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KODAK STACCATO Screening Helps Asahi Newspaper Capture Prestigious Color Quality Award


Rochester, NY.- Tokyo based Asahi Shimbun is one of an elite group of only 50 newspapers worldwide to be recognized by the International Newspaper Color Quality Club (INCQC) for its outstanding print quality. Nearly 200 newspapers submitted entries in this year’s quality benchmarking competition, and all were reviewed and evaluated by an international jury of experts.

Asahi Shimbun is one of the oldest and largest daily newspapers in Japan, with a circulation of more than 8 million for its morning edition and a long history of high quality reproduction. The publication implemented KODAK STACCATO Screening several years ago and was the first printer to incorporate FM screening in Japan, using the KODAK SQUARESPOT Imaging Technology built into the NEC Engineering AMZIsetter computer to plate (CTP) device. SQUAREspot Technology uses a high resolution laser (5,000 dpi native resolution for newspaper applications) that significantly reduces the impact of process variations and makes STACCATO Screening practical for daily operation.

“Asahi Shimbun is the first newspaper in Japan to incorporate STACCATO Screening and make it standard practice for all color advertising pages. We are very honored to receive such an award in this worldwide INCQC competition, and to be recognized for our print quality,” said Mr. Masao Kuribayashi, Color Coordinator, Production and System Division of Asahi. “To have the advantages of STACCATO Screening recognized by an objective panel of judges reinforces our decision to adopt the technology. Print quality is an important part of our commitment to report accurate news.”

As part of the competition, INCQC entrants had to process and print a series of specially prepared test elements, photos and digital ads, which underwent a comparative evaluation. In addition, each entrant had to collect and submit sample printed copies taken from their daily production run over a longer specified period of time.

“STACCATO Screening takes print quality to a whole new level, and on newsprint, that improvement can be significant,” noted Nathanael Eijbersen, Product Manager, Newspaper Output Devices, Prepress Solutions, Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group. “Asahi Shimbun is a great example of how users are leveraging screening technology today to deliver superior quality in a wide range of applications, and to be among the top 50 in the world is certainly an impressive accomplishment. Kodak is excited to have played a role.”

STACCATO Screening produces high impact, artifact free images with greater image fidelity, richer colors, open shadows, sharper texture, and finer detail than conventional AM or hybrid AM/XM screens. STACCATO Screening also eliminates gray level limitations and abrupt jumps in tone, while improving color and halftone stability.

The INCQC is organized jointly by Ifra, the Newspaper Association of America, and Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association. Newspapers that participate with success are awarded membership for a two year period in the exclusive club, and also gain access to well defined color standards against which they can measure their performance, as well as a detailed audit that highlights areas of strength and areas for improvement.


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