New specification for Sign & Display
from Ghent Workgroup

The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) released an innovative specification to address the Sign & Display segment (aka Large Format Printing (LFP). Given the diversity within this segment, the new specification incorporates the notion of viewing distance and scaling factor. This allows having one specification, but still to address the big differences in printing techniques within typical sign & display jobs.


Viewing distance is the average distance between the final printed work and a typical viewer. This can be as little as 1 meter for banners, or as much as 75 meters for highway billboards. This concept is used because typically, the bigger the viewing distance, the lower image resolution can be.

Scaling factor is another frequently used concept in the large format print market. Because files can become very large, and typical editor applications are not always up to the task to handle these larger size files, many designers create their PDF file at half, 1/10th or even 1/48th of the final printed size. The rules in the Ghent Workgroup specification of course have to take this into account as well.

In order to support viewing distance and scaling factor in an elegant way Preflight tools must use variables and calculation functions. Today only Enfocus PitStop Professional and Callas pdfToolbox meet these demands.

The other factor that sets apart this new specification from earlier Ghent Workgroup specifications, is that it opens up which color spaces can be used in a PDF file. This is important because of the number of wide-gamut output devices in use in this market. For the first time, a GWG specification allows the use of color spaces such as calibrated RGB or L*a*b* for all elements within a PDF document.

The specification and application settings built from it, are available from the Ghent Workgroup web site. As everything else created by the workgroup, they are available for free. Visit the Sign & Display corner on the Ghent Workgroup web site for all information related to this new specification:

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