Available immediately, the ECI has published the following supplements to the »ECI Offset Profiles (2009)«:
Extensive documentation is provided within the download packages.
Please click here to go to the download area for the supplements.
Berlin/Munich/Wiesbaden, February 15, 2012: In the light of the established collaboration between the European Color Initiative (ECI), Fogra and the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm), the Fogra characterization database has been extended to three newly developed sets of characterization data.
While FOGRA48 addresses heat set printing on improved newsprint stock FOGRA49 and FOGRA50 cover standardized offset printing based on FOGRA39 with additional surface finishing namely matt and glossy laminated sheet-fed offset prints using OPP films.
The new printing condition FOGRA48 and the associated ICC profile “PSO INP Paper (ECI)” for heatset web offset printing on improved newsprint are based on a test print series conducted by the ECI web offset working group (WOWG). Several European web offset printers contributed print samples on typical improved newsprint papers. Upfront the working group had agreed upon aim values for the solid coloration and the tone value increase (TVI) of the printing inks cyan, magenta, yellow and black. As for all other offset profiles provided by the ECI, the aim values for the TVI are taken from the international standard ISO 12647-2:2004. For the dot gain of cyan, magenta and yellow curve C (19%) applies, and curve D (22%) for black, measured in a 40% patch of a control strip. With the new profile the ECI completes the range of standard profiles for web offset papers.
The characterization data for lamination are based on test prints of the ECI coating working group, which included several types of coated paper and cardboard, as well as different lamination films and machines. Based on measurements before and after lamination, typical colour changes have been determined and applied to the FOGRA39 data set. This ensures an optimal correspondence between unlaminated and matte (FOGRA49) or glossy (FOGRA50) laminated data sets. In addition, the Fogra research project (No. 32.152) examined the effect of varnishing, which leads to similar, but smaller colour shifts than film lamination. The resulting varnished gloss depends strongly on paper and ink gloss and affects saturation and contrast. Since there are considerable differences in these material properties, no standard data sets for varnishing are made available as “FOGRAxx data”. However for individual high-quality production, the varnish data sets are available on the Fogra project web page. This applies also to UV varnish, which has about half the effect of film lamination. Here, FOGRA49 and FOGRA50 might serve as a rough estimate of what to expect. Again, for high-quality varnished jobs it is preferable to establish individual characterization data. This could be done by appropriate data adjustments based on the newly provided data sets.
A colour-accurate proof or softproof using e. g. FOGRA49 represents the expected result of a standardized offset print on coated paper (FOGRA39) with subsequent matte film lamination. By comparing FOGRA39-based proofs with FOGRA49 or FOGRA50, it is easy to check whether undesired colour changes must be expected (so that job data may need readjustment). For more details please refer to the documentation on the ECI web page.
As before, the printer must measure and achieve his established aim values for standardized printing on the unlaminated print (paper type 1/2, 60-80 lines/cm, TVI curve A for CMY (13%) and B (16%) for black). Production-based differences to FOGRA39 in paper white, solid coloration, and tone value increase are carried forward by lamination. Therefore it is not meaningful to use measurements on laminated prints for process control.
Colour changes during lamination depend only on the materials. Glossy films are very similar, but matte films can have quite different values of haze / opacity. The average matte film given by FOGRA49 leads to a lightness increase of ∆L* = 6 in the solid black patch and is well suited for typical production. A clearer film will cause less lightening; a matter film will cause more. Therefore, individual film types can be classified by measuring solid black before and after lamination (on the same patch on the very same sheet, before and after).
As of June 2009, new Fogra characterization data sets, as well as ECI offset profiles are available, which replace existing versions. The characterization data sets “FOGRA45” for heatset web offset printing on improved LWC paper (light weight coating), and “FOGRA46” for heatset web offset printing on standard LWC paper, are based on print runs conducted by the ECI web offset working group. For offset printing on uncoated white paper a new profile based on “FOGRA47” has been introduced.
Due to the yellowish paper shade, the characterization data set FOGRA28 and the ICC profile “ISO Web Coated” do not reflect the paper tone and colour appearance of heat set web offset printing on today‘s most commonly used LWC papers. In order to create a successor for “ISO Web Coated”, four European web offset printers conducted a test print series on a selection of typical LWC papers. Based on a comparison of the printed results it was obvious that a single ICC profile is not sufficient to represent the colour appearance of all LWC papers. Today‘s most commonly used LWC papers can be devided in the two groups “standard” and the more frequently used “improved” papers. For that reason the ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend to generally use the new profile “PSO LWC Improved (ECI)” for colour conversion and proofing as successor for “ISO Web Coated”. The intended use of the second new profile “PSO LWC Standard (ECI)” is proofing for heatset web offset printing on slightly yellowish LWC paper only.
Ideally process control and quality assurance for proofing and production printing use identical CIELAB coordinates. As helpful mean to implement the international printing standard, the characterization data should contain the aim values of the international standard ISO 12647-2. As a prerequisite the CIELAB values of the paper tone and the printing inks, measured on typical paper, comply with the aim values of the standard ISO 12647-2 (print process control) and the respective Fogra characterization data set (proofing). For the paper types 1+2 for offset printing on gloss and matt coated paper, the CIELAB values measured in daily production comply with the aim values (FOGRA39, “ISO Coated v2”). If these aim values are matched in a metered evaluation by proof and production print, the two match visually as well. Due to a significantly higher degree of optical brighteners, this does not apply to offset printing on uncoated white paper (paper type 4). The paper shade of typical uncoated white paper shows a b* value of -6 and more if measured under standard compliant conditions (without UV or polarized filter). This corresponds to a blueish colour with the consequence of unfeasible proofing results with regard to the paper shade simulation and pastel colours. In order to facilitate proof prints properly matching the production printing, the CIELAB values of the new characterization data set for offset printing on uncoated white paper (FOGRA47) deviate from the blueish colour measurement of typical uncoated white paper.
Another specific characteristic applies to proofing for offset printing on uncoated stock: Using a semi-matt proofing substrate, commonly used for “coated” proofs, will yield a poor visual proof to print match even in the case of an excellent metered proof evaluation. The use of uncoated proofing stock results in the best possible metered match with the aim values of the characterization data set and the best possible visual proof to print match.
In general, the ECI, bvdm, and Fogra recommend using the ICC profile which matches the intended printing condition, for colour conversion as well as for proofing. You will find an overview of all ECI offset profiles for standard printing conditions in the PDF manual on page 4. Some paper manufacturers and suppliers provide information regarding recommended characterization data sets (Fogra number) and ECI offset profiles according to the paper stock. The ECI offset profile “ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI)” is a good choice in cases where the intended printing condition is not yet known. The advantage of the version of the coated profile with a maximum total ink coverage of 300% is it‘s higher flexibility regarding the use for sheetfed and web offset printing. Prepress data prepared with this profile can be converted to many other printing conditions with good results, however, the best possible results will be achieved with cmyk prepress data prepared with the profile that matches thatprinting condition exactly.
The new ECI offset profiles can be freely downloaded from the ECI website (www.eci.org). The characterization data sets “FOGRA45” through “FOGRA47” can be downloaded also free of charge from the Fogra website (www.fogra.org). The ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend the immediate use of the new characterization data sets and profiles.
As of July 2008, new Fogra characterization data sets, as well as ECI offset profiles for four new printing conditions are available. The characterization data sets “FOGRA41” for heatset web offset printing on MFC paper (machine finished coating), and “FOGRA42” for heatset web offset printing on SNP paper (standard newsprint), are based on print runs conducted by the ECI web offset working group. For offset printing with non-periodic screening (NP screening), also known as FM screening (frequency modulated screening), the characterization data sets “FOGRA43” for paper types 1 and 2 (gloss- and matte-coated paper) and “FOGRA44” for uncoated white paper have been introduced.
The new characterization data sets for offset printing with non periodic screens have been developed in a Fogra research project. Fogra realized an extensive series of test prints on coated and uncoated stock using non-periodic screening systems from several vendors. As expected, the tone value increase was significantly higher than on prints with conventional AM screening (amplitude modulated screening). For the following reasons, it is not recommended to adjust FM screened plates to the aim values used for AM screening on the respective paper types:
Therefore curve F as stipulated in the ISO 12647-2:2004 standard is the process control aim for all paper types and printing inks. The tone value increase of curve F in the mid tone (at 40%) is 28 percent.
PSO stands for “Process Standard Offset printing”. By indicating the printing technology at the beginning of the profile names, the ECI is continuing the use of the naming system established with rotogravure profiles, which begin with the letters PSR (process standard rotogravure). The PSO is published by the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm). The starting points for the PSO are international standards such as ISO 12647-2 for process control of sheetfed and heatset web offset printing, as well as the ISO 15930 series for the exchange of printing data using PDF (PDF/X).
In order to help users implement ISO standards practically, the PSO covers all steps of the print media production; from the creation of printing data to production printing, accompanied by objective quality control through measurement.
With regard to quality control, the PSO explicitly refers to the parameters, aim values and tolerances published in the ISO 12647-2 standard. In addition, the CIELAB values of the Fogra characterization data sets are used for the quality control of contract proofs. To further simplify the practical implementation of ISO standards, the PSO includes detailed instructions, and refers to helpful tools published by organisations such as ECI, Fogra and Ugra. In short, the relationship between the ISO standard and PSO can be explained as follows: ISO defines the aim – PSO the method. Therefore new ECI offset profiles contain references to the respective ISO standards in their profile names. ECI profiles for paper types which are not yet covered by the ISO standard do not contain this reference. This is the case with MFC and SNP papers. However, as in the case of all other printing conditions, the print runs for creating the charactarization data sets for these paper types followed the process control specifications of ISO 12647-2:2004. This applies in particular to the tone value increase curves. You will find a reference to the respective tone value increase curves as stipulated in the ISO 12647-2:2004 standard in the table on page 4 of the PDF “ECI_Offset_2008_EN” and in the info file of the respective ECI offset profile.
The two ECI profiles “PSO MFC Paper (ECI)” and “PSO SNP Paper (ECI)” apply for heatset web offset printing on MFC (machine finished coating) and SNP (standard newsprint) paper. These profiles are an addition to the current “SC Paper (ECI)” profile in an effort to enhance solutions for the creation of prepress data as well as contract proofs for paper types frequently used in web offset printing. The respective characterization data sets “FOGRA41“ for MFC and “FOGRA42” for SNP paper have been developed by the ECI web offset working group based on an extensive series of test prints conducted by several web offset printers. The ECI offers three ICC profiles for offset printing using non-periodic screening. The two profiles for matte and gloss-coated paper differ only with regard to the maximum tone value sum. The profile named “PSO Coated NPscreen ISO12647 (ECI)” creates a maximum tone value sum of 330 percent where “PSO Coated 300% NPscreen ISO12647 (ECI)” creates 300 percent, which is well suited for web offset printing. Both profiles are based on the characterization data set “FOGRA43” (20 µm). The profile “PSO Uncoated NPscreen ISO12647 (ECI)” which is for offset printing using non-periodic screening (30 µm) on uncoated white paper, is based on the characterization data set “FOGRA44”.
In general, the ECI, bvdm, and Fogra recommend using the ICC profile which matches the intended printing condition, for colour conversion as well as for proofing. You will find an overview of all ECI offset profiles for standard printing conditions in the PDF “ECI_Offset_2008_EN” on page 4. Some paper manufacturers and suppliers provide information regarding recommended characterization data sets (Fogra number) and ECI offset profiles according to the paper stock. The ECI offset profile “ISO Coated v2 (ECI)” is a good choice in cases where the intended printing condition is not yet known. Prepress data prepared with this profile can be converted to many other printing conditions with good results, however, the best possible results will be achieved with cmyk prepress data prepared with the profile that matches thatprinting condition exactly.
The new ECI offset profiles can be freely downloaded from the ECI website (www.eci.org). To simplify the selection, the profile package “ECI_Offset_2008” contains both the new offset profiles and all profiles from the previous set “ECI_Offset_2007”. The characterization data sets “FOGRA41” through “FOGRA44” can be downloaded also free of charge from the Fogra website (www.fogra.org). The ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend the immediate use of the new characterization data sets and profiles, as the new profiles are an extension, and do not replace any of the current valid profiles in the package “ECI_Offset_2007”.
Note: In order to download the profile package please go to the “Downloads” section.
New characterization data and ICC profiles for standard printing conditions
Based on optimized aim values of the international printing standard ISO 12647-2 ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend to use new Fogra characterization data and ECI offset profiles. The new aim values are contained in an amendment. They replace the respective provisions in the standard. The amendment to ISO 12647-2 will be officially published by ISO in January 2007 as a supplement to the standard. The changes mainly affect the aim values for the CIELAB colour coordinates of the process colour solids and the two and three colour overprints. All other provisions in ISO 12647-2 remain untouched and valid.
Enhancement of the well proven offset ICC profile “ISO Coated” The well proven previous offset profile “ISO Coated” has not been changed fundamentally but was optimized in some colour regions. For example the colour coordinates of the Cyan solid tone now better matches practical values. All normative CIELAB aim values for the ink primaries and the paper tint as defined by ISO 12647 have been incorporated with identical values into the FOGRA characterization data and the ECI offset profiles. Based on the informative aim values of the amendment, the CIELAB values for the secondary colours have been adjusted based on practical values derived from a large number of e.g. European printing tests. The new FOGRA characterization data sets and the ECI profiles have been carefully tested and are now ready for use in production. Substantial improvements of the new ECI offset profiles are closely related to the characterization data:
As before, details on how the profiles were created can be found in the relevant Info files.
Which new profiles are available?
For two standard offset printing conditions new profiles are available. * ECI, bvdm and FOGRA jointly recommend the use of “ISO Coated v2 (ECI)” and “ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI)”. The latter is a version with lower maximum ink coverage (300%) suitable for e.g. heat set web offset. Both profiles are based on “FOGRA39L”. * The third new profile named “SC Paper (ECI)” applies to web offset printing on SC paper (super calandered). Web offset printers requested the profile due to the rising number of publications printed on SC paper. So far neither ICC profiles from the ECI nor specifications in ISO 12647-2 are available for this paper type. For that reason the ECI Web Offset Working Group developed the characterization data and the profile for SC paper with substantial contribution from the bvdm. Starting from the printing condition for paper type 3 (LWC) test prints on SC paper (from four different paper mills) have been conducted by five European web offset printers. Based on these prints both, characterization data (“FOGRA40L”) and profile have been carefully created and tested.
How about further standard offset printing conditions? The profiles “ISO Web Coated”, “ISO Uncoated” and “ISO Uncoated Yellowish” based on the characterization data “FOGRA28”, “FOGRA29” und “FOGRA30” remain valid. These profiles will be reviewed during 2007 on the background of the new aim values of the ISO 12647-2 amendment. Where neccessary new versions will be created and made available by ECI and FOGRA after thorough testing.
Where can the profiles be obtained? From when on should they be used? The ECI offset profiles “ISO Coated v2 (ECI)”, “ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI)” and “SC Paper (ECI)” are available as a free download on the website of the ECI (www.eci.org). To simplify the selection of the current versions, the profile package “ECI_Offset_2007” contains both the new offset profiles and the still valid profiles for the paper types 3, 4 und 5. The characterization data “FOGRA39L” and “FOGRA40L” can be downloaded free of charge from the FOGRA website (www.fogra.org). You may wish to use the new data immediately. ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend to familiarize yourself with the new data as soon as possible and to switch over to the new profiles in early April 2007 at the latest. The previous profile “ISO Coated” and the characterization data “FOGRA27” respectively, should not be used in production jobs thereafter.
In March 2004 ECI has published new ICC profiles for offset printing based on ISO 12647-2. In order to download the profile packages “offset” and “offset continuous” please go to the “Downloads” section. Please read on for more information about these new ICC profiles.
Which offset profile is the right one? Not only novice users ask this question when looking for the ”one” offset profile they should use. The many available ICC output profiles and possible printing conditions can be as challenging for the experienced professional. ECI published a first set of offset profiles in early 2003 helping users to work with professional profiles.
The new versions replace the profiles of the previous “basic” and “expert” packages.
The ECI recommends consistent use of the new profiles a) because they reflect current international standards and b) because they also give a true indication of colours that can be realized using standardized printing procedures. Consequently, we advise you only to continue using the “basic” and “expert” package profiles until current contracts have been concluded. The old profiles will, however, remain available for downloading.
How to recognize whether it‘s a “new” or an “old” profile? The new ICC profiles have been created in September and November 2003, whereas the previous IC profiles had been created in December 2002 and January 2003. In addition, the file names of the previous ICC profiles ended with “…sb.icc” whereas the file names of the new profiles do not contain the two characters “sb” anymore. Example: previous file name “ISOcoatedsb.icc”, new file name “ISOcoated.icc”. This change also applies to the internal name of the ICC profiles, as displayed in the user interface of applications: previous internal name “ISO Coated sb”, new internal name “ISO Coated”.
Note: While the ICC profiles for offset printing conditions offered by the ECI have “ISO” as part of their name they are not in any way official ISO profiles. Instead the use of “ISO” in the names for the offset profiles simply indicates that they are based on characterization data that have been gathered from print runs that were carried out according to ISO 12647-2.
Selecting a profile The current level of standardzation in the printing industry and our experience with the profiles of the “basic” and “expert” software packages, have meant that we have been able to significantly simplify the profile selection process. Instead of the 16 profiles contained in the old “expert” package, the new “offset” and “continuous” packages contain just four profiles for sheet-fed and heat-set web printing and two profiles for continuous forms process printing.
All the profiles are based exclusively on colour measurement against white backing. This eliminates the need to signal the type of backing (sb/bb) in the profile name, resulting in shorter new offset profile names. In line with the current status of the German “ProzessStandard Offsetdruck“ which is based on the international standard ISO/DIS 12647-2:2003, black backing is only to be used for process control in double-side printing. There are industry standards for the qualities of white backing substrates. You can find out which types of paper are suitable as backing for standardized measurement on equipment with black measuring tables at www.fogra.org.
It was decided not to include profiles for printing with a 175 lpi screen (70/cm) as there was only a slight variation in tone value from printing with a 150 lpi screen (60/cm). The difference in colour of the 175 lpi screen caused by the slightly higher increase in tone value is less than the process-related colour variance acceptable for a print run so in order to simplify the selection of profiles, it was decided to leave out profiles for a 175 lpi screen. As a result, the profiles for the 150 lpi screen are also valid for use with a 175 lpi screeen.
The distinction between the “expert” and “basic” packages ceases to be of importance. Instead, so that you can make your selection based on your operating needs, we have regrouped the ECI profiles according to the type of printing process for which they are required: an “offset” package for sheet-fed and heat-set web printing and a “continuous” one for continuous forms process printing.
Package “offset“ The “offset” package contains four ICC output profiles for offset printing. The European Colour Initiative recommends to use ISOcoated.icc as the default setting for the CMYK working space in Adobe Photoshop and elsewhere. This profile is valid for offset printing on gloss- or matte-coated paper. The other three ICC output profiles in this package are valid for uncoated paper (one for white and one for yellowish paper tone) and for light weight coated paper (LWC) used in web offset printing. Thus the “offset” package covers all shet-fed and heat-set web printing conditions in the ISO offset printing standard.
Package “continuous” The continuous package consists of two ICC output profiles for continuous forms process printing. The profile “ISOcofcoated.icc” characterizes continuous forms process printing on matte-coated paper with a 150 lpi screen while “ISOcofuncoated.icc” represents printing on uncoated white paper at a 135 lpi screen.
Creation of profiles We have made no changes to the program version and program settings for the creation of profiles. As before, details on how we created the profiles can be found in the relevant Info files.
The new offset profiles have been developed using characterization data FOGRA27L to FOGRA32L. In comparison to the old characterization data the new data feature a series of improvements.
The new Fogra characterization data is based on measurements that have been averaged, smoothed and adjusted in line with the desired tone value for the production prints supplied with the Altona Test Suite application kit. So as to be able to proof the colours in the profiles and reproduce them under production conditions, the most commonly used and standard-compliant types of paper and process ink standards were selected for these reference prints.
As the curves for tone value increase can have a considerable influence on colour reproduction, special attention was paid during the process check to keep narrow tolerance limits for both tone value increase and solid tone values during the print run of the reference prints – i.e. not just the usual patches measured in printing with 40% or 80% tone value. The reference prints have been produced under authentic working conditions, i.e. using inks from a commonly available ink set. In the interests of obtaining of homogeneous colour separation, any slight, unavoidable deviation from the values for tone value increase in the reference prints of the Fogra characterization data has been corrected in line with the aim values.
On the other hand, although technically possible, we have deliberately opted not to include a feature that would allow the solid tone values of the printing inks and paper shades to be adjusted to the idealised colour coordinates. The characterization data and profiles would otherwise no longer have been compatible with the “Altona Test Suite” application kit and a visual check would not be possible against the kit‘s important production prints.
Print results to date also indicate that when overprinting two inks – red, green, blue – the new charaterization data resemble the real print results far more closely than the old characterization data. In addition, the new characterization data and the new profile for paper type 3 (LWC) now give a much truer representation of the print results that can be achieved with web offset presses than previous versions did.
As is clear from the above, the new Fogra characterization data together with the new ECI offset profiles based upon the Fogra data constitute the best possible compromise between practical use and the precise attainment of ideal standardized aim values.
“offset” package Overview of profiles for sheet-fed and heat-set web printing:
ISOcoated.icc Paper type 1 and 2, gloss- and matte-coated, 150 lpi (60/cm), FOGRA27L
ISOwebcoated.icc Paper type 3, gloss coated web (LWC), 150 lpi (60/cm), FOGRA28L
ISOuncoated.icc Paper type 4, uncoated white, 150 lpi (60/cm), FOGRA29L
ISOuncoatedyellowish.icc Paper type 5, uncoated slightly yellowish, 150 lpi (60/cm), FOGRA30L
“continuous” package Profiles for continuous forms process printing:
ISOcofcoated.icc Paper type 2, matte-coated, 150 lpi (60/cm), FOGRA31L
ISOcofuncoated.icc Paper type 4, uncoated white, 135 lpi (54/cm), FOGRA32L
The ECI offset profile packages - labeled “2002/2003” - having been provided here until March 2004 are still offered for download (see “Downloads” section).
Overview of the ECI offset profile packages 2002/2003:
“Base package” (StuffIt archive, ca. 4.5 MB) contains one ICC profile for each paper type 1/2, 3, 4 and 5 according to ISO 12647-2 (glossy/matte coated, LWC, uncoated and yellowish uncoated paper) based on measurement data taken in autumn 2002 by FOGRA.
“Expert package” (StuffIt archive, ca. 18 MB) contains four ICC profiles for each paper type 1/2, 3, 4 and 5 according ISO 12647-2 (glossy/matte coated, LWC, uncoated and yellowish uncoated paper) based on measurement data taken in autumn 2002 by FOGRA.
The measurement data from which the the above listed profiles have been created can be downloaded free of charge from the FOGRA website (www.fogra.org).