Evolution of the ProcessStandard Gravure (PSR)

Updating the ProcessStandard Gravure - PSR V2 | M1

2020-02-05 Since the publication of the PSR v2 standard in June 2009, the printing industry has been undergoing constant change. Not only the paper coloration adapts to current tastes, but also the measurement and viewing conditions (M0, M1 | standard light) have changed. In 2016, the gravure working group headed by Thomas Hebes (Prinovis GmbH & Co. KG Nuremberg plant) began work on improving the existing standard (ECI_PSR_V2). In 2018, the first profile for the gravure ink space V2 was published for the LWC-Plus paper class (improved LWC paper). Now all other paper classes have been adapted. The new designation of the standards is basically: “PSR_Paper-Type_V2_M1.icc”. Significant improvements and goals are:

  • Comply with current standards
  • Adaptation to the new measuring conditions (M1)
  • Adaptation to the new viewing conditions (standard light)
  • Adaptation to current paper tones
  • No change in printing
  • Enhanced proof to print quality
  • Adaptation to ISO 12647-4:2014

This also allows a higher degree of consistency between print results and proofs from different gravure printers based on uniform data to be achieved. According to the experience with the creation of the first profile and the feedback from users, new characterization data were determined for the other profiles and created in cooperation with gmg “mx4” profiles and *.icc profile. The new profiles have been verified in several production tests at different printing locations and were unanimously confirmed by the entire working group at the 02nd of December 2019 meeting.

The benefit of creating all new profiles with the current version of the profiling software is higher consistency of the results of different hard copy proofing and softpoofing systems. In order to achieve consistent color conversion and proof results of all profiles of the “PSR V2 M1” family, the profile “PSR_LWC_PLUS_V2_M1” was recreated with the unchanged characterization data set. The extension “_v2.icc” at the end of the file name clearly marks the new version in comparison to the old profile published in 2018.

The names of the new profiles have been chosen deliberately because nothing has changed in terms of printing (PSR), paper class classification (e.g. SC-Plus) or color space (V2). Only the new measurement condition (M1) is taken into account in the characterizations. For paper class MF, which was still used in the 2004 standard, a simple conversion could not be applied. Here, new characterization data was determined and tested in production. The old color profile was now created in the V2 color space of gravure printing. Therefore PSRgravurMF now becomes “PSR_MF_V2_M1”. Here not only the paper white point changes, but also the complete color coordinates. As an example, the full tone yellow was adapted to the current gravure inks.

The Working Group Gravure would like to thank the following companies for their support:

  • GMG GmbH and Co. KG
  • Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG

We would like to thank Mr. Jürgen Seitz (GMG), Dr. Stefan Bollmann (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen) and Mr. Helmut Siegeritz (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen) for their intensive support.

Update to Process Standard Rotogravure – PSR V2

2018-03-09 Since the launch of PSR V2 in June 2009, the printing industry has changed. Beside the digital influence, also the standards for colour measurements (M0, M1…), viewing conditions and paper properties have moved on. Under these circumstances the ERA and the leading European publication gravure printers have re-activated the Working Group Gravure (WGG) of the European Color Initiative (ECI), with Thomas Hebes (Prinovis GmbH & Co. KG Betrieb Nürnberg) as Chairman.

As a starting point the WGG worked on an update for LWC-Plus paper, to require the M1 measuring conditions. Step by step, the other paper classes will follow.

The name of the updated *.icc files is „PSR_papertyp_V2_M1.icc“.

Improvements and goals are:

  • compatibility with other standards
  • use of new colour values measured under M1 conditions
  • use of new viewing conditions
  • no change on press side!
  • alignment with ISO 12647-4:2014

With the new proofing parameters based on M1 measurements a higher print / proof match can be realised.

Because there will be no change on the press side, the first attempt was to calculate new characterisation data purely mathematically from the M0 characterisation data. The result was however nowhere near good enough.

So in June 2016, samples of all production papers of type LWC-Plus in Europe were collected and were measured in a paper lab. A change in paper shade was observed. The average paper was found and its paper shade was used as the new white point.

With this new white point, a paper adaptation based on M1 characterisation data was made with the kind assistance of GMG. New “*.mx4” profiles were created. An equivalent ICC profile was also built. All profiles were tested on different printing plants across Europe. Both profiles were verified on 02.03.2018 by the whole Working Group Gravure.

The naming convention for the new profile shows that nothing has changed on the press side (PSR), the paper type stays the same (LWC-Plus) and the colour gamut is not changed (V2). The only change is that the new measurement conditions are implemented (M1). [2018-03-09 / th/fsu]

"SC Plus" standard added to the ECI Gravure Profiles

2010-01-19  –  As announced earlier, the set of PSR gravure profiles has now been extended with the addition of the “SC-Plus” standard.

The complete set of documentation, recommendations for use, and characterisation data for paper types “LWC Plus”, “LWC Standard”, “SC Standard”, “SC Plus” and “News Plus” is now available for download. The documentation is now also available in French, in addition to English and German. [2010-01-19 / bsc/odr]

New Version of Process Standard Rotogravure PSR V2

May 8, 2009 – A free introductory seminar on the new version of the Process Standard Rotogravure (PSR V2) of the European Color Initiative (ECI) for gravure colour management has been arranged by the European Rotogravure Association (ERA). The event is primarily oriented towards customers of gravure printers, such as magazine and catalogue publishers, but also towards repro houses, printers, the print supplies industry and the trade press. It will focus not only on the features of the new version 2 of the PSR that has been developed by the ECI Gravure Working Group, but also practical implementation by printers and repro houses.

The seminar will take place from 10:30 to 16:30 on Thursday 25 June 2009 in the Maritim Hotel, Cologne, Germany, moderated by Bernhard Schmidt of Prinovis Nuremberg, Chair of the ECI Gravure Working Group. The programme will additionally cover first user experiences with the new standard, presented by customers, and Karl Michael Meinecke of bvdm, the German Print and Media Industries Federation, will discuss standardisation issues. Panel sessions will allow questions from the audience to be answered.

Each presentation during the event will be given in either English or German, with simultaneous translation into the other language. Further information about the seminar, together with the registration form, are available from the ERA web site or as a PDF from this link.

About ERA:
Since its foundation in 1956, the European Rotogravure Association (E.R.A.) has developed into the leading international organisation of the gravure industry. It currently has some 120 members from the publication, packaging and decorative printing sectors, as well as associated industries such as paper and ink makers, printing and finishing equipment manufacturers and the leading cylinder engravers.
For more information please visit the ERA web site.

Revision of Process Standard Rotogravure – PSR v2

February 2, 2009 – Since 2007, the ECI Gravure Working Group has been working, under the chairmanship of Bernhard Schmidt (Prinovis Nuremberg), on the improvement of the existing standards (ECI_PSR_V1) for paper classes SC-St (super-calendered), LWC-St (lightweight coated) and LWC Plus (improved LWC paper). The designation of the revised standards is “PSR_.papertype_V2.icc”

Significant improvements and goals are:

  • To be able to offer to the market more harmonic ICC and proofer profiles, with better separation results particularly in the greys and skin-tones.
  • To bring the colour reproduction on different paper grades closer together, so that it is easier to change between paper grades for the different products of a customer.
  • To achieve a larger colour gamut on SC paper (+ 20 % !), and thereby to get significantly closer to the LWC standard.
  • To ensure a better compatibility between ICC-based workflows and GMG MX4 proofer profiles.
  • The proofer calibration curves should be almost exclusively based on print measurement data, with practically no manual correction, so that differences between different systems can better be evaluated and checked.
  • The definition of closer tolerances for proof preparation will thereby become possible
  • A complete process description will enable gravure printers to reproduce this process in their own plants.
  • The updating of ISO 12647-4.

Through this, the level of agreement between products printed by different printers from the same data will be significantly improved.


First, a new test chart (“GMG TC Gravure2008“) was developed by GMG, so that a reference print could be characterized even better than before. This chart contains significantly more colour patches (ca. 5 400) than the IT8.7/4 chart, particularly in the regions where coloured inks are combined with black, and is a superset of the contents of the ECI 2002 chart. Full backward compatibility with systems which can only process the values from the ECI 2002 chart is thus ensured.

In May 2008, new reference prints were made, according to the conditions defined and developed by the Working Group, on the specified paper classes. As well as numerous test charts, the reference print forme contained a special “ribbon control image” on each ribbon, consisting of step-wedges, a selection of colour patches and a visual part, as well as selections from the “Roman 16” image set and typical production images.

On the basis of these reference prints, new characterisation data (based on 132 000 measurements per paper type) were determined, and in cooperation with GMG, MX4 profiles were made. These profiles have already been verified in several production tests at different printers, and were unanimously confirmed by the whole Working Group on 2 December 2008.

Currently the characterisation data files and ICC profile preparation are being completed, and the European publication gravure printers are adjusting their processes to the new standards.

It is planned to hold a seminar for customers and other interested parties in 2009. At this event, information about the possibilities of the new PSR v2 and its use in catalogue and advertisement production will be presented and discussed.

PSR - ProcessStandard Gravure: ICC Colour Profiles and Colour Adaptations for ECI Reference Colour Space Gravure available

The ECI Reference Colour Space Gravure (PSR – Process Standard Rotogravure) for LWC paper has been successfully used for publication gravure printing in Europe since spring 2002. The standard has now been completed with the paper types SC (SC-A, Supercalendered A-Quality) and MF (Machine Finished, or Improved Newsprint).

Initiated by the ECI Gravure Working Group, which is backed by the leading European gravure printers, bvdm, ECI, ERA, ugra und Fogra, a reference print series was produced with the above mentioned paper types, beginning in autumn 2000. In a first step, all gravure printers involved produced and evaluated reference prints. In the second step, a reference printer selected by the complete working group (maul-belser) produced a final reference print. The measured data (characterisation data) available here is based on this final print.

The measured data (characterisation data) is available in ECI 2002 (DIN E 16614, 1485 patches) test-chart format. Tools for conversion into test-chart format according to ISO 12642 (formerly ANSI IT8.7/3, 928 patches) are available on the ECI website. The new test-chart format ECI 2002 contains all patches of ISO 12642. All developers/vendors of software tools for generating ICC profiles are able to process the ECI 2002 test-chart format within their software.

Up to now, test print series for the following paper types and the appropriate measuring data and ICC-profiles have been produced:

LWC-paper (51 gsm) PSRgravueLWC_ECI2002.txt PSRgravureLWC.icc March 2003

SC-paper (52 gsm) PSRgravureSC_ECI2002.txt PSRgravureSC.icc March 2003

MF (55 gsm) PSRgravureMF_ECI2002.txt PSRgravureMF.icc March 2004

At the same time the reference profile ECI_TD_Ref_170200.icc for production of advertisements has been withdrawn from the server.

For the production of advertisements ECI recommends the Reference Colour Space for LWC papers (PSRgravureLWC.icc).

Please read the general terms and conditions of the publishers and printers.

For detailed information about the corresponding printing condition, the name of the characterisation data file, and programme settings for profile generation, please see the ‘read me’ files of the profiles.

It is the goal of the ECI to support and promote the development and use of ICC-based workflow solutions. However, under certain conditions it may for various reasons be necessary to use non-ICC based solutions. The corresponding proofer calibrations are also available in the download section of this server.