IARIGAI Dubrovnik – Cavtat 2003, Croatia – Advances in printing science and technology: proceedings of the 30 th International iarigai Research Conference; UDK 655:004.91 > (063); 004.91:655 > (063); ISBN 953-96276-6-4 (tvrdi uvez); ISBN 953-96276-7-2 (meki uvez), Acta Graphica Publishers

An essay on the evolution of graphic communications

Prof. dr. sc. Vilko Žiljak

Many questions have been put forth before those involved in the printing business. There was a coarse step taken in the field of printing some twenty years ago by implementing DTP. Today’s innovations with CTP are taken and implemented more soberly. The new questions demanding answers are: Why should the fundamental postulations of the printing industry be changed? How many investments are needed in the further integration with the printing press, for instance? Are new patents useful or harmful for stable production? Will today’s marginal printing business survive only in specific fields of implementation or is it the very core of the printing business fundamental postulations dissolution? Is hybrid printing necessary in order to comply with market requirements or to survive competition in the market? Do digital systems expand the assortment of graphic products? These questions point out to the fact that traditionalism is beginning to break down. Old-fashioned printers are not used to digital techniques that are being implemented into all graphic art segments, believing that by some kind of Guttenberg’s blessing they are protected from and immune to electronic innovations. On the contrary, it is necessary to unite in business, and be set free from the printing guild. The word integration is not discussed here only in the sense of binding organisations and machines inside the printing presses, but also as accepting all the other systems merging with computer technology. We are speaking about the integration of the printing business with multimedia implementation, e-business, digital kiosks, in order to comprehend that it is the only way to preserve the culture of graphic art.

1. Introduction
The future of graphic arts includes and insists on implementing XML technology, digital printing, the printing product’s individuality, integration of the complete process beginning from prepress, press, postpress and delivery processes. The XML technology is put forth as the number one topic of discussion because it will be the one uniting the alterations made, the development, as well as the future of printing. Computer technology allows individuals to create their own products by using digital printing. Digital printing as a new media is a very powerful motivating means for mass designing of graphic products. In future printing will enter a new area and is not, as was thought, in the decline of it’s development, but is in expansion of it’s most diverse implementation that could not be even dreamed of without computer technology. The basic principals of conventional printing meaning strict classification of printing technologies, occupational nomenclature, techniques that were incompatible with one another, are shaken by the invasion of digital technologies, allowing multiple printing implementations, manifold integration in all phases of a graphic product’s manufacture. Information on planning future printing industry alternations is available through the Internet and they are the initiators of ideas on development paths and patents, having as a goal the expansion of printing methods and technologies. Clarification through polemics on the future of printing is taking place all over the world, dissolving the conventional printing industry by implementing as it’s central core knowledge acquired through other kinds of fundamental research.

2. Computers
Computing the situation and printing business development are described in many reports as the results of questionnaires answered by people, professionals and speculators on the essence of today’s technology providing us with data on the situation now. Investigation should be initiated with thesis on the correlation of variables from two groups: computer science development on one hand and digital technique application on the other hand. Regretfully, many reports skip this kind of approach, because until recently printing presses did not depend directly on computers and open types of software. Computer development and it’s application have a sufficiently long historical path of development that may be used as a sign for events in the near future. The exponential growth shows a strictly straight line in the logarithmic interpretation. From this point it may be seen that the variable describing the computer speed increases twofold every 31 months. The computer memory increases twofold every 21 months and discs that are double in size increase twofold every 16 months. As these variables have been functioning in such a manner for 25 years now, we must believe that we shall have the same results in future. All activities that have not been included in this trend, graphic arts, for example, are taking part in it now with their specific requirements and are continuing according to their own exponential growth coefficient. By itself this factor is functioning in dissolving the conventional printing business by founding a new system, whether this is wished for or not. Let’s correlate Internet and wwweb server spreading with this computer development. The two variables have been increasing twofold in the world in the space of just 13 months. For comparison’s sake, there will be more servers in 8 years than there are inhabitants on our planet. This shows a completely different relationship of information practice, including graphic art products. There are tasks set before the printing business industry and before the equipment producers not in order for the printing business to survive, but to make people understand how printing is a necessity and is an integral part of the computer science. However, the variables should be in full correlation with computers and computer science technology.

Following this paper let’s initiate less restricted deliberations on graphic art future, as we do live in times when wwweb technology alters information systems to their very core. This also alters the essence of the printing business’ existence. Regretfully, information science has adapted and tied down computer science to a great extent in schools and in practice. Luckily, the printing industry has embraced computer science as its tools, robots, and now even as systems carrying all production processes. It might be said that JDF have saved the printing business, but I would be braver if I said that the XML technology has allowed for modernisation and the connecting of the printing production into an overall modern information science society. This technology has taken the printing business to a higher level of organisation, production, robotics, and has integrated it fully with the standard information science technologies. This integration carried out by the XML technology is a closed world of an information science network functioning where everyone is needed, the printers as well. Computer science techniques have also brought their negative components into the printing business: they are quickly out of date. All our computers, even those that are around twenty years old, could be functioning with no servicing, but there are no software or hardware adjustments or additional parts attached to them that could make them work and be competitive with today’s computers. The efficient combination of electronics, programs and techniques in the printing press calls for our attention in respect to constant alterations that need to be made as to the printing press’s units (quality and quantity). I would like to stress the point that the same as today, neither will there be any possibilities in future of attaching additional parts to our machines, thus making them up-to-date with innovations coming from the CIP4 world.

3. Start with prepress
3. 1. Digital photography
has matured for the printing business and has been fully accepted not only in the newspapers business but also in the demanding propaganda and review press material. The applicability of commercial digital cameras has been acknowledged, as well as the merging of digital photography and conventional reproduction photography. Photograph and portrait production in photography shops as well as web application have turned to digital photography completely. It is the very moment when there are no objections from the printing business to these novelties. The digital camera development trend is even faster than computer development, so it is expected that in the very near future digital photography will be fully implemented in the printing business. As this powerful trend will continue, there should be discussions organised on the fundamental change in photography application, archiving, colour management, data basis control, and picture material research. Conventional reproduction photography has gone through a total downfall, but no stress whatsoever digital graphics are practised only because the quality has proved to be satisfactory and there is optimal applicability from the economic point of view. Learning how to manipulate with pictures in the computer is something one can do, and this is considered as a simple craft.

Colour management has become an important topic when designers from the modern “creative industry” asked for their electronic entries to be printed out and to be realised in various plants, in small editions, then in industrial presses in large editions, and with various machines: trial print, offset print, inkjet, toner printer, sublimation, screen printing. All the listed jobs should be the same as seen on the computer screen by the author of the design. New printing technologies, new materials, new applications are expected in future, and this only means that colour management software will be a topic of growing importance in graphic art. Not only printing, but web design has also gone to areas reserved for graphic art only. It is necessary to cover all visual technologies with the colour management theory because it is the same people who are doing the job: graphic preparation, trial print, conventional printing, digital printing, web presentations. The value of colour management research is not valorised properly yet, although printers are aware of the problem of printed colour standardisation. Printers are making efforts to find a quick solution to every situation. Colour management is a difficult issue because printers do not wish to slow down and admit how colour management is vitally needed.

3. 2. Marketing and design. Managing printing production means koptiranje??? the product designer who designed the graphic product with the goal for him to be present at the actual printing time. A very close co-operation is proposed, and a much more open, more co-operative relationship between the printers, product designers and end-users. The production process control is becoming a standard. The on-coming telecommunication will enable remote on-line control of printing as to quality. Monitor calibration will be interactive and adapted to the situation in the printing process.

Printing works are in the constant process of searching for innovations in the field of media so as to recognise the programs useful for their own progress and targeted development goals. The printing press is extending it’s influence in the existing market points with the intention of finding new contacts by offering it’s clients new products and new types of service. The development of extra services is a prerequisite for anyone in the graphic art business to survive.

Let’s mention some of the products offered in the printed product market: lotteries, chance games, fun supplements, crosswords, betting, quibbles, contact marketing. Stored prepress material allows publishers to come out with evergreen products in quantities required by the market.

Designers are giving a new life to products: new size, get up and binding; products are redesigned to be electronic ones. Electronic wwweb art of printing will influence printing design. The modern reader will expect good typographical designs in other types of media to be applied in printing. This means new arrangements, new typography, a new way of reading books. The electronic media flexibility is breaking up old graphic rules. New design is encouraged by contemporary instruments: digital printing, digital cameras, software with stochastic elements, a rich variety of filters to simulate actual visual phenomenon, the creating of new values in the field of visual art. Digital printing allows market experimenting, research of the reaction to new products, printing of editions that will not ruin the publisher. Simulation of publishing, printing and product placement with old prints offers a more substantial proof of success and risk test than theoretical market research.

3. 3. Telecommunications and the XML technology will provide two new events in prepress: Client/Server computation and workgroup applications and sharing across the network. Firstly, prepress departments will have on-line accessibility to world wide relation picture basis and lay-outs for standardised elaboration. Elaborated material will be taken from the picture archive, adjusted to the parameters of the printing press machines. Prepress and the remote archive will function parallelly on-line, because this system already makes telecommunication solutions possible today. Picture archives and pictures will be adjusted in actual time in a dislocated place in expert environment. This situation brings together the designer and printer even closer, and alters completely today’s prepress system. Furthermore, the major part of complex reproductive photographic solutions will take place in a remote manner in big host graphic art computer centres through client/server computation techniques, with rented computer facilities. This is the pathway to printing business standardisation. Together with the request for final adjustment of a graphic product, data on parameters and printing machines will be sent, so as to form optimal CTP and other CIP4 system entries in the printing press. Today’s usual communication speed with printers amounts to one Mbit/sec. If we determine to enter an interactive remote adjustment, available is also the dedicated T3 internet 45 Mbit/s

4. Printing mashines and investments

Printers have become nervous in respect to investments needed to implement new technologies. They are first considering how to attach new electronic components to the existing installations. They understand that it is inevitable to alter the plate production technology, and they are purchasing CTP units on a large scale. After ten years of suspiciousness in respect to digital printing, printers have finally accepted the fact that they must have such new units in order to comply with specific requirements: individualization, trial editions, application of new prints as for instance printing large-sized matter, printing with non-standard materials.

Printers are very slow in considering the need to make investments. Their cautiousness is seen from their low-based criteria. Firstly, they are considering to improve their existing machines by enhancing automation and adding attachments for special printing. Further on, after noticing how successful their neighbor’s CTP-s are, they are purchasing CTP-s of their own. Thirdly, after a very successful era of computed prepress with application of many colors, printers are equipping themselves with multicolor presses. Contrary to these modest investments, a much braver step would be to comprehend that new equipment will be successful only if it has a well defined relationship with the XML technology.

At the beginning of the digital printing era new development programs were put forth by large printing press producers in a most aggressive manner. As a result today one may read millions of reports on how successful the “Big 3” are.

1. «Heidelberg digital print solutions named best products of the year by BERTL , The Heidelberg Digimaster 9150i print system was named the best high-end monochrome CRD device — following in the footsteps of the Digimaster 9110 system, which won the award in 2002.
- The Heidelberg Digimaster 9110m system for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) printing and the Hole Puncher 9110 were recognized for outstanding innovation and design, high-end CRD devices — and both cited by BERTL as being "revolutionary." (http://members.whattheythink.com/allsearch/article.cfm?id=12147)”
… Digimaster 9110m Network Imaging System features magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) toner and special fonts and characters for a variety of applications, including printing checks, rebates, coupons and other financial documents ….

2. …… Now Komori has developed a true digital workflow, with the press at the center of the digital network. Komori understands that such a network requires two elements: an open architecture that can expedite the smooth integration of new technologies, and support for a workflow that facilitates interactive communications, rather than just passing prepress printing data and the job ticket to the press. Komori's Digital Open Architecture Network, or DoNet, encompasses these two elements, ……. (http://www.komori.com/contents_com/product/p_top.htm)

3. ……We print on any material. Whether selfad- hesive film for advertising and construction site signs, labels, translucent films for neon advertising, films with a non-slip protective laminate for floor advertising, fabric for flags and advertising banners - digital printing guarantees printed quality of lasting light-fastness. http://www.roland-werbung.de/english/digitalprint.html
By collaborating with Xeikon N.V., Mortsel, a leading manufacturer of digital printing systems, MAN Roland Druckmaschinen Group has made a significant move towards digital printing. This partnership enables faster development of a strong sales and service organisation for digital printing in the market. In the sense of customer satisfaction, Xeikon-Machines supplements with its facilities for print variable data, the newly developed DICOweb, which was exhibited in drupa 2000. (http://www.man-roland.com/en/p0097/p0103/p0105/p0047/p0047.jsp)
…… DICOstream is the intelligent processing and automation system from MAN Roland, which is setting new standards for professional digital printing.

How should one carry on in the midst of these innumerous innovations? Expert consultations are necessary. One should be careful in making large investments into new tools before market research has been completed. The interaction and merging of standards should be studied thoroughly. Changes take place rapidly, the same way as in computer science. It is difficult to go on having the same habit of purchasing printing machines that are supposed to last for a whole generation.

5. XML in the Printing Production

The printing business would vanish if it were not adapted to the new era of communication. Most of the printed matter products (books, newspapers, magazines, brochures) would not be competitive because there would be a rapid turn taken towards electronic publishing. In general it may be said that the printing business has survived because it had accepted the JDF/XML solution – the solution for integrating all printing processes.
CIP4 (The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress) has published its JDF.1 (Job Definition Format) specification, based on XML (eXtensible Markup Language). The most significant capabilities of JDF1.1 are its ability to specify and complete every part of a print job and job workflow from start to finish.

Production printing machines are integrated with workflow in order to create a digital workflow comprising prepress, press and postpress. JDF has the aim to comprise all the printing business aspects independent of their type, power and printing machine capacity, networking of all processes horizontal and vertical.

The “big three” press manufacturers, Heidelberg, MAN Roland and Komori have a joint plan on CIP4 implementation on all levels. They are rapidly developing their own strategy. This means that the trust in the printing business sustainability idea is growing stronger.

“CIP4 brings together vendors, consultants and end-users in the print communications, graphic art industry and associated sectors, covering a variety of equipment, software, peripherals, and processes. Members participate in focused working groups to define future versions of JDF, to study user requirements, and to design the JDF SDK” (www.cip4.org/press info/2003/2003juno5e.pdf)

CIP4/JDF and XML are the strongest factors in building the path of interoperability between the printers, publishers and end-users. (On the other hand one should not forget the existence of strong interoperability between wwweb and XML technology). There is the idea that an “industrial standard XML-based format” is being created. It is too early for this since the XML technology has spread much wider and comprises: wwweb, the Internet, data basis with growing significance having input and output possibilities, all program languages, taking over of instrumental data. By implementing strict standardisation in the printing business, this rapid development trend might be slowed down. All of the mentioned XML quality parameters are widely applicable in the printing business.

There could be complex discussions organised on “XML printing” only with a project assignment having the following chapters:
1. consultations between the printers at the very moment of trouble-shooting in: production planning, investments, reproduction material purchase, warehouse keeping, relationship with publishers.
2. remote servicing and machine maintenance during their actual production cycle operation time
3. production managing and planning – experience, the problems, new managing software comprising calculation, the job order, dispatch, analysis, statistics.
4. a network system of intranet and internet in the function of rendering instrumental data from the works
5. a network system of intranet and internet in the function of rendering
book-keeping and financial data, managing of human resources, strategic management
6. information on the state of art in graphics art at all times, any place
7. expert advice in the actual production time
This is mentioned because the XML technology has offered it’s data basis solutions, but is also accepting all the old systems such as: Oracle, Informix, MicrosoftSQL Server, Microsoft Access. XML is full open to new patents in the printing business associated with wwweb oriented data basis.

Numerous JDF products have been offered. The exponential growth of the new product quantity will bring about a situation when there will be programs for every trifle. Printing business fairs will offer an uncountable variety of new JDF software products. Implementation will be successful if the JDF/XML philosophy is understood, if there are continuous seminars, promotion education, active swapping of ideas and knowledge, but all of this should take place by using multimedia techniques, and by independent discoveries, research and testing.

6. Individualization

Individualisation expands the printing business and allows flourishing of new ideas in respect to jobs that are completely new and the application of which was not possible in the old printing business system. Working out individualised printing (IP) will alter the printing of many products such as catalogues, brochures, specialised literature, scientific literature, especially countries having a low population number. IP will have to do a lot in the field of layout automation. Libraries of successful layouts are being collected with efforts being made to include standardisation, and this is the opposite to individualisation. Libraries containing layout rules are being made spontaneously, they are multiplied, modified, and they are seeking automatic solutions so as to increase the utilisation of machine and human recourses. Web explorers offer ready solutions according to the “most successful” algorithms, the ones in demand, the ones that are in. The same way as fashionable garments, there is fashion in the design of individual printing. The discussions in respect to individualised printing (IP) reminds us first of all about its great success, a hit: in making documents IP has made it possible to have digital photographs that are impossible to erase and replace. Individualised printing is a phenomenon that has, together with Xeikon, for example, made way for a new chapter in graphic art. Regretfully, printers are not ready to take over such jobs without relying on the help of computer programmers, who are making a big deal out of it. New printing firms oriented fully to digital printing are somewhat more skilful in taking over such jobs, although only some are capable of organising complex projects, such as, for instance, large scale games of chance or B2B catalogues.

Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a term often found in this segment. Although conventional printing firms have VDP only for the reason as not to give individualisation services outside their printing works, they are, however, ready to take part in research projects having as a goal to answer the following enquiries: Where can a market for VDP be found?, Which applications are profitable?, Which technology is more or less successful for a targeted goals?, Which printer and ink producers are the optimal ones?; When does conventional printing end and where does digital printing with individualisation start?, What is the level of understanding software instructions and their simplicity in application.

Individualised printing is identified with on demand printing, and with one-copy printing organised through digital Kiosk. The second type of printed matter is linked with the Internet where the major quantity of printed matter is printed from data basis: e-newspapers, e-books, e-magazines. There will be a rising increase of individual, single printed matter such as department store catalogues, catalogues made by expensive product makers. All of this is allowed by computerised customer follow-up. It may be expected that special agencies will be founded producing individualised newspapers that will be supplied to dedicated customers. Such customers will subscribe to material of personal interest only, such as, for instance, art criticism from all daily newspapers of that day, because they are not interested in anything else. Individuals could subscribe to sport surveys, crne kronike? stock exchange reports, Middle East politics and many other topics with a level of extension to be programmed for each individual separately. The times have come when the customer’s and the seller’s personalities will be recognised through well organised rational data basis. The XML movement has appeared just in time to get the end buyer to actually come to the printing press virtually. The end buyer is a dynamic transaction about who all those in the successful sales, offer, and direct production chain must take care of. Many individualisation themes will be solved through the Internet only. The industry of graphic arts must not miss the opportunity to conquer new markets of individualised printing as the XML technology has been implemented on all levels – from instrumental data in the printing process up to the most sensitive market area. The XML technology is becoming the essential agitator of the printing business’s mass adaptation to the contemporary environment. Computer technology allows individuals to create their own products by using digital printing and gives them the chance to have their own creations. Digital printing and the new media are a strong motivation means for mass conception of new graphic products. The industry of graphic arts is entering a new area and is not at it’s decline, as was considered, but is in expansion, having the most diverse application.

7. Automation in printing

There are two phases of contemporary automation in those printing firms that have altered the many-century rules. The first phase was introducing CIP3/4 and has been in the course of implementation for somewhat less than a decade. The second phase is just about to follow and this is implementation of the XML technology with full application of the wwweb service. The main principle of this wwweb automation is the availability of instrument and commercial data everywhere, anytime, any place. The complete data sequence, production instrumental data, data on printing control inside the printing works, communication with dislocated plants, printing enquiries in places not organised for printing – all this is done through wwweb technology. The joint stock company system will be altered as to owner relationships and the feeling of privacy towards the printing works and printing itself.

One of the possible classifications for global, wwweb oriented printing business is the following: 1. printing of products in plants with big machines, large editions; 2. dislocated printing with specialised plants; 3. printing business for fast reaction to small editions; 4. mobile printing firms 5. personal printing

There are fiery discussions in the field of electronic publishing as to author’s rights. Printing presses and publishers have the same problem in book production: piracy. Holographic marking of each individual product is being applied. A digital book should be designed digitally and this means: animation design, questionnaire, interactive connection with the publisher’s data basis. The digital edition design should initiate the desire to buy many printed books from the same publisher. This kind of approach would expand the publishing business and cause a rise of interest for printed books. Marketing is faced with many options how to invent tricks in keeping a reader’s attention: it has the tools coming from digital design and digital graphics on one hand. On the other hand there is experience in printing design using the advantages of new patents: digital printing, individualisation and new material, new printing machines sizes, new approaches in colour use. The third advantage is the wwweb and customer data basis, where information on customers’ wishes, preferences and needs are contained. The conclusion would be as follows: these are the times when books must be read in their digital as well as printed forms, but each one of them should be designed applying maximum advantages.

8. Education

Printing works have entirely dissolved stereotype jobs, changed the occupational nomenclature, fired the workers who were unable to adapt to the new electronic era. This has taken place in prepress, and it is going to happen in the press section as well. The need for change has been announced by CIP3 and printer’s are forced to adapt to new standards. The oncoming global printing press will be a serious blow for the graphic workers’ union, resulting in a total break-down of printing technology teaching and process control. Joining networks and remote prepress processing with the Client/Server computation technology allow great opportunities for printing presses to join the global printing industry, and this requires an adequate graphic worker.

Education in graphics art in the third millenium means constant active improvement, specialising in specific areas, interdisciplinary profiling of experts having up-to-date technological and printing press knowledge.
The contemporary education centres may be criticised for not being rapid in organising new subjects covering oncoming themes in the printing business. For instance, there is no singled out subject on the XML technology with it’s application in the printing business. The knowledge acquired by a master’s degrees will be a mere foundation to a 21st century graphic professional for systematic, dynamic knowledge and skill accumulation throughout his working lifetime. Transformation is expected in the multimedia, electronic and virtual transfer of knowledge through software and hardware simulators, as well as in forcing of the Internet. An important role of the 21st century educational system is to be flexible and dynamic in the implementation of knowledge on contemporary printing technologies.

9. Conclusion

The printing industry should create additional values, additional offers for clients, services should expand. New innovative solutions are needed. One may say that only innovative printing works will survive. Electronic media are expanding and there is thought this may lead to the decline of the printing industry’s significance. It is necessary to open a new type of business regardless of the Internet oriented communications overproduction. Although information is shown more often on the screen than on paper, graphics and printing still remain as information carriers. Printers will raise the quality of their business by refined printing technologies such as, a high level of individualisation, a greater percentage of digital printing or XML transactions. There will be an integration of traditional printing, digital and computer technology. Printing will expand in the field of digital trade, offering through individualisation of printing expansion of basic technologies and will revive the traditionally good relationship between the buyer and the printed matter. Various printing implementations are being developed with multi-pole solutions. The printing idea must go through a period of revived flourishing in its symbiosis with computer technology. The printing industry is acquiring a “global disguise” because there are experts of various profile taking part in it, and due to their specific individuality there is a need for new solutions, new implementations, new integration, new patents. The massive participation in printing practice requires significant innovations in the following: determining standards, communication, invention of new materials, invention of new digital printing techniques, going through the printing process by applying expert knowledge, data basis control, applying innovations that come with the XML technology.

It was not a practice to collect and analyse production data in printing works. Data basis were organised and directed to commercial enquiries, book-keeping, supply control. There is a necessity now to consider more broadly the cycle comprising the printing business, graphic preparation, picture archives and printed matter contents, press and postpress. The use of all kinds of computer information sources based on very different premises are united by the XML technology. As there are new routines and even complete languages developing daily in the XML environment, standardisation is expected with the goal being that printing should take place everywhere, anywhere, anytime. Ahead of us we have a completely open to all global printing press.