional film color
separation method and the Computer to Plate
method can be found at CTPV

China Pre-Press Discussion

Computer to Plate technology and the workflow and color management tools associated therewith are becoming more and more prevalent in China. Already the norm for hardback Coffee Table books, the rest of the industry has only slowly and more recently begun to implement a completely digital prepress workflow.

Computer-to-FIlm (CTF), the traditional method of first creating film separations for each color and then burning printing plates using a photochemical process, is widely preferred in China at all but the largest factories, as the machines are in place and the more labor intensive process associated with CTF does not represent the great cost burden it might in Western countries. Due to the significant investment in equipment for Computer-to-Plate (CTP) process preferred more and more in the West as well as the learning curve associated with the color management techniques it allows, China factories have been slow to move to CTP.

Proofing for CTF is done through the creation of a temporary proofing plate which is used on a hand operated single color press. Four of these presses, working in tandem, create a "Wet Proof" made by real Printing Ink on a paper substrate. This substrate can be the actual paper to be used in production.

Wet proofs are run off very quickly, such that color may only be a near approximation, affected by heavy dot gain and poor registration. Western companies accustomed to receiving digital proofs may be concerned upon reviewing wet proofs that look heavy or do not demonstrate color with sufficient accuracy. This can be a shock for those new to China Printing.

The traditional film method does offer a few powerful advantages, not the least among them the ability to proof spot colors and to gauge surface impression, opacity and general feel of a piece proofed using much the same materials as will be used on press. The limited range of papers used in digital proofing and the inability of most digital proofers to print on both sides of a sheet of paper mean that digital proofs themself are only indications of how the piece will look under idealized circumstances. Wet proofs, warts and all, show the blemishes which, if caught at this stage, can easily and inexpensively be corrected before press time.

As more and more print shops in Western countries have adopted the CTP platform in the past few years, however, the pressure has been put on Chinese manufacturers to make the move to the CTP method. Along with this migration has come the implementation of a pdf workflow and color management techniques. Here is an area where even some of the most professional print operations in China
do lag behind. Because most of the demand is domestic,

and the domestic market has on the whole less rigorous color standards than Western publishers, print factories have been slow to create ICC Colour profiles for their presses or even calibrate to a standard like SWOP or GRACOL. It is not uncommon to find printers in China who have never used a spectrophotometer.

For Print Management companies like China Printing Solutions, this represents an opportunity to pair our global clients with Chinese factories using CTF process for monocolour jobs or jobs with ‘pleasing colour’ targets and more stringent budget requirements, while managing Color in house using digital proofs, international color standards and a controlled color reviewing environment for projects requiring a high level of exactitude.

As for workflow, we now encourage clients to provide locked pdf files. A year or two ago, many China factories wouldn’t know a pdf file from a ppt file and process slowdown or mistakes could be encountered handling linked files and fonts across two operating systems. Today it is safe to say that virtually any reputable print or prepress house in China can support a pdf workflow to some extent. China Printing Solutions takes a best practice management approach through the use of licensed software like Enfocus Pit Stop to carefully review and report on pdf files before making plates. While the industry as a whole in China still has a ways to go for that kind of due diligence, CPS has been able to satisfy our global clients' demanding standards with the same commitment we have always provided in managing other aspects of quality assurance.

For More Case Studies, Please Click Here

Case Study:

Client: Europlus

Project Name: Nice Label Software Set

Nice Label is a sophisticated software package for the creation of a wide range of bar codes. Europlus needed high quality production of a set of software CD’s and packaging, product manuals, brochure, outer packaging and mailing envelopes showcasing the Nice Label brand.

Key Challenges:
Because of the proprietary nature of the software product, particular emphasis was placed on protection of the Client’s intellectual property and consistency of color throughout the materials. While both are part of CPS standard procedure, the latter is particularly challenging when working with different materials—in this case an uncoated textured envelope, a CD printed by silkscreen, Coated paper materials and UV treated packaging board.

Techniques Used:
Offset Printing, Silkscreen printing, DVD mastering, Spiral Binding, UV Varnishing, Hand Assembly.


Click to Visit Ivie's Home Page


CPS’ Shanghai operations center has moved to a new location.
We are now located at:

Room 1507, You You International Plaza,
No. 76 Pu Jian Road, Pu Dong New District
Shanghai, China 200127
Tel: + 86 (21) 6165-9100
Fax: +86 (21) 5873-4330


“Shaq” Shi Wei
Production Coordinator

Shi Wei joined CPS about 6 months ago as a Production Coordinator.
Before joining the CPS team, he worked for several years as a quality manager in a division of the Shanghai branch of General Motors.

Amongst many duties, he is responsible for writing up quotations, coordinating client samples and managing shipping. Perhaps more importantly than anything, Shaq looks after project timelines, trafficking materials and distributing tracking information to all departments each week.

As his English name would suggest, Shaq is a big basketball fan who closely follows Shaquille O’ Neil, Kobe Bryant and our own hometown favorite Yao Ming. He studies English in his spare time.

Lunar New Year Holiday Closing:

Companies in China, including China Printing Solutions, will be closed in observance of the Chinese Lunar New Year from February 6 through February 12.

During this time we at CPS will be checking email sporadically at but will otherwise be off duty. We look forward to working closely with you in this Year of the Rat!
+1.877.CPS.3933 +1.314.266.0741 +44.(0)20.7193.0741 +61.(0)3.9018.5729
© 2009 Ivie Asia Limited. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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