With the “Epson Proofs” approved, everything was set to go to press. The first step was to create a “plate” for each of the printing sheets. This plate is special in that it tells the big printing press how to add the four colors to create our desired image.
After each plate was installed in the machine, the technicians began trying to match the colors to the Epson Proof. They ran dozens of test copies to get it just right. I offered my opinions on the color as I got close and eventually gave my final approval to them. I was surprised though at how limited our options for adjusting the color were at this stage because if they changed one spec, it had ramifications for other colors on the page. So we found the settings that balanced everything as well as possible, and then moved ahead. It all turned out great!
After pressing the print button, it took about 20 minutes to print over 1500 copies of each separate sheet/plate. From time to time, they stopped to make sure the printed sheet colors were still matching. The reason they printed more than our 1000 was because they wanted to have extras in case some didn’t turn out right or other mistakes were made throughout the production process later. That also meant I got to take a set home as a souvenir.