eciCMYK (FOGRA53) as new CMYK exchange color space

ECI has released the ICC color profile eciCMYK.icc. It’s based on the printing condition FOGRA53 defined by Fogra. The goal is a large gamut exchange space which covers all printing technologies (offset, gravure, digital). The eciCMYK profile can be download for free.

Since the gamut of eciCMYK is larger than any real printing gamut and the profile allows a high total ink coverage (TAC), this profile is not suitable for printing.

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PDFX-ready Preflight profiles
V1.5 / V2.5 released

PDFX-ready has update their preflight profiles for Acrobat Pro. The latest versions feature the following changes:

  • V2.5 (for PDF/X-4):
    • Removed check for single-color hairlines (< 0.125 pt) since these lines are no longer problematic in modern CTP and Digital workflows.
    • Check of multi-color objects (text < 8 pt; lines < 0.25 pt) also for Digital Printing.
    • More details in explanation for spot color check.
    • Compatibility with PDF/X-4 created by QuarkXPress 2016/2017.
  • V1.5 (for PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3):
    • New checks for recognition of black texts and vektors which most probably were re-separated (was alredy in V2.4).
    • More details in explanation for spot color check.
    • Removal of check “Annotation of this type not allowed (GWG)” (alignment with V2.x).

Reluctant transition to new printing conditions

At the end of last year I have conducted a survey regarding the transition to PSO Coated v3 / PSO Uncoated v3 FOGRA52. Only 16% are already using the new profiles. An additional 13% is currently in the middle of the transition. Almost half of the users are planning a later transition. A fifth will not change.

These results are better than the results of a simular survey of Deutscher Drucker some month ago. There 90% have answered that they don’t intent to switch to the new ISO standard.

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New color profiles for sheetfed offset since one year

One year ago ECI has introduced the new ICC color profiles for sheetfed offset printing PSO Coated V3 (FOGRA51) and PSO Uncoated v3 (FOGRA 52). Recently BVDM has published Media Standard Print 2016 which is based on the new standards.

My latest survey also covers this topic:

What's your status regarding the transition to PSO Coated v3 / PSO Uncoated v3 FOGRA52?

PDF trends at Drupa 2016

At PDF Days Europe on 15.6.16 in Berlin I have given a presentation about the PDF trends at Drupa 2016.

The new digital (inkjet) presses require powerful PDF workflows in order fed enough pages to these machines. Digital printing has also new requirements for PDF like variable data and multicolor (more than four process colors). Fortunately there are already new standards (PDF/VT, PDF/X-5n, CxF/X-4, PDF Processing Steps) for this.

In my presentation I focused on where these standards were already appearing in products at Drupa.

The final part of the presentation is a market overview of PDF products in ten categories.

PDF/VT Application Notes

PDF Association has published the PDF/VT Application Notes which have been assembled during serveral month by a working group of the PDF/VT Competence Center chaired by Martin Bailey (CTO of Global Graphics). Some parts of the brochure Do PDF/VT Right by Global Graphics have been integrated.

The 47 page document is targeted to developers as well as users of system for creation and output of variable data and describes the advantage and use cases of the ISO standard PDF/VT (VT stands for variable data and transaction printing). Many tipps for building efficient PDF/VT are listed in order to avoid unnecessary computation during output.

New ECI profiles for sheetfed offset printing

On September 30th a kick-off event took place in Stuttgart were BVDM, ECI and FOGRA presented their new tools supporting the new ISO 12647-2:2013 printing standard.

The new ISO-Standard supports the latest developments and standards in measuring technology and lightening. For papers containing optical brigheners a better process control can be achieved. Color measurements and visual impression of proof and printing are better in line.

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PDFX-ready is 10 years old

Jaeggi2_84x88Ten years ago we have founded PDFX-ready in Zurich. Since then almost all important swiss printer associations, system integrators, consultants, training institutes, trade magazines and also some vendors support PDFX-ready as Partners. More than 200 users (printers, prepress service providers, graphic designers, ad agencies, publishers and also print buyers) are already Member of PDFX-ready.

The goal of the association is promoting the use of the PDF/X standards (ISO 15930) with clients, creators and receivers of digital artwork. The use of PDF/X is supported with short instructions (called recipes), color settings, export presets and preflight profiles for offset printing and recently als digital printing. For comprehensive background information on PDF/X workflows the popular PDFX-reade Guideline is available for free.

I was a founding member and since the beginning I am the board member responsible for  certifications. In addition I have developed the preflight profiles as well as the output test forms.

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New ICC colour profile for newspaper printing

WAN-IFRA has released a new ICC colour profile for newspaper printing. It is based on the updated standard ISO 12647-3:2013 which features a reduced total ink coverage (220%) and maximum GCR. The profile WAN-IFRAnewspaper26v5.icc can be downloaded for free. The name of the profile (formerly ISOnewspaper26v4.icc) had to be modifed since the abbreviation “ISO” is only permitted to be used for original documents and products released by the International Organization for Standardization. In addition a new WAN-IFRA report on “ISO 12647-3:2013, Quality Standard for Newspaper Production” was published.

Since this profile does not have substantial advantages, PDFX-ready does not recommend to switch to this profile. This avoids changing existing workflows in newspaper printing.

Color Exchange Format (CxF3) is a new ISO standard

The Color Exchange Format version 3 (CxF3) developed by X-Rite was adopted as ISO Standard 17972-1:2015. The purpose of this format is the exchange of information about color for a broad range of applications in electronic form in XML format. X-Rite has published additional information on

The CxF3 format (ISO 17972-4) will be used in PDF 2.0 to define additional information for spot colors (e.g. spectral data, opacity, …). This is especially interesting for PDF prepress data for packaging since there unconventional spot colors (e.g. silver, gold, metallic) can be used which have a different printing behaviour than “regular” spot colors.