Proofing text on newsprint

Aaron Thesing's picture

I’m in the process of redesigning a newspaper, and I’m wondering if there is a way I can more accurately print proofs. Crisp laser printouts are nice, but I want get a feel for how the design will work in its ‘native’ media.

Does anyone have experience putting newsprint through an inkjet printer? Can it be done effectively? I’m pretty sure I can get some of the same paper the news is printed on.

My other alternative is to experiment with type in a house/fill ad that runs in the actual newspaper. This is probably most accurate, but totally up to chance, and only available once a week.

Any advice or information is most appreciated. Thanks.

oldnick's picture

Your "other alternative" is the only option which will yield accurate results...

Aaron Thesing's picture don't think there is a chance of getting really close with newsprint in an inkjet? Or at least close enough to be worth the trouble? Thanks for the reply Nick.

oldnick's picture

Inkjet ink and lithographic press printing ink are two different animals; even if you could feed newsprint through an inkjet printer (an iffy proposition, given how flimsy newsprint is), the inkjet ink may well bleed on the cheap paper...

JamesM's picture

I don't think inkjet will be a accurate simulation, but if you want to test it then duplicate a small section from a previous issue -- same font, same point size, etc -- and compare the printed results.

Nick Shinn's picture

We are talking about grey on grey with massive ink spread.
Impossible to simulate.

Have your client do a press test of your prototype pages, including sample pages for color swatches and type specimens.
Tell them that's what the big boys do.

For just the type, persuade them to slip in some of the faces you are considering, here and there in their present publication.

blank's picture

Ask whoever handles the money in-house to prepare a cost comparison of a disastrous implementation of an untested design versus the cost of running a couple test pages.

hrant's picture

A while back when I became curious what Patria would look like in a newspaper I tried just that. I bought "newsprint" paper and ran it through my inkjet. The bleed was out of control. So it's like people are saying here. And really, it's not too hard to swing some inclusion in an actual newspaper issue.

HOWEVER, I can imagine a way, for somebody who needs quick iterative proofing showing something that comes close to the final product:

Get the font your target newspaper is currently using, and instead of using newsprint in your inkjet find a paper stock that gives very close results to the real thing when printed on your inkjet. Then use that paper with your proposed font to proof away!


dezcom's picture

When you are testing for a newspaper, you are testing the total combination of variables, not just paper. There is no point in bothering with inkjet on newsprint, whatever it is, it is nothing like what the real thing will be. You might try making some test words in your font with minor variables such as, ink traps, small weight changes, join angle. That way, when you make your on-press test with the real magilla, you will be able to see what effect any or all of these minor changes make in print. You go from just knowing it is a bit off to having a clue how to fix it.

Aaron Thesing's picture

My main thought with newsprint & inkjet printer was that I could pump out proofs whenever I wanted.

But as has been suggested I’m better off getting a proof into an actual print run. This has the added benefit of being able to see how the design will perform on heavier-inked and lighter-inked sheets. I’m liking the sound of this method more and more.

Thank you all for your responses, they are quite helpful.

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