European Color Initiative (ECI)

The European Color Initiative (ECI) is a group of experts, working on device independent processing of color data in digital publication systems. ECI has been founded in June 1996 in Hamburg at the initiative of the publishing houses Bauer, Burda, Gruner+Jahr and Springer.

Recent news:

First Printing Conditions for ISO 12647-2:2013 (FOGRA 51/52)

Berlin/Munich, September 30, 2015: On September 30st, the project partners Fogra, European Color Initiative (ECI) and the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm) present the successful result of the Fred15 project: new Fogra characterization data sets, ECI offset profiles and “ECI/bvdm Gray Control” print control strips for offset printing in accordance with the international print process standard ISO 12647-2:2013:

  • FOGRA51 – PSO Coated v3 – Printing Condition 1, Premium coated paper
  • FOGRA52 – PSO Uncoated v3 (FOGRA52) – Printing Condition 5, Wood-free uncoated white paper

The new tools are available for immediate download on the websites of Fogra (, German Printing and Media Industries Federation ( and in the downloads section of the ECI.

To get further information please click here.

ECI, bvdm, Fogra and Ugra launch Fred15 project

Berlin, May 21, 2014: Following the new version of ISO 12647-2 for offset printing published in December 2013, there has been some concern that it will require major efforts to implement, without bringing much improvement. Looking more closely at the new ISO 12647-2 and taking into account the latest developments in metrology, standardized lighting, and optical brightener handling, there are significant advantages to be obtained. Before putting into daily practice, however, the bvdm, ECI, Fogra and Ugra need to complete the beta test already underway since December 2013. It is expected that by 2015, guidance on the implementation of the new ISO 12647-2, as well as appropriate best practice guidelines and tools will be provided. Until then, the current characterization data (Fogra) and profiles (ECI) for offset printing remain in effect without any changes. In the meantime, users and manufacturers are invited to participate in the beta test to gain experience and familiarize themselves with the new requirements and procedures. Under the project title “Fred15”, the latest information – both during and after the beta test – will be available on the website of the ECI ( The ECI mailing list is the preferred platform for all discussions around the “Fred15” project.

Click here to read more…

Application kit “Altona Test Suite 2.0” available

Berlin, April 1, 2014: The new, completely revised and extended edition „Altona Test Suite 2.0 Application Kit“, provided by bvdm is available. Altona Test Suite 2.0 Application Kit is used for monitoring PDF/X compliance (PDF/X-4, PDF/X-3), rendering and colour accuracy, software and hardware components in a PDF workflow from premedia to the print run. Click here for more details

A few words about Altona Test Suite 2 – Technical Page 2

Berlin, December 19, 2012: Almost a decade after version 1 of the Altona Test Suite was developed, the European Color Initiative (ECI) began publishing version 2 of Altona Test Suite by making available Technical Page 2 in December 2011.

During the months since December 2011, a number of discussions around Technical Page 2 of the Altona Test Suite 2 have evolved, occasionally reflecting misconceptions regarding evaluation of real world solutions on the background of the Altona Test Suite 2. Click here to read the article that has been written to clarify a few aspects.

ECI adds Gray Control Strips for heatset web offset printing on »Improved News Print« paper

Berlin, June 20, 2012: Gray Control Strips for the recently released printing condition INP Paper (»Improved News Print») have been added to the set of Gray Control Strips and are available immediately for download here.

ECI publishes supplements for »ECI Offset Profiles 2009« targeting »Improved News Print» and »Surface Finishing«

Berlin, Februar 15, 2012: ICC profiles for »Improved News Print» and »Surface Finishing« have been developed by the ECI and are available immediately for download. Click here to go directly to the download area.

Collaboration between ECI, Fogra und bvdm: New print characterizations FOGRA 48/49/50

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.

Click here to read more....

Technical Page 2 of the Altona Test Suite 2.0 released

Berlin, December 21, 2011:  The Technical Page 2 of the Altona Test Suite 2.0 is available for download from this website immediately. Developed during many months of hard work by ECI, bvdm, FOGRA and Ugra, the Altona Test Suite 2.0 offers a unique method to test components and systems in digital prepress and print workflows for their capability to process PDF/X-4.

The Altona Test Suite 2.0 consists of several parts. At this time, only the «Technical Page 2» is made available. The remaining parts of Altona Test Suite 2.0 will be made available in the 2nd quarter of 2012.

Click here to

PrintForum 2010 in St. Gallen during ISO standards week in April 2010 - Video recordings and presentation files

In April 2010, the ISO TC 130 committee met in St. Gallen. During this week a forum around printing standards and their effect on real world printing was held. Hosted by Zollikofer AG, VISCOM and VSD several European experts reported about their view on the application of printing standards in Europe.

Due to clouds of volcano ashes hovering all over Europe many people from farther away were unable to attend, so that we decided to share video recordings as well as the slide presentation files here on the ECI website.

Click here to go to the page with the video recordings and slide presentation files. [2010-05-08 / odr]

"SC Plus" standard added to the ECI Gravure Profiles

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]

Media Standard Print 2010 - Technical Guidelines for Data, Film, Proof and Production Print

Media Standard Print (Edition 2010), 33 pages A4 (PDF file) is currently being prepared. Media Standard Print is the basis of a smooth co-operation between print buyer, prepress services and printer at print media production: data file formats, colour formats, printing conditions, workflows, process control tools, based on international standards such as ISO 12647. The complete series of updated standard printing conditions for offset printing to ISO 12647-2 are available in the 2010 edition, jointly elaborated and recommended by bvdm, ECI, Fogra and Ugra.

After completion and publication of another new standard printing condition for gravure printing (PSR V2 series, SC Plus paper) the Media Standard Print 2010 will be published by September 2010.

3rd Print Media Production Forum (bvdm/ECI) - reliable technology navigator for the industry

Workflow, quality assurance, digital printing, profiles and proofing - these were the topics of the 3rd Print Media Production Forum (PMPF) on October 1 and 2, 2009 in Stuttgart. Organized by the German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm) and the European Color Initiative (ECI) in cooperation with University of Wuppertal and Stuttgart Media University, the conference was held in German language only.

170 participants at the two day congress and the pre-congress workshops updated their knowledge on processes, tools, standards and new methods of media production. Conclusion of the two day event: the challenges of media production still are growing. Speed, quality and innovative, compelling products require well organized workflows and tools. The Print Media Production Forum again presented new developments in a vivid way and again proved its role as a reliable technology navigator for the print and media industry. See for more information.

New PSR v2 profiles now available with documentation and characterisation data

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]  

3rd Print Media Production Forum bvdm/ECI - Stuttgart 1-2 October 2009

German Printing and Media Industries Federation (bvdm) and European Color Initiative (ECI) are inviting to the 3rd Print Media Production Forum in Stuttgart. The Forum 2009 is held in german language only. It offers on a high level up-to-date topics around the complete print workflow from creation to print run. Comprehensive know how for the practicioner is presented at 3rd Print Media Production Forum on October 1-2 2009 in Stuttgart (Haus der Wirtschaft). The day before (September 30) workshops on PDF/X-4 are providing in-depth application information. Reduced membership fees apply for members of print- and media associations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and for members of ECI. For more information (program and registration) please see

Presentations from introductory seminar on the new version of the Process Standard Rotogravure (PSR V2) now available for download

June 25, 2009 – The presentations from the introductory seminar on the new version of the Process Standard Rotogravure (PSR V2), held in Cologne on June 25, 2009, are now available for download. Click here to go to the download area...

Availability of new ECI Offset Profiles and new ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strips (2009)

June 1, 2009 – For three new printing conditions, published by Fogra in June 2009, ECI offset profiles are now available. The new profiles are for LWC paper and uncoated white paper. The ECI, bvdm and Fogra recommend the immediate use of the new characterization data sets and profiles.

At the same time an updated and extended set of the ECI/bvdm Gray Control Strip is available in the download section.

Click here to

Free introductory seminar on the new version of the 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 seminar will take place on Thursday 25 June 2009 in Cologne. Click here to read more...

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). 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...

Second Print Media Production Forum (bvdm/ECI))

September 3/4, 2008, Wuppertal (Germany): Latest technical information around the complete print workflow

The second Print Media Production Forum (PMPF), organized by bvdm and ECI on September 3/4, 2008 at the University of Wuppertal presented latest technical topics around the complete print workflow on a high professional level using selected examples from creation to print production. The conference was held in german language only. Review the complete programme on

Availability of new ECI Offset Profiles (2008)

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]