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]
The new PSR V2 gravure profiles have been available for download since 25 June 2009. Now the set of profiles has been extended to include the necessary documentation, usage recommendations and characterisation data. These may be found in the download area.
Additionally, most of the presentations from the PSR Seminar held in Cologne on 25 July 2009 are now available for download in both English and German, and in some cases also French.
Some proofing system manufacturers offer colour adaptations which include optimisations which are not available in the ICC process model, such as simulation of print behaviour (noise), multiple iterations etc. These special adaptations and their support are available directly from the relevant proofing system supplier. This type of information is no longer available from this server. [bsc/odr-2009-10-14]
For three new printing conditions, published by Fogra in June 2009, ECI offset profiles are available in the package “ECI_Offset_2009”. The profiles replace existing versions.
The two profiles for heatset web offset printing on improved and standard LWC paper (light weight coating) are based on an extensive test print series conducted by the ECI Working Group Web Offset printing with substantial contribution from the bvdm. The ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend to use the new profile “PSO LWC Improved (ECI)” for color conversion and proofing replacing “ISO Web Coated”. The profile “PSO LWC Standard (ECI)” is recommended in the case of slightly yellowish LWC paper for proofing purposes only. For offset printing on the ISO paper type 4 (uncoated white) the new profile “PSO Uncoated ISO12647 (ECI)” replaces the outdated profile “ISO Uncoated”. The ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend the immediate use of the new characterization data sets and profiles. Click here to read more...
The package “ECI_Offset_2009” contains all current ECI offset profiles as well as a manual and info files with background information. To download the new profiles you may wish to click here. [2009-05-29 |::| FS]
An updated and extended set of the ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is available in the download area. The set contains versions for the recently published characterization data FOGRA45 - FOGRA47 and for the still valid characterization data sets FOGRA30 and FOGRA39 - FOGRA47. Click here to go to the download area. [2009-05-29 |::| FS]
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 seminar will take place on Thursday 25 June 2009 in Cologne. Click here to read more...
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). In the coming months more information about “PSR_.papertype_V2.icc” (PSR v2) as well as results of this project will become available. Click here to read more...
For four new printing conditions, published by Fogra in July 2008, ECI offset profiles are available as extension to the package “ECI_Offset_2007”.
The two profiles for heatset web offset printing on MFC paper (machine finished coating) and SNP paper (standard newsprint) are based on an extensive test print series conducted by the ECI Working Group Web Offset printing with substantial contribution from the bvdm.
For offset printing with non periodic screening, ECI added three profiles for the paper types 1 and 2 (gloss- and matte-coated) and paper type 4 (uncoated white).
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”.
Further information is provided in the section “Colour standards → Offset”. The package “ECI_Offset_2008” in the section “Downloads” contains the new profiles as well as the still valid profiles “ISO Coated v2 (ECI)”, “ISO Coated v2 300% (ECI)”, “ISO Web Coated”, “ISO Uncoated”, “ISO Uncoated yellowish” and “SC Paper (ECI)”. [2008-07-14 |::| FS]
An updated and extended set of the ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is available in the download section. The set contains versions for the recently published characterization data FOGRA41 - FOGRA44 and for the still valid sets FOGRA39, FOGRA28 - FOGRA30 and FOGRA40. In addition the three versions “L”, “M” and “S” have been extended by two layouts for the fast measurement in scanning mode: “ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip (M i1)” and “ECI/bvdm tvi 10”. [20078-07-14 |::| FS]
The ISO technical committee 42 (Photography) working group 18 (digital still picture imaging) has accepted by a majority of the participating countries to standardize eciRGBv2 as a technical specification under the ISO 22028 series of color encodings. ECI will soon publish a document that serves as the basis for the standard and contains all necessary details to utilize eciRGBv2 which is available as ICC Profile in the download section of this website. [2007-11-07 |::| ]
The Print Media Production Forum (PMPF), which was held for the first time from 11th to 13th September 2007 at the Stuttgart Media University, focused on the correct generation and processing of data in fully digital workflows. Over its three days, the conference provided the 545 attendees with detailed and extensive coverage of a subject that is become more and more important in print media production. The conference, which was complemented by an exhibition involving 20 system suppliers, dealt with the whole of production workflow broken down into Creation + Premedia, Prepress to Print and Print Production in accordance with international standards.
Click here for the complete story. [2007-10-10 |::| PKl]
The correct handling of data in an end-to-end digital workflow is becoming more and more important in the production of print media. The new *Print Media Production Forum*, which will be held for the first time from 11th to 13th September 2007 at the Stuttgart Media University (HdM), reflects this. The conference will cover production in accordance with international standards covering the complete workflow, from Creation and Premedia to PrePress and Print Production. The Forum, which will also include an exhibition, is organized by Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. (bvdm) and European Color Initiative (ECI), with the support of Stuttgart Media University (HdM), University of Wuppertal and other European industry organizations.
See complete program, registration information: www.print-media-production-forum.de
Special members rates apply for members of the german printing associations (vdm), the European Color Initiative (ECI) and member federations of the international confederation for printing and allied industries, Intergraf www.intergraf.org such as assografici, BPIF, febelgra, feigraf, ficg, GA, GFF, KVGO, VDM, Viscom, VSD. [2007-08-27 |::| ]
Today ECI publishes a new version of the ECI RGB working space named eciRGB_v2 which is technically identical to the LStar-RGB profile from Color Solutions which has been around for a while.
The main difference - compared to the original eciRGB 1.0 profile published back in 1998 - is the use of a luminance axis which is linear in L* instead of a gamma of 1.8. In addition, the profile is available both as an ICC version 2 profile as well as an ICC version 4 profile.
From a practical point of view the changes are only minor but ECI currently works on incorporating eciRGB_v2 into an international standard as part of the ISO 22028 series. In order to achieve this move towards standardization the older profile had to be revised and among other things the viewing conditions had to be clarified. The document with the detailed specs that fulfill the ISO 22028-1 requirements will be published in the near future.
What to do with your current images and files? It is not recommend to change existing images or other files – neither convert them from eciRGB 1.0 to eciRGB_v2, nor simply assign the new profile to existing images or files. For any new images or data it is recommended though to move towards using eciRGB_v2 as the working color space for RGB data.
A more detailed explanation of the new eciRGBv2 can be found at Colour standards | Working colour spaces [2007-03-20 |::| PKl]
On February 1 and 2, 2007 European experts on standards for the printing industry met to discuss latest achievements and future co-operation at European level. The meeting took place in Amstelveen, the Netherlands and attracted 62 participants from 13 different countries. In the printing industry, standardization is strictly based on international ISO Standards (ISO Technical Committee 130) www.iso.org. International standards in print production (e.g. ISO 12647) are of increasing, strategic importance for process control, production and services, quality assurance and customer relationships. Delegates from practitioners in prepress and print, European print and media associations - members of INTERGRAF such as kvgo, BPIF, bvdm, GFF, GA - research institutes and international technical groups such as ECI, Fogra, GWG, Ifra, ugra, contributed to the meeting. Many of them are actively involved in ISO standardization work for years.
The complete press release can be found at the intergraf homepage. [2007-03-20 |::| PKl]
An updated set of the ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is available in the download section. The set contains versions for the recently published characterization data FOGRA39 and FOGRA40 and the still valid data sets FOGRA28 - FOGRA32. [2007-02-01 |::| PKl]
Based on optimized aim values of the international printing standard ISO 12647-2 the ECI developed new offset profiles. The offset profiles of the package “offset 2004” will be replaced after thorough testing. The profile “ISO Coated” is first. It is available in two versions with different maximum ink coverage (330% and 300%) now.
The third new profile named “SC Paper (ECI)” applies to web offset printing on SC paper (super calandered). This profile and the respective characterization data was developed by the ECI Web Offset Working Group with substantial contribution from the bvdm.
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. Further information is provided in the section “Colour standards/ Offset”. The package “ECI_Offset_2007” in the section “Downloads” contains the new profiles as well as the still valid profiles “ISO Web Coated”, “ISO Uncoated” and “ISO Uncoated yellowish”. [2007-01-18 |::| ODr]
With the ongoing usage of digital photography, an uncertainty of correct use of proper tools is coming along: What is the proper setup? What has to be looked after to achieve the desired quality? Which equipment is needed? What is the definition of: Working color Space, Raw, White Ballance, …
We feel confident that Digipix 3 will be a valuable help for all photographer. The Compendium for digital photography aka. DigiPix in version 3 was originally written and published November 2004 in and by the cooperation of the adf (Working Group Digital Photography) and the ECI (European Color Initiative) - in german only. Thanks the sponsors, Image Engineering Dietmar Wüller, Tecco Braun & Frings GmbH and LaserSoft Imaging AG, which made a translation possible through their much appreciated support. The digital version is to be found as “DIGIPIX 3” on the websites of the institutions named above. On this website it can be found in the download area under the category “Digital photography”. [2006-09-06 |::| PKl]
The 6th Digitalproof-Forum, originally scheduled for September 21 - 22, 2006, in Wuppertal, has been cancelled. The organizers - Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. (bvdm) and the European Color Initiative (ECI) - have decided to cancel this year's event, after the majority of proof system vendors had withdrawn their participation on short notice. Despite ongoing coordination between organizers and vendors, the vendors indicated they are unable to participate in the Digitalproof-Forum in face of the agreed upon testing requirements.
With a substantial number of vendors staying away, an essential part of the Digitalproof-Forums is missing, namely the differentiated tests of proofing systems on site during the event. These on site tests have been highly valued by attendees during past events. Though numerous novelties like tests run by proofing system users as well as soft proofing tests, the lack of on site tests of proofing systems cannot be compensated in a reasonable way.
bvdm and ECI regret the cancellation of this very successful and well established event. The organizers are currently evaluating how to continue and possibly reposition the event in the future. Vendors are to be invited to participate in this evaluation. (bvdm/ECI) [2006-08-28 |::| ODr]
The standardization of printing processes according to ISO 12647 is established worldwide today. Ten years after first publication of the ISO 12647-2 standard for offset printing, methods, applications and tools are well introduced and used with great success by customers, service providers and printers. For all printing processes, characterization data and profiles adapted to the standard are available as well as comprehensive tools for application at all process stages from data generation to the print run. In addition to the standardization of offset processes (sheet fed, web fed, continuous) the standardization of newspaper printing (ISO 12647-3), of gravure publication printing (ISO 12647-4) and of further printing processes was successfully implemented.
Why standardization of printing process? Communication of colour and production security The standardization of printing processes according to ISO 12647, the concepts and application tools are generally focused on one purpose: the correct, process-optimized colour communication from creation to final product. To achieve that, many process modules to be conducted and carried out correctly by customers, service providers and printers, are necessary. Examples are the evaluation and selection of materials (papers, printing ink) correct colour management and data file generation in applications (ICC profiles, PDF/X), the production of contract proofs, the measuring control and visual appraisal under standard viewing conditions of these proofs, the production of printing forms and the print run in accordance with acknowledged guidelines.
The international standard series ISO 12647 and the tools and applications developed on that basis enable secure, practice-proven solutions for all process steps. The consistent application of these means provides the maximum benefit for all parties involved – print buyers, prepress service providers, printers: predictable and repeatable colour results.
International cooperation to the benefit of users in globalized markets The development of international standards in ISO Technical Committee 130 “Graphic Technology” and the implementation of such standards in application concepts, guidelines, control tools etc., has been supported for many years by national and international industry user associations and by manufacturers (systems, materials) from Europe, Asia, North and South America. Regional solutions, limited to a certain area, are no longer accepted by print buyers and service providers in the age of globalization.
In Europe a number of associations, such as German Printing and Media industries Federation (bvdm), fogra Graphic Technology Research Association, international newspaper association (Ifra), European Color Initiative (ECI), European Rotogravure Association (ERA) and the Swiss Center of Competence for Media and Printing Technology (ugra) have constantly supported the ISO standardization work for many years to the benefit of users. The associations are providing essential publications and important application tools for practical use – many of these free of charge. For example ICC profiles and characterization data, reference prints and test data files, process- and media standards as well as print control tools (wedges, strips), e.g. for the control of grey balance. There are also projects for implementation of printing standards in a number of European countries, supported by the associations.
Adaptation to the state of the art International standards for printing and prepress technology are regularly adapted to the current technical state of the art. Changes of the standard are implemented quickly in practical concepts, user guidelines, control tools, characterization data and ICC profiles.
Changes of material properties (printing paper and printing ink) or of systems (measuring devices, monitors, standard viewing light, output devices, software etc.) are clearly influencing the specifications of process control. The increasing amount of optical brighteners (OBA) in many papers, colorimetric properties and tolerances of printing inks, technical differences and tolerances of colour measuring tools, device-independent exchange of colour measuring data and metamerism are examples for topics to be addressed properly in standards for process control and measuring technology. To achieve this aim, all parties involved are requested to co-operate. Comprehensive research work on special topics is necessary and was started already in some cases. Thus, the norm is always matching the current state of applications and is able even to set standards for future developments. However, any short-term changing of standards (e.g. due to changes of material properties) is not recommended. The users need a reliable timeframe for standard application.
Other concepts: no proof of practical usability Since recently a concept for process control from IDEAlliance (GRACoL) is hitting the international markets with major marketing efforts. According to earlier statements of it is originators, GRACoL is superior to the standardiza-tion according to ISO 12647-2 and therefore should replace it. In the meantime, GRACoL has been described as an “application of ISO 12647-2”. This is wrong since GRACoL is built around different basic requirements. Until today there is no final definition of the GRACoL methodology and no final set of characterization data and profile available.
ISO 12647 defines tone value increase (TVI) and colours of solid inks (primary colours) as the most important process criteria. Further important criteria are the properties of papers and printing inks. The grey condition results from all these individual criteria. As visual control device for grey balance in print run production the use of a CMY grey wedge for process control according to ISO 12647 has worked satisfactorily.
GRACoL makes almost exclusive use of grey balance (NPDC neutral print density curve) and advocates a uniform tone value increase for all printing conditions. Despite numerous attempts, up to now there is no official GRACoL reference print, because all test print results to date failed to satisfy the specifications of the GRACoL representatives. The provisional GRACoL set of characterisation data originates from fogra test data, modified in relation to tone value increase and grey balance.
Grey balance is not the sole process control criterion Although useful for production run control, the exclusive use of the grey balance and simultaneous neglect of tone value increase is a questionable method.
The process proposed by GRACoL, i.e. to set out from the colour tone of the paper white, migrate to a defined colour tone in the mid-tone area and then to keep this tone constant into the shadow area, is very complex, not adequately tested and can also lead to a grey perceived as a colour cast.
There are frequent calls for a fixed grey condition of, for example, 50/40/40 of the colours cyan, magenta and yellow (in that sequence). While theoretically possible, this causes variable solid coloration in print (and therefore other ink layer thicknesses or densities respectively). In that case, different tone value increase curves for the colour inks are also necessary resp. must be allowed. Although if combined with a correspondingly carried out separation this will lead to a good grey reproduction, it will cause problems in the colours because the coloration changes necessary to obtain the grey balance can lead to a poorer colour reproduction. Either the ink layer thicknesses are insufficient for a stable print or the layer thicknesses become too great with resulting excessive tone value increases. Or the tolerances for the coloration values are exceeded. Naturally, the individual results depend on the inks and paper used. A safe, measurable process control cannot be achieved in this way.
How to proceed: apply ISO 12647 and integrate new aspects The proven and efficient process control in accordance with ISO 12647 should continue to be used. It is not recommended to replace ISO 12647 by a different concept whose effectiveness and reliability have not been evidenced and that is clearly more complicated to implement in practice. Instead, all available resources should be concentrated on resolving important aspects that are still unsettled (e.g. how to deal with optical brighteners in papers).
German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm) European Color Initiative (ECI) Graphic Technology Research Association (fogra) Ifra - where publishing lives. (ifra) Swiss Center of Competence for Media and Printing Technology (ugra)
The human eye is much more sensitive for color variations close to the gray axis than e.g. for variations of saturated colors. The gray balance control makes it more easy to achieve a predictable optimum printed result - in addition to the still necessary control of other process parameters like solid densities and tone value curves.
ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip has been developed for printers as an aid to help balance the press process in the best way possible by utilizing a standardized proof. That's why the ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is based on the same color references that are used in standard ICC profiles (for example, the ECI profiles) and for evaluation of Ugra/FOGRA CMYK Media Wedge in prepress. ECI offset profiles are based on color characterization data from FOGRA.
Gray balance control using the ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is by visual evaluation only and thus enables an easy and fast check during the print run. ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is to be used in addition to the still necessary print control bar.
The ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is available in the Download section. [2006-04-12 |::| PKl]
“Make printing simple” is the call of the advertising industry faced with production using a range of different printing processes such as offset, gravure, newspaper printing and screen printing. Media Standard Print 2006 is designed to do precisely this and so increase the competitiveness of printed media. It comprises standard workflow recommendations and standard printing conditions including characterisation data and ICC profiles.
Media Standard Print serves as a foundation for standardised print production in accordance with ISO printing standards and for ensuring smooth technical co-operation between the customer, prepress service provider and printer. It is published by bvdm and supported by numerous industry organisations and associations (like bvdm, ECI, Fogra, ugra) across Europe and other parts of the world.
Media Standard Print 2006 (5th edition) is based on current international printing standards (ISO 12647 series etc.). It comprises information on the components necessary for correct application in different printing processes. Section A contains information about color data formats and output processes for print production. The main section B contains the guidelines for the supply of data, proofs and films for printing. Three typical workflows are explained and depicted graphically. In the Appendix C, control devices together with matching and measurement conditions are described. A comprehensive glossary, tables, figures, bibliography and sources provide further guidance for users.
Media Standard Print 2006 - Technical Guidelines for Data, Proofs and Films 28 pages A4 (PDF) Download: www.bvdm.org [2006-04-12 |::| PKl]
Martin Bailey, one of the most active members of ISO in the development of the PDF/X standards (and as Senior Technical Consultant a longstanding employee of Global Graphics ), has updated his PDF/X FAQ. This PDF/X FAQ is now available in English and German language as a free PDF download in the Download section of the ECI website. While the PDF/X standards as such due to their rigid and formalized language are not easily understood by everyone, Bailey's PDF/X FAQ offers an excellent introduction into all aspects of PDF/X and discusses the basics as well as recent and future developments of the PDF/X standards. Absolutely recommended for both users as well as developers.
Digital Proof Forum 2005 was again very successful: 365 participants (congress and workshops), 10 manufacturers with 17 configurations at the proofing system tests. For the fifth time German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm) and European Color Initiative (ECI) had invited on 20 and 21 September to Digital Proof Forum. New at this year's event: softproof presentations (6 manufacturers) and the opportunity for participants to have an examination of their measuring instruments (40 devices evaluated). The congress with international speakers from six european countries was held for the first time in German and English language.
The still very dynamic development of proofing systems shows up in the results of the event. New versions of output devices are tested every year. System improvements in detail are to be registered, but there are still potentials for improvement. The workshop “Altona Test Suite Application Kit and ugra/ Fogra media wedge” held for a couple of times since one year is very popular for users in the industry. For the second time, a measuring instrument test was accomplished, results were presented at the congress. The comprehensive documentation of all results of the event will be available on CD ROM by mid November. Results at a glance: see www.digitalproof-forum.de.
For next year the 6th Digital Proof Forum is planned at the University of Wuppertal. Date: September 21st and 22nd 2006. The documentation of 5th Digital Proof Forum with all presentations, detail results, descriptions of configurations, test evaluations on CD-ROM will be available by mid November. [2005-10-27 |::| PKl]
Introduced in early 2002, the ECI reference color space for gravure printing (PSR - Process Standard for Gravure Printing) has been successfully implemented in Europe for LWC papers in catalogue production. The standard has since been supplemented by the addition of paper grades SC-A (supercalendered A grade) and MF (machine finished/improved newsprint). Now, in summer 2005, PSR_HWC (brighter white, higher weight paper, improved LWC) is available.
Beginning in late 2000, a series of reference prints were produced on the above-mentioned paper types and assessed by all involved gravure printers. This was based on an initiative of the ECI Gravure Working Group, which is supported by leading European gravure printers, bvdm, ECI, ERA, ugra and Fogra. Based on test prints made in February 2005 at Prinovis, Nürnberg, PSR_HWC was developed. Using the test prints, the characterisation data provided here were defined and ICC Profiles, based on these characterisation data, were created. [2005-09-13 |::| PKl]
In the past vendors have repeatedly approached the ECI with requests for certification of their products with regard to specifications and recommendations published by the ECI.
Nevertheless the ECI has neither carried out such certifications in the past, nor does the ECI intend to carry out certifications in the future. Vendors who wish to have their products certified based on ECI's specifications and recommendations are encouraged to contact independent institutes like FOGRA (www.fogra.org) and Ugra (www.ugra.ch). [2004-09-01 |::| ODr]
The new version 1.2 of the Altona Test Suite Online is available for download now in the download section of this website. The PDF files are identical with the respective data of the Altona Test Suite Application kit (www.altonatestsuite.com) for paper type one and two (gloss and matt coated stock). Further information about the Altona Test Suite is available in the section Projects::Altona Test Suite. [2004-05-10 |::| ODr]
Effective immediately the European Color Initiative (ECI) now hosts an English language mailing list alongside its German language list. While the longstanding German ECI mailing list has always been open for English language messages, contributors not fluent in a second language may have felt uncomfortable communicating. Now subscribers may choose either or both of the following options according to their personal preferences: - [ECI]: German language mailing list - [ECI-EN]: English language mailing list Topics for both mailing lists range over the European Color Initiative itself, ICC color management, color management support in mainstream application software, digital proofing systems, the Altona Test Suite, ISO standards-based printing processes, color and PDF/X, and so forth. Novices and experts alike are equally welcome. [2003-07-29 |::| ODr]
The steering committee of the International Color Consortium (ICC) has formally agreed to establish an liason between ECI and ICC. This status includes a regular exchange of information and the invitation to both ECI and ICC members to attend meetings and working groups. In a dedicated project the ICC will adopt guidelines for ICC compatible workflows to be developed mainly within the ECI technical committee. [2001-06-25 |::| ODr]