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Communication is Key Talk to your printer when you’re designing the job

Geologic Map of Maryland

Geologic Map of Maryland

Questions will arise and the only silly questions are the ones that didn’t get asked.

Cartography has changed dramatically in the last 20 years.  Our skill used to be measured by our ability to manipulate, via various tools, the physical materials used to draft maps.  Almost any problem encountered could be taken to a journeyman with 25 years of experience who would know the answer because they had been there and done that.

Now, in our digital environment, we have to be problem solvers because what we see is not always what we get.  And what we saw and got this morning is different than what we’re getting this afternoon.  The color plots commonly used for proofing have physical limitations.  A line that is spec’d in the file at one thousandth of an inch will print at four thousandths on the plot because that’s as fine a line that it can do.  Unfortunately it will be accurately represented on a printing plate and therefore almost invisible on the printed sheet.  Information in your file that is seen by a high end ripping platform may not be seen by your preview or desktop applications such as Indesign, Illustrator or photo-shop.  Transparency settings that made your color plot look good on your computer monitor, may make your printed job look terrible.  Every new job is a new Rubik’s cube which has to be sorted out.  The most efficient way for that to occur is if everybody talks.

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