The copy preparer who receives the reproducibles as ordered in preliminary review continues the clearinghouse function. He is charged with accomplishing the work which was determined necessary in the review operation. Before he can release the work to the cameras of the Negative Section or to the imposing tables of the Platemaking Section, the copy preparer has many responsibilities to provide an acceptable reproducible.
Furnished reproducibles come in many forms and a wide variety of quality, ranging from top-quality to low-grade or “best results” copy. Departments may furnish, as camera copy, pasted-up file cards, typewritten sheets, electronic computer print-out sheets, type-set reproducibles, duplication machine sheets, hand-lettered copy, glossy photographs (halftone and line), reprint copy (containing screened halftones), hand-drawn line art, pasted-up artwork with or without overlays, masks, tone panels, reverse type, etc.
Copy preparers lay out this material to determine that it is complete as furnished by the agency ordering the work. When components can be combined in camera copy form this is done by pasteup. A large percentage of camera copy is submitted in a size different from that desired in printing. The preparer must compute the sizes and percentages for production of negatives to the proper size for printing. Photographs and most art for illustrations which go into the text usually differ greatly in size and percentage of reduction. Sizes of illustrations must meet the sizes of the space allocated in the text, frequently after the text itself is to be reproduced at a different size than original copy. This requires computing the space allowance for illustrations after reduction as well as computing the size of the illustrations to fit the new size of space in the text.
Cropping of illustrations must be indicated on the art. Stripping guides are placed on the art as an aid to the stripper in placing the illustrations in the text. Margins are computed, marked on the art, and bleeds carefully indicated.
The need for pen ruling and simple pasteup art may be very quickly satisfied by a draftsman’s pen at the preparer’s desk, or it may be very complex, requiring the use of precision ruling machines. Requirements for logarithmic rulings are not uncommon, and general ruled forms are in continuous production. Some bookkeeping forms require screening of the rules to produce specific tonal values to show distinction between columns.
Negatives of standard grid rules once made are kept for use as patterns. Preparers encountering subsequent use of standard grids, even perhaps at a different size, will pick these up for use at a considerable saving of production time.
In every instance, each piece of copy is identified by a jacket number stamped thereon. In addition, identifying page numbers or illustration numbers are marked on copy as needed.
After furnished reproducibles have been combined as far as possible by copy preparers and all components prepared for camera by sizing and marking, the final step before releasing the copy to the camera is to prepare an order with full directions to the Negative Section for work to be performed. Instructions appearing on the camera copy are supplemented by explanatory remarks on the order as necessary. Full data as to schedules, charges, material supplied, and material to be made are stated on the order. On certain types of work, as a check for fulfillment of all phases of the order, the material may be channeled back through the copy preparer for inspection of the work accomplished by the Negative Section. Approval is given for the job only after it is determined that all stripping, combining, mending, and correct sizing is accomplished according to the order and instructions on the copy.
An additional function of copy preparation is the processing and forwarding of proofs to the ordering agency. Preparers order these proofs made at the time the Negative Section work is requested. Agencies requesting proofs of jobs receive ozalids, blueprints, or van-dykes. Plastic color proofs or color key prints are usually furnished on color work with close register. Preparers draw up these proofs with margins, trim marks, and other identifying and clarifying information for approval of the agencies.