This chapter covers traditionally created mechanicals for offset lithography
from prepress considerations to quality control of the finished publications.
Good preparation and planning are paramount in typesetting, copyfitting,
scaling, cropping, retouching, and pasting copy for reproduction. Follow the
tables within this text or develop your own checklists to ensure professional
quality mechanicals leave the shop. Avoid common pitfalls in printing. The
time you save by thorough preparation is phenomenal.
The skills Lithographer's Mates possess for reproducing material of
uncompromising quality is greatly undervalued in the charged atmosphere of
electronic digitization. For a real education on printing and the effects of
good and poor mechanical preparation, find a Navy Print shop and follow a
job from the time it enters the shop until the time it leaves. Obtain and
complete the LI training manual. There is no better way to learn the subtilies
of creating artwork for reproduction or halftones, and negatives of correct
density than to experience it. Learn quickly before it becomes a skill lost to