Barbra Streisand is a perfectionist, famous for the exalted performance standards she sets for herself and for those who contribute to her performances in any way. This no doubt helps explain her seemingly everlasting career. A performer has to be the best consistently to sustain a reputation like hers. And, that demand for consistent perfection applies not only to her performances, but to the quality the posters and concert books like those recently produced at Worth Higgins & Associates, where images were edited, proofed and then re-edited as many times as necessary until they met with the approval of Ms. Streisand’s discerning eye.
As daunting as it can sometimes be, making proofs for a perfectionist is only the first part of the challenge. The second and most crucial part is matching those proofs on press, where the last sheet printed must match the first, with color consistency on every sheet in between. All the elements must adhere to the same high standard set by the proof. At Worth Higgins & Associates, we use the best color management system available today, G7, a GRACoL qualification procedure which uses colorimetry technology and G7 process controls to calibrate proofing systems and printing presses with each other to insure matching image coloration from media to media, machine to machine.
How can we check color consistency from sheet to sheet so we know the 5,000th sheet matches not only the first but all those in between? That was the question. The answer came from our Quality Manager, Jerry Andrews, who drew upon his muse and arrived at a simple but ingenious solution.
“My challenge was to ensure the first, last and every sheet in between matched color. Laying sheets side by side would not offer an accurate enough visual to accomplish what was needed. I thought what better way to compare colors than to ‘look through’ the sheets. If they looked like one printed sheet we knew we had achieved consistency.”
Jerry had the pressmen pull random sheets of every page of the Streisand show book. Then he cut concentric holes in the pull sheets, creating a window in each sheet to the one below. By stacking the sheets in order of descending window size, you could literally see through all the sheets, creating a quick visual to verify color match from sheet to sheet. If the colors match, it should appear that you are looking at only one sheet. Jerry tested every page of the book in this way. The sets were hung in his office which, to a passerby, made Jerry look like Ms. Streisand’s biggest fan! What could be more perfect?