Guy Gleysteen: VP, Paper & Digital Development, TIME INC.
Gleysteen has been the avatar of digital proofing at the magazine giant and vows that he won’t stop until every Time title is published that way.
Digital proofing remains controversial in some quarters of the consumer-magazine business because publications depend heavily on precise, vivid images;and aren’t ready to give up their film. But to Guy Gleysteen, this is a Luddite view that is doomed.
"The most basic point of all is that the technology works," says the 46-year-old Gleysteen, who worked his way up at Time through various production jobs. "So what you’re talking about is speed of implementation. And that reflects on the readiness of individual publishers and their perceptions about their advertising clients."
Ready or not, Time Inc. publishers and their advertisers are leading the industry charge into virtual proofing. Its prominent weeklies;People, Time, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly;have been proofed digitally since November, and Gleysteen says that all of the company’s monthlies will fall in line by October.
Gleysteen recognizes the challenge in converting a pre-production milieu that many see as hidebound. "But because we have enough magazines that represent just about every advertising constituency," he says, "we think we can take the position that if it works for this title, it’ll work for every title."
A big part of his missionary role for digital proofing has been persuading advertisers and agencies to give the technology a chance and agree that it works. His task has involved hundreds of theoretical discussions and dozens of personal demonstrations: Here’s the hard proof, here’s the monitor-based proof;compare. Often, Gleysteen also has to get his target to acknowledge the many inconsistencies among hard proofs that make the traditional process less than perfect as well.
His biggest weapon is the cost argument. "This is not an expensive technology to deploy, but it’s very large in terms of its impact."
VITAL STATS: Time is helping drag the industry into a new era of virtual proofing, using the procedure for about 40 percent of its page volume.