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FLEXO Magazine : May 2009
FTA TODAY MAZUR’S MANTRA “Consistency is the single most important thing in printing!” Anyone who knows Mark Mazur has heard him make that pronouncement many, many times. He stands as a long-time advocate of using FIRST, hand-in-hand with color management to certify that what is printing on press matches what was approved by the print buyer on the proof. Given that statement, it is no surprise to learn from long-time friend and fellow Hall of Famer Jean Jackson that, “Mark was instrumental in the compilation and update of FIRST 4.0. He is committed to moving our art toward science and in the process moving this whole industry forward and making things better for us all.” Speaking to FLEXO in 2004, he said, “For our industry to grow, we have to gain the confi dence of the package buyer. Quality is not the issue. We can do the quality. We need consistency—not just within the printrun, not just run-to-run, not just in a given plant, not even just within a given company; but across the entire fl exographic industry. FIRST is a step in that direction.” In a nod to real-life experience, Mazur once stated, “When I fi rst got involved in this industry, I realized that we use separations that were not intended to be printed in the fl exographic process and then proof those images with proofi ng systems that do not represent how they will print on a fl exo press. Both of those issues are color management issues and are what I consider one of the most important aspects of the printing process. It’s about making sure what you’re doing meets what the customer is asking for.” Issuing his forecast on future developments in 2001, the 2009 Hall of Fame inductee said, “Through color management, fl exography can continue to make strides in consistency, quality and productivity. Digital direct-to-plate technology will become the norm and solvent processing of fl exographic plates will become obsolete. Prepress hardware and software will continue to increase productivity. Color management tools will become easier and more widely used and direct digital proofers will increase in speed, resolution, consistency and color gamut; all while decreasing in cost. Most importantly, fl exographic printing will overtake lithographic printing and become the most widely used printing process.” More recently, he returned to a familiar theme, when writ- ing on G7. “With all the time, eff ort and experience developing printing standards, one would think this is today a well-defi ned science. Think again. With respect to the many hard working, well meaning printing professionals who have devoted endless energy to this challenge, it remains frustrating that our profession has not agreed on one set of criteria that exceeds all others. “Ask yourself, ‘Why can I give a single set of blueprints to any builder and they will achieve the same result? But give an electronic fi le to fi ve diff erent printers and I’m assured of fi ve diff erent results?’ ... The answer is simple. While architects, engineers and builders all agree on basic standards, like the exact length of one foot, our profession has no single agreement as to what is meant by 50-percent cyan (or any of the other colors found in a process image.) It’s a rudimentary analogy, but the point is evident. What is really needed is a standard for the CMYK values in an electronic fi le where the prepress process begins. Surprisingly, such a standard does not exist. If anything, there are a myriad of defacto standards that only add to the confusion.” 1976: Undergraduate Mark at SUNY Albany with Academic Advisor, Dr. Sheldon Bank and wife, Dr. Janet Bank and best friend Dennis (fellow chemistry major). His wife, Donna, says, “I never would have dated that hair!” Photo courtesy Donna Mazur. 1980: Mark at Yale. “They had barbers in Connecticut,” quips his wife, Donna. Photo courtesy Donna Mazur. Summer 1983: The “Buff Mark.” Photo courtesy Donna Mazur. 1984: Mark and Donna engaged. Note the hair and outfi t—Donna was making progress. Photo courtesy Donna Mazur. August 31, 1985: Mark gets married. Donna says he’s still upset because at the end of the ceremony the priest never said, “You may now kiss the bride.” Photo courtesy Donna Mazur. www. f le xography. org MAY 2009 FLEXO 11