Report on Print Production

Blast from Past mines the back catalogue of Applied Arts Magazine to revive articles from years gone by. it’s our attempt at bringing to light the figures, firms and events that shaped the Canadian visual communications industry. Revisiting the stories and giants of yesteryear gives us an appreciation of where we came from and, perhaps, an indication of where we’re heading.

This special feature section on the state of the print production industry in Canada comes from the Spring 1989 issue of the magazine. The group of articles documented how the typesetting, prepress and printing industries were being forever altered by the advent of new technology.

When Applied Arts assigned writers Doug Dolan and Shona McKay to put together this package on print production, we knew the industry was undergoing important changes. But it wasn’t until they came back with their fascinating look at some of our country’s top printers, color separators and typesetters that we realized how profound and far-reaching these changes would be. “Report on Print Production” reveals an industry about to be permanently transformed by new technology — especially by the rising tidal wave of desktop publishing.

Typesetters are the group most threatened by the desktop revolution. A majority of those in the business admit that the lower part of their market is being lost to personal computer systems with their easy-to-use typesetting capabilities. But at the same time, they claim that for the best work, a layman with a computer will never replace the expertise of a professional using top-of-the-line equipment. To avoid becoming mere service bureaus, many typesetters are looking into or have acquired the means to take files directly from a wide range of desktop software, so that they can give the text a quality look not yet possible with this new technology. . . . To read all the articles, click here.

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