First PDF/X ISO standard
published 20 years ago

In December 2001, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the first PDF/X standard PDF/X-1a (ISO 15930-1:2001).

It is based on PDF 1.3 (no transparency) and allows CMYK and spot colors. This standard has been regularly extended and is still valid today.

Unfortunately, many users are stuck with PDF/X-1a (resp. PDF/X-3). They ignore the fact that technologies in artwork production have evolved in recent years (e.g. transparencies, layers, etc.). This is why the PDF/X-4 standard (ISO 15930-7:2008) has been in existence since 2008. This was slightly revised in 2010 (ISO 15930-7:2010) and allows native transparencies, among other things.

Ghent Workgroup launches Ghent PDF Output Suite 5 Conformance Certification

The Ghent Workgoup (GWG) has officially announced the availability of the Ghent PDF Output Suite 5 Conformance Certification. As the chair of the GWG Process Control subcommittee, I have been preparing the project over the last few months.

The new service is aimed at print service providers. With this certification they can prove that their PDF workflow is compliant with the PDF/X-4 standard (ISO 15930-7:2010):

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First presentation of the PDF concept
30 years ago

At the Seybold Conference, which took place Octobre 1-4, 1991 in San Jose (California), the Adobe founder John Warnock has presented the concept of PDF for the first time in public. I was fortunate to attend this memorable event in person.

The project had the internal code name Camelot. The new format was then called Interchange PostScript (IPS) and the electronic paper should facilitate the paperless office.

I remember very well when Warnock printed the title page of ComputerWeek on a Mac to a file which was copied on a floppy disk. The file was opened on Windows in an application called Carousel (the code name for Acrobat) and looked exactly the same as on the Mac thanks to the embedded fonts. At that time this was sensational since the exchange of completely designed pages between platforms seamed impossible.

Exchange color space FOGRA55 (7C)
for extended color gamut
in multiprimary printing

FOGRA has completed the research project Professional colour communication in multiprimary printing that aims to derive important requirements for a predictable and professional workflow for industrial multicolor printing. This includes the development of a test suite, which, together with its documentation and evaluation matrix, simplifies the comparison of current applications for the preparation and processing of multicolor objects. Furthermore, a multicolor printing grid is to be developed based on the analysis of typical multicolor systems across printing processes.

Furthermore, an exchange color space for retouching and separation of multicolor print objects (CMYKOGV) will be developed and introduced as part of an ISO standard:

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