One reason the contradance calendar looks so good is that I have a great team. The designer, Joanne Kelly-Lauterjung, is a dancer and understands the community. She is living in Myanmar these days, and we worked on the calendar via email and Dropbox. AdPro Litho in Mukilteo is the printer, who did a fantastic job last year. Jenny Anttilla is the print broker who brought us together and manages our communication.
But my secret weapon is Dick Busher, of Cosgrove Editions. He is one of the industry's preeminent experts on color proofing and printing, with too many awards to keep track of. He publishes small run, ultra-high quality art and photography books; the latest is "Johsel Namkung: A Retrospective," a stunning monograph of the Northwest landscape photographer. It's well worth the $175 price tag.
He has tweaked the color and tonality of every single photo in the calendar. He managed the conversion from RGB to CMYK, a task that generally scares me. Every pixel is in gamut. The Delta E of his proofs are astonishingly low. The calendar is going to look fantastic because of this close attention.
I know just enough about color management to be dangerous. He fixed the color cast that I inadvertendly gave every image and made most of them difficult to convert to CMYK. Without adult supervision, this calendar could have looked dreadful. It looks like my next purchase is going to have to be a newer, better monitor, and a newer monitor profiler.
I just looked over the latest proofs, and made some modest color changes to several images. I'll approve the altered proofs early next week, and then the files go to the printer.