08.31.17: Black…and blue
DON FOY is news editor at the Herald-Citizen in Cookeville, TN. He and I met last fall and we’ve kept in touch since.
Last week, Don sent me an email with a pdf of the front page the Herald-Citizen ran August 21st, the day of the solar eclipse.
Thought you might want to see what we did on eclipse day. We’re an afternoon paper, so we went early. We have coverage today.
I took a quick look and got back to him:
Wow…you ran the whole page in reverse? How did it print? Not sure I’d have done that but this is a risk worth taking and I applaud that. It’s good! Give me a bit more detail about how you decided to do this….would like to run this on my blog or as a hint!
Here’s Don’s follow-up note:
There’s an old guy in the Carolinas who’s been trying to get me to think outside the box. So when this came up, I started thinking. (Yes, smoke and an acrid smell and all). I’d been thinking about it for some time. Something like this doesn’t come around often, so I wanted to do something special.
The publisher, Jack McNeely, and I talked about it, and with the pressmen. We knew it would be a struggle for the pressmen, but decided it was worth the try.
Comments from our readers have been positive, so I’m glad we did it. I think people will keep this one.
Will we do it again? Some things deserve to be unique. I think this is one of them. So I would not be in favor of doing it again. But you never know.
And my response:
Worth the shot, I agree. And it’s good that you really gave it some strong thinking. The negative is that it didn’t come out black, but a brown, muddy gray. Still, I applaud the effort. I think I’ll use this as a hint sometime soon. Thanks for the background. A good effort!
The thinking behind this kind of page is to do something different…to take a risk. As Don says in his note: “…I wanted to do something special.”
The negative, as noted, is that black newspaper ink tends to print as a dark, muddy brown. One of the ways to combat this is to feed some cyan into the page—either mixed directly into the black ink for that run or as another plate (with, perhaps, registration problems that could be prohibitive).
Perhaps it’s me being a perfectionist, but I’d have asked about getting some cyan in the mix to create a darker black.
But in a follow-up chat with Don, he reiterated that reader reaction to the page has been very positive.
So…what do I know?
08/31/17 | Here’s a comment from prepress expert Kevin Slimp:
I’d try it if I thought my press could handle the saturation and registration. Could be tricky. By adding any more color plates to deepen the black, you risk losing registration in reverse text.
That Don. Always the sly one.
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