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THE PRINTING PROCESS BY VANESSA HUNT L LEAD EDITOR THE INDIVIDUAL PRINTING PRESSES FOR CYAN, MAGENTA, YELLOW, AND BLACK ast month, we covered what it takes to put our magazine together, so now it’s time to take a look at what happens to the magazine once all of the content is uploaded to our printer, Sun Print Solutions. Recently, we spoke with Al Hansen, our contact at Sun Print Solutions, to discuss the printing process. Check out our Q&A with Al to get an in-depth look at what it takes to print, bind, and ship your magazine each month. HF: How long have you been the printer of the Huntin’ Fool magazine? AH: Our relationship is well over 15 years. HF: Has your printing process changed over the years? AH: Computer technology has changed the print world dramatically. The Huntin’ Fool Art Director would drive several hours with multiple CDs of the entire magazine and present them to us to begin the proofing process. Today, those same files are transferred via the internet using software that provides real-time proofs as the pages are being uploaded. We can be printing within hours from the time the magazine has been completed by the Huntin’ Fool staff. HF: What is the first step once all of the files of the magazine are uploaded to you? 8 AH: When the magazine has completed the uploading process through the internet, a digital proof is provided back to the Huntin’ Fool staff for one final review. From there, hard copy proofs are generated with the magazine being broken down into 16 page sections or signatures (sigs for short). These proofs are reviewed by the customer service team to make sure the form factor and all of the pages are in alignment. HF: What happens to the magazine once the proofs have been approved? AH: In offset lithography, the printed images are separated into four colors that closely resemble the primary colors. Computer technology creates these colors in Red, Green, and Blue (RGB); however, the printing industry uses Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow, and Black (CMYK) to make images look as they should on the printed sheet. We create a printing plate representing each of these four ink colors. The printing plate is attached to the press and the printing process begins where we print 16 pages on a 25x38 inch sheet at a time. Upon completion of the press run, these sheets of 16 pages are taken and folded into page order. For a 128- page magazine, 8 of these folded sigs are combined and added to the cover to be “perfect bound” to complete the magazine. HF: Once the magazine is printed and bound, how is it readied for and delivered to the Postal Service for shipment? AH: The completed magazines are taken to the mailing area where the magazine is then added with the “address label carrier,” wrapped in plastic, and mailed to the member. We are now able to track the progress of the magazine