After all the designs were finished, Pat needed to upload the files to the factory network using their FTP. Because of the amount and size of the files, this took a lot of time. Another frustration was that it didn’t seem to work properly at times, and the files didn’t come through. So it was a bit 麻烦 (ma fan or annoying), especially for Pat who was dealing with it over the 13-hour time zone difference. Eventually though, we got all the files transferred.
The next big step was for the factory to arrange the designs digitally onto six “plates” or large printing sheets. While it might seem basic, it actually was complicated. One reason it was hard was because our cards needed to be stacked in a certain order, which meant that they had to be cut in a certain order, which meant that they had to be printed in a certain order. It was interesting watching that technician do the math on it. I’m glad I was there to answer a couple of his questions right in the moment as well.
Once ready, the factory printed the “Epson Proofs” for each of the six plates or printing sheets. As mentioned earlier, they used a special ink printer for this. These “Epson Proofs” became the target color, from which the technicians would try to match the color during mass production.