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Re: [scanning vs colour copies]

At 10:35 AM 7/9/1998 -0500, you wrote:
>Hello, all on the book arts web site.  I bought a scanner and good printer
>back in 1994, when I had my compac notebook.  Anyway, I thought I would
>be able to easily scan my art work ( I am a printmaker) onto the scanner,
>and then print out black and white images.  I also had hopes of printing
>color copies, so I could shrink wrap them and sell them for less to area
>venders.  My compac notebook never had enough ram, the minumun I needed
>was 32 bits, not the mention that the photoshop, illustrator, and the
>other soft ware packages on my computer were vertually using up all my
>memory.  I did get to use the scanner once, then I decided that the $750
>scanner, $4,000 lap top,

OK, problem number one. The rule of thumb used to be that you payed double
for a laptop (as compared to a comparable desktop). The ratio might be down
somewhat, but I suspect that it's still pretty close to 2x.

Problem number 2: Memory memory memory. It's essential. It's also very
cheap these days. When I bought my first computer I paid $30/MB for RAM.
Now it's closer to $1/MB. It's more inertia than anything else that I
haven't gone up to 128M from my current 64M. (I *could* use the memory).

Of course with a laptop, the 2x rule applies to memory and disk space (also
much cheaper these days but no less essential) as well.

>software that cost over $1,000, printer that cost
>$4,000 made very fuzzy pictures at best. Sure I could make the images
>smaller, but it was definately not worth the cost of $6000 plus.

The printer is the weak link. I had the opportunity some years back to work
with a Xerox 5775. More expensive than anything you can imagine, BUT, the
quality, oh the quality. It actually mixed color toner on the page so that
you were getting real 400dpi resolution at 24bits.

But current printers are pretty good and you can get quality output for
much less than $4000.

>now if someone asks what I use my scanner for I pile books on top of it,
>and it holds down the table so it won't blow away in a wind storm.  I now
>have a bigger computer than my initial computer of the year 1994, and I
>have a nicer printer, but I still do original pieces of art that I sell
>one of a kind type.  I laugh when I hear that someone might even consider
>a scanner, printer, and software to reproduce art.

My main concern with desktop scanners is color fidelity. The new 30bit
scanners are an improvement, but drum scans are still essential for the
highest quality art. I'll still buy a drum scan occasionally when I need a
full page image from a transparency (4x5 or smaller). I buy a lot of
PhotoCD scans just because they're so cheap and convenient (and fine for
most things, although I can see the loss in quality when I go to full page,
even with a ProScan).

>The real systems that
>do it for commercial printers are so expensive that my old boss, Athletic
>Advertising that did high school posters had to hire a full force of
>artist and pay giant off set litho printers to print their posters.

If you're printing posters in quantity, you're in a different ball game
entirely. The scans are the least of it. You've got to go offset for
quantity printing just because single-copy color printing is too expensive
for that sort of thing. That means getting imagesetter negs for the

The image acquisition side of things is possible with a desktop scanner,
but if they're, say, printing a poster-size print from a large-format
transparency, they will definitely want a drum scan. Otherwise they're just
not going to get enough dots to do the job.


>they used the same software I did but their Macintosh computers cost
>$5,000 with the proper amount of ram and memory to get a decent slick
>looking poster.  So I rest my case, Ron. I know that in Canada everything
>is dear, and scanners are no exception.  But if you had my system and you
>tried all you possibly could to do art reprodutions you would never sell
>a one and would waist all your money.  I think the only thing an artist
>can do is go to 4 color off set litho companies and have them reproduce
>them for cheaper than one could ever possibily do it their self.  Anyway
>good luck to the artist that wants to do everything. Having been a graphic
>artist and an selling oil painting artist, I realize that Thomas Kinkade
>isn't getting rich off of reproductions in his living room, he goes and
>does whatever it takes to get the job done right.  I know because I
>realize that he is an ordinary artist with great printer, great market
>personal, and good public relationship skills.  If I could earn 1% of what
>he makes a year, I would be happy.  Thanks for lisnening and good luck
>in pursuing my passion, the art of reproduction of art.  I hope if anyone
>out there has the skill to reproduce a Van Gogh that they give it their
>best shot, it might be your only way to make a million.  Have a Wonderful
>Hi - this is Janet - I am an artist - do you need any art work?
>Give me a call.  Logos, Murals, Signs - jmeyerb@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Don Hosek           dhosek@xxxxxxxxxxx    Quixote Digital Typography
312-953-3679        fax: 312-803-0698     orders: 800-810-3311
http://www.quixote.com/serif/ or mail serif-info@xxxxxxxxxxx

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