While it is possible in theory to produce some repro on any Mac, a good place to start is with a 7200 or 7500 PowerMac (1800 and 2200 consecutively for the CPU, without screens and keyboards).
Software will be common to all repro
levels – the classics include the Adobe Collection, comprising Illustrator, Dimensions, and Photoshop, currently available as an invaluable package for around 550. Quark- XPress remains a perennial favourite and, despite having less than great typesetting, continues to sell well at 700. Also essential is Word – a classic at around 200.
For scanning, the Agfa Studio Scan, low res, flatbed, 800 by 400 will cost 630, plus an extra 270 for the transparency option to scan in 35mm trannies.
At this level, an appropriate printer will be either an Apple or GCC 600dpi laserprinter at around 1000.
Building on the basics above…
Macs – upgrade to the latest generation such as an 8500 (3500) or 9500 (4500). Extended keyboards are often recommended and either a 20in or 21in screen (the latter gets a special mention because of its two-page WYSIWYG). You’ll also be tempted with extra RAM – it’s possible to run well with 24Mb, but you’ll notice the difference in speed and power if you go for a maximum blast of 40.
If you’re working in a studio with more than five or six Macs, it might be time to consider hooking everyone up with a server – average price around 3500.
For excellent quality, low-resolution scanning, recommendations are for either a Umax Powerlook or an Agfa Arcus, both selling at around 2500.
A good medium-range printer is the Fargo Primera, dye sublimating colour printer, Postscript A4, at around 1400.
There’s a broad range of kit in the high-end category, with prices to match.
Scanning – from the Agfa Horizon Plus scanner at 20 000 to the Dainippon 1030AI A4 scanner at 34 000.
System – Silicon Graphics’ Indy Workstation with Dalim Tango software at around 45 000.
For proofing, the 3M Rainbow dye sub proofer comes in at 16 000, while at the top of the range the DuPont Digital Chromalin will set you back 80 000. Interfaces to the existing high-end drum scanner are around 12 000.
Imagesetters – Agfa Accuset 1000 at 40 000 and – for specialist high-end output – the Agfa Avantra 36 at 140 000.
Design Week would like to thank The Flying Shop, Tel: 01959 576370; MicroRent, Tel: 0171 700 4848; and Turning Point Technologies, Tel: 0171 837 2840 for their help in compiling this panel. All prices are approximate.
Repro is converging with other digital media to become part of what we already know as multimedia