Friday, May 19, 2006

May 19

Tui wondered what a press check is. This is the explanation I gave her:

There is a big job being printed, a car brochure. It has 36 pages, which are printed four at a time (each sheet is called a "form", there are nine in total in this case). My job is to be there and check the quality of the printing of each form. I don't have to supervise the entire print run, I just have to be here at the start of each run and get them to do micro-adjustments till I'm perfectly happy with the colour.

All going well, it should take about eight hours between checks. However, this job has been problematic. The work is being produced by an advertising agency in New York. Their client is a major car manufacturer, and so far on every form, they have called through changes AFTER we have received the files, made the plates, and put it on the press. So we have had a big delay while we stop the job, make the changes, get them approved, make new plates, and start again.

We've been at it for three full (24 hour) days, and have so far printed only four forms. I haven't had more than three hours sleep at a time, much of it on the couch at the printer's. I came home tonight to spend a few hours with my husband; it's now 11pm and I expect a call any time now to drive back down there (it's a 1 - 2 hour drive, depending on the traffic).

So that's why I'm so tired. And no, Julie, I haven't been walking a mile to draw. But tonight I noticed on a map that there's a graveyard not far from the factory, so tomorrow between checks I am going to find it. It is possibly a visually interesting island in the middle of a very ugly industrial wasteland.


Julie Oakley said...

I haven't done a press check for about 16 years. My clients are too 'budget conscious', or the runs are too short to warrant it. I seem to remember after the first one (where I was made to feel very important) they were just a pain in the neck so I sympathise.

Alison said...

Oh, poor you - I am well past the days where I can comfortably manage on less than 8 hours sleep a night - less, and I quickly feel like you look in your portrait. I hope you can make it up soon