By Carol Hinz
Editorial Director, Millbrook Press
After art lasers and prepress lasers comes the 43-wide. This stage gets its name from the 43-inch wide color imposition proof. (As an aside, this is no longer the machine we actually use to create these proofs, but the name has stuck.)
(Journey into the Deep 43-wide; click to enlarge.)
The 43-w is the first color version of a book we see. However, the colors aren’t entirely accurate, so we don’t use this stage to judge final colors. The nice thing about this stage is that the pages are full size, trimmed, and stapled together. This is the first moment when the book really starts to look like a book.
At this stage, we’re checking to make sure things look the way they’re supposed to. We don’t want to make a change unless we need to correct a problem or error. If I have comments at this stage, they tend to be questions like, “Is this text going to be legible?” The book’s designer checks to see whether certain effects are working the way they were intended.
(That text isn’t fitting correctly in the caption box. And the title in the lower-left corner doesn’t look right.)
Because the layout looks like an actual book, this is also the point when we may catch any spots where the art is too close to the gutter (middle) or edges of the pages. And once in a while, there’s some other kind of random error that wasn’t noticeable on the black and white printouts that suddenly becomes glaringly obvious when we see it in color.
Check back next week for the final stage of production: 4-prints.