[Scribus] Registration marks

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Sat Jun 25 04:14:21 CEST 2005

Hi Louis,

> Don't be sorry! This gives me the occasion to add some info on 
> registration marks and other press marks. :)
> The following may or may not apply to your specific project.
> Registration marks are not an absolute necessity at this stage of the workflow.
> Registration marks are not needed when:
> 1. The document will be printed on a digital printer (ie. where the 
> operator has no control on the way the machine actually does the 
> registration, this all being done in the color engine itself). Unless 
> you need to control the actual preciseness of the machine.

Agreed. In many cases it will suffice to provide the printer with a good 
print of your local ink/laser printer that shows your colour preferences.

> 2. The document will be electronically imposed and then printed on an 
> offset press.
> For #2, the printer will most likely use a dedicated imposition 
> software that will allow to place a variety of press marks, including 
> sophisticated color bars. All these will help not only register the 
> images from the various plates to combine a complete image out of the 
> press, but also help control other variables, such as ink density, 
> dot gain, etc. These color bars are often developped by the press 
> manufacturer itself. The color bars and the registration marks 
> generated by the DTP app at output is, in this case, of no use at all 
> and the imposition program will discard this information because it 
> is not needed on press.
> Registration marks however are important if you're going to print on 
> an offset press without any kind of imposition. That is, single page 
> document, printed one up. A large poster being a good example of 
> this. Even then, your printer will most likely want specific marks 
> and color bar the DTP app cannot provide and will use the imposition 
> program anyway.

See above. Unfortunately, some (many!) printers expect imposition, crop 
marks, registration marks etc. already to be provided by the layout 
people. In most cases this makes no sense at all, since the printer 
knows (or at least should know) the advantages and shortcomings of his 
machines better than anybody else. This has nothing to do with effiency, 
but only serves to blame someone else in case something goes wrong.

Many small shops I know use Quark/InDesign/Illustrator for impositions. 
Thus, in the long run, the ability to do (at least) impositions will 
become a necessary feature of scribus.


> The printer is the better person to help you determine for sure what 
> is needed in terms of registration marks.

Of course, but many printers I know prefer to blame others if a print 
job gets messed up ;-)

> Louis

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