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Proceedings Paper

Color management comes of age
Author(s): Gerald M. Murch
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Paper Abstract

Most industry analyst seem to agree that the phenomenon known as desktop publishing occurred as the result of a serendipitous emergence of the three "A" companies at the right point in time: Apple, Adobe and Aldus. Apple's user friendly operating system provided a vehicle for the traditional graphic designer to migrate from the prevalent tools of the trade to the emerging electronic medium. Adobe provided a rendering language which could rasterize the file and be interpreted by a high end print device as well as a number of existing desktop solutions such as Photoshop and Illustrator'TM that emitted into the language. Finally Aldus offered the first integrated layout package, PageMaker'. Thus was born desktop design and publishing and the link to the traditional publishing industry with Apple' s Macintosh FX model the platform of choice. It is critical to note that these tools were not the tools of the amateur or occasional user. These were the tools of professional publishers which formed the front end to complete, proprietary publishing systems from companies such as Linotype-Hell, Scitex and Agfa. An industry was in transition from high end publishing in which the graphic artists concepts and builds were constructed into plates by a cadre of professional publishers. The transition was one in which the pathway to direct to press fell more and more in the hands of the designer. Note that on the UNIX platform, Silicon Graphics made significant inroads as a high powered platform for publishing but never was able to head off the lead enjoyed by Apple. Today, of course, SGI is very successful in providing the tools for three dimensional graphics and animation. DOS and Windows never played a major role in the publishing arena, although Microsoft, as is discussed below, is making tremendous inroads into the domain. With this brief background, the focus of this presentation is on the migration of more and more capability for graphic design and layout to the hands of computer users as opposed to the migration of computer tools into the hands of the publishing professional. Today most computer owners are capable of producing the most sophisticated graphic design and publishing solutions: Output which rivals that of professionals only years before. Naturally the quality of such output may not always live to the standards of the graphic design and publishing professional, but the output is often remarkably sophisticated. So what has fostered this transition initiated by the three "A"-Companies 10 years ago and what are the directions that are emerging that will structure the future

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 1996
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2658, Color Imaging: Device-Independent Color, Color Hard Copy, and Graphic Arts, (29 March 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.236951
Show Author Affiliations
Gerald M. Murch, Xerox Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2658:
Color Imaging: Device-Independent Color, Color Hard Copy, and Graphic Arts
Jan Bares, Editor(s)

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